BBQ by the riverside by Johann Foo

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.


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5 Responses to BBQ by the riverside by Johann Foo

  1. Johann says:

    Comments by Eric Yong, President of GCROA posted in “Lantern Walk” but relevant in this post regarding the lack of lighting at this BBQ facility:

    Just a reminder to all attending the above, please do bring along torch light, generating lamps or kerosene lamp to lighten up as the so called BBQ area. Design ,created and build by GCD this BBQ area is not lighted from day one till today. It has no lighting sockets or DB sockets for temporary lighting. This BBQ area is pitch dark except for some little light shone in from the solar battery lights which is at distance from the BBQ area.

    Be warn …they may be snakes lurking around as the grass are equally long beside the concrete benches. This is not a joke, please do take this warning sriously ! And forgettingto bring mosquitoes coil, patches or anti mosquitoes cream as well.

    Cheer and see all !

  2. yfyin says:

    BBQ is my favourite past time since schooling time.

    The six vent holes which has plastic pipes inside should be removed before you start burning as these plastic pipes will melt once heated and the toxic smoke will vaporised into your food.

    As for the height between the grill and cement, just buy a piece of metal mesh from local hardware shop and just support it with 2 bricks on each side, the charcoal can then rest on the mesh, this will also provide better charcoal burning as their are enough oxygen in between.

  3. Johann says:

    The flaws can be overcome though. For example, a hole can be cut out in a corner of the grill pan and a funnel welded to the rim of the hole. Users simply have to put a round tin or can underneath the spout to collect the oil but please do not throw the oil down the drainpipe in the washing area because that goes straight into the river, I believe. We are supposed to be eco-conscious, right?

  4. wkchoo says:

    You may try one of the exercise equipment (there are 3 equipments provided), the one with sitting position. You need to be at least six footer to be able to use it comfortably as the design I think are not meant for average size person like most of us.

    Totally agreed with Johann on the bbq pit design flaw. Should ask the management to change it back ……aargh, the dustbins near the area are not collected and its already full and crows starting to pull out it out. Noticed it this morning and will call GC management now to clear the rubbish bins.

  5. boyscout2b says:

    Typical of GCD’s design flaws/lack of thought when doing things. Another example is the concrete benches along the footpath. First they installed flimsy polished granite benches (some are falling down!); then the (more suitable) white concrete benches. Problem is – the most the benches faces inland when they should be facing the river. Afterall, the river IS the selling point of GC, right?

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