Enjoy a Delicious Al Fresco Summer
Make the most of the outdoors this summer with expert tips from Fire Don and King of the Grill, Phil Wood.
Summer is here, which means one thing… Time to get outdoors!
Fire up the BBQ for long lazy summer evenings or impress guests with the brand-new pizza oven. If there’s one sure-fire sign of summer, it’s Brits enjoying the outdoors with friends and loved ones.
Fire Don and King of the Grill, Phil Wood, of Contura woodburning stoves, says: “Come rain or shine, the summer months are when we all love to get back to basics, head outdoors and cook or converse over fire.
“Fire is both the source of tasty al fresco meals and helps to extend our enjoyment of the outdoors long into the evenings throughout the summer months – because, let’s face it, the recent balmy nights are just not the norm for the UK… What’s most important, is that fire helps brings us together.
“There are a number of ways to enjoy using fire outdoors this summer, from the much-loved Great British BBQ and Italian themed pizza evenings, to enjoying the crackle of the chimenea as dusk hits. There are some key considerations, however, to ensure your al fresco fires not only provide the opportunity to connect with others, but do so sustainably too.”
Read on for Phil’s top tips to enjoying an al fresco summer whatever the weather…
Sustainably sourced wood
Contrary to what many realise, the burning of wood fuel can be highly sustainable so long as the wood is sourced correctly.
In fact, using cut wood from thinned woodland, which would otherwise go to waste, is the ideal option. Harvesting small amounts of trees and thinning woodland ensures the trees have the space and light they need to grow and thrive.
And make sure to check the moisture content of the wood you plan to use – kiln dried or seasoned wood with a moisture content of less than 20% will burn slow and steady and minimise smoke.
Different fuels for different experiences
Many people don’t realise that different wood fuels produce different scents as well as burns, so whether you’re hoping to create a cosy fireside atmosphere or enjoy some al fresco cooking, there’s a different wood fuel for each different job.
Every type of fuel has a different scent, which can greatly impact your enjoyment of time spent by a fire.
Hoping to enjoy a romantic evening of drinks and fireside chat? Opt for cherry wood with its unique, softly sweet scent, or birch, for a subtle and relaxing aroma.
If you want to create a traditional summer campfire experience, choose smoky smelling hickory or earthy scented oak.
Similarly, the fuel you use when cooking can vastly change the flavour of your food. The most flavourful options are wood and charcoal, both of which infuse ingredients with rich, smoky undertones.
Cooking with charcoal produces a much stronger flavour than using other fuels – especially when cooking more delicate white meats and fish.
A mixture of birch, ash and sycamore creates a slow, steady burn that’s ideal for outdoor cooking. Use kindling and small pieces of wood (under 20cm) to create a stack, adding larger pieces of wood as you go, but be sure not to over stack or suffocate the flame. Sufficient airflow is needed to maintain an efficient burn.
And don’t forget, if using firelighters use natural wax-coated wood wool firelighters rather than chemical ones. This will ensure a more sustainable fire and allow you to avoid the nasty smell and vapours of kerosene.
When cooking, temperature is key
Different temperatures create varying flavors and textures when barbecuing. The more wood or charcoal you use, the higher the temperature achieved.
Smoking requires the lowest temperatures and is best used for more heavy cuts of meat or fish, however it also avoids unnecessary energy output and ensures that fuel isn’t going to waste.
A mid-temperature barbecue is ideal for infusing your food with an authentic, smoky flavour without taking too long or using up excess fuel.
Grilling requires the highest temperature possible when cooking outdoors and is ideal for adding fast and intense flavour with a little chargrilled crunch.
And don’t forget about what’s cooking…
Sweet and crunchy corn on the cob, spicy vegetable kebabs, stuffed sweet roasted peppers and fluffy baked potatoes can all be easily cooked outdoors in a fire pit or on a BBQ. Fish is another great option – no other cooking method will give your fish a crispy, charred coat and tasty smoky flavour. Firm, robust fish, such as sardines, tuna and salmon are best for barbecuing and grilling.
Sweet tooth? Grilled bananas packaged with chocolate and nuts in foil cooked on the BBQ or grill, S’mores over the fire, or a chocolate and hazelnut ‘pizza’ are all crowd pleasers. Alternatively, try grilling watermelon – a slightly more unusual, but just as delicious sweet treat.
For more information on Contura, please visit www.contura.eu
Notes to editors:
- Rooster PR will coordinate comment, interview and profile opportunities for Contura UK Country Manager, Phil Wood.
- The Contura PR team will also arrange visits to the nearest Contura Design Centre dealerships or the Contura showroom in Doncaster to see the product range.
For further press information, please contact:
Anna Nyman | Elsa Findlay | Julie Aguilera
T: +44 (0)20 3440 8930
E: [email protected]
Contura is Europe’s leading manufacturer of wood burning stoves, offering an extensive range of classic and contemporary wood burners; from traditional insert stoves suitable for existing fireplaces, to freestanding statement models made with innovative materials such as soapstone.
Starting at £1,395, Contura stoves are premium yet affordable. Award winning, timeless Swedish design means the products complement or enhance any style of home, whilst also offering outstanding performance, maximum efficiency, practicality and ease of use.
Designed and assembled at the factory located in Markaryd, Sweden, and manufactured to the highest standards, Contura stoves are highly energy efficient, offering powerful convection, superior combustion technology and clean burning systems. Currently, 95% of Contura stoves are DEFRA Clean Air Act exempt and thus approved for use in Smoke Control Areas.
Contura stoves can be purchased through a network of 165 independent retailers nationwide.
Contura is part of the NIBE group, a Swedish manufacturing company producing world class solutions in sustainable energy across Europe, North America, Asia and Australia.
Contura is a founding member of the Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) in the UK.
For more information please visit www.contura.eu