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Social networking and outdoor cooking

Social Networking And Outdoor Cooking

The first meat that I ever wanted to cook on a barbecue was a chicken using the rotisserie and I’ve never really stopped to think about why. I guess it’s down to «the boy with a new toy» mentality in that the BBQ spit came in the pack with the grill and a rotisserie cooking process adds dynamism. Looking back not only is it visually appealing but also the spit does the work for you leaving plenty of time beer or two!
Maybe I did one too many beers on that first cookout because the results weren’t quite up to standard. I tried to light my grill with paper and wood which sent ash all over the chicken. I didn’t balance the chicken very well on the spit so one side cooked before the other. I made every mistake in the book.
Having said that, getting that first taste of BBQ smoke was still a defining moment and even after my first disastrous attempt with the rotisserie I was (and still am) hooked on outdoor cooking.
I progressed gently onto sausages and burgers learning as I went that the fat off the food causes the smoke and also the flames and when flames appear, the food doesn’t cook, it burns. Since discovering this point I’ve had to adjust every charcoal barbecue that I’ve ever bought with an extra notch to raise up the grill and keep the flames from lapping up at that first spit of the fat. Grill manufacturers take note!
For greater variety I later invested in a copy of Ainsley’s Barbecue Bible and this took me to higher levels even to the point where people were starting to look at what I was cooking and asking how I’d done it. If they were lucky they even got to taste it!
Anyway, barbecuing has become a way of life for me and now the internet provides so many free barbecue recipes and easy smoker recipes there’s plenty of menu ideas for my next cookout. Social networking though is still my favourite way to learn and by that I’m referring to talking with fellow enthusiasts and not necessarily over the web.
I tried barbecue cookout competitions and whilst there was a great sense of occasion and lot’s of fun, it was a little too competitive and recipes kept as closely guarded secrets. So where can you go to meet like minded people? Where can you find more barbecues, smokers and outdoor grills in one place and people sharing and having fun?
At a sports event!
Being a petrol head I regularly hit Les 24 Heures Du Mans (that’s the Le Mans 24 Hour Endurance race to you and me) in France. Not only is there a mix of barbecue nutcases and pyromaniacs they come from all over the world so where else is there such a wealth of knowledge, experience and above all a sense of fun?
Camping by a race track with cars flying past at 150+mph, what could be better? OK so it might not appeal to everyone and it doesn’t have to be as exotic as Le Mans, I found a similar atmosphere with a completely different crowd down at Twickenham for the rugby cup final, everyone focused on partying, enjoying the food, the event and the other people there. The event isn’t important, it’s the occasion and the people that make it what it is.
So in my book social networking is the answer for new ways to barbecue. For free barbecue recipes, get down to you local sports stadium and have a wander around before the ball game and the inspiration for your next barbecue menu ideas will be right in front of your eyes. This is my idea of social networking!
Bon Appetite!

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