As the new BBQ facility in Precinct 2 is about a couple of hundred feet in front of my house, I decided to take a few snaps to display here so those who have not seen it, especially folks from Precinct 1, can have an idea what the fuss is all about.
But first, my disclaimer: I am not a BBQ expert and you should be better off watching the Asian Food Channel and listening to that black guy (sorry I do not know the name of he chef). But I do a fair bit of smoking, grilling and even a whole lamb on a motorized rotating spit. Anyone is welcome to borrow my equipment if you want to do it in your own backyard. Just clean it properly before you send it back.
So here is my so-called ‘review’ of what you see above. If any reader thinks I’m talking rubbish, please post your correction so I learn as well.
The cooking surface measures 39 inches by 27 inches. You can grill over burning coals or use the grill pan on the right which is great for burgers and fish, teppanyaki or for keeping food warm. But there is no hole for drainage of excess oil – so come prepared with something that will do the job. The rectangular frame seems to made of mild steel tubing that has been chrome plated (thus non-food grade) but the grilling surfaces look like stainless steel grade 304 material which is alright. If you really want to know whether it is stainless steel, just bring a magnet and see if there is attraction. Quality SS will repel the magnet.
The concrete hearth is a good 10 inches below the cooking surface. The distance apart is not to my liking as I normally have it no more than 3-6 inches apart, depending on the intensity of the coals. Next time you come across a satay stall, just look at how close the coals are to the meat. With the food grille that high above the fire and the night breeze constantly blowing away the heat (hot air), I wonder how much longer it would need to cook your meat. And if you want to sear your expensive cuts of prime beef in the first minute or two, you may have a problem doing that. If you want the fire closer to the cooking surface, you could place a few bricks on the hearth and lay cheap galvanized iron wire netting over the bricks and voila! you have it. Alternatively, simply pile on more charcoal.
There is no ash pan, period. So the ash will remain on the concrete hearth or some may drop into the lower chamber through the six vent holes in the concrete hearth. So bring a brush or broom and definitely a dust pan. You could also lay aluminium foil on the hearth and the chamber as well and like a true magician you could just make the ash disappear without much effort. If you happen to be the first user, please ask GCD to remove the PVC tubing used to form the vent holes. They are still stuck in there. If you do not remove the plastic, you could have the aroma of burnt plastic in your grilled meat.
Lastly, there is good running water to wash away any remaining ash and to clean the grill pan. I suspect most of the water for cleaning the pan will end up on the grass as there is no drain hole. Alternatively, use a lot of paper towels. I suppose users will rinse plates or cutlery there as well and I wonder where the discharge water goes. The sewerage system or straight into the river? I think it is the river.