Welcome to the latest issue of the Chargrill Chat. It's been a while since the last issue but hopefully it's back bigger and better!
It's been an interesting year or so and I've included a couple of paragraphs below to bring you up-to-date with what's been happening.

I'm sending out the Chargrill Chat in a new format from now on. A welcome paragraph or two to keep you up-to-date with what's been happening on the Barbecuehut website. An article written by me, either a recipe or a 'how to' thing. A barbecue tip - just a snippet to help you get the most out of your BBQ. A feature article written by someone else - either a recipe or 'how to' subject. Feel free to send an article or two of your own and if I can fit it in I will. Lastly a food fact- not necessarily barbecue related, but something of interest anyway.
Please let me know what you think of the new format. Suggestions and contributions are always welcome.

Today's issue:

1. Welcome - Where have I been?
2. Recipe - Quick and easy Cheesburgers with onions.
3. Barbecue tip - Using the hood on your barbecue.
4. Guest article - Top 10 BBQ Mistakes by Novices
5. Food trivia - Record size Cheddar cheeses.

Welcome - Where have I been?

As I mentioned above, it's been an interesting year or so: a change of job, a lot of D.I.Y, and a new business. All combining to leave me know time to develop the Barbecuehut website or to write new issues of the Chargrill Chat.

In September last year I made the decision to change jobs. What a bad decision, the place that I went to was a nightmare. So bad that within 3 months I had to leave. A big decision on my part as it meant that I was unemployed, but as it turned out a good decision in the end. Within a month I'd started a new job where I'm very happy. Just shows that as the saying goes, 'every cloud has a silver lining'.

This year has seen a lot of 'do it yourself' (DIY) on my part. When we moved into our house eight years ago it was in a great position but in poor condition with lots of building work and re-decoration to be done; and lots of cost! We thought that it would take us about five years to finish it. I'm not a DIY lover, and it's been dragging on. Anyway this year I've put in a massive effort and it's nearly finished! Very time consuming but well worth it.

Lastly, a new business! I've recently, won a grant to start my own on-line business. I had to write to the competition organisers with my business idea. A week or so later I received a letter saying that I'd progressed to the interview stage which meant me pitching my business idea 'Dragon's Den' style to a panel of judges. As it turned out it wasn't so bad and the good news was that I was my idea was one of the winners. With the grant I've converted a small bedroom into an office and kitted it out with a new computer, printer, digital camera, etc. The idea is barbecue related and I'll be letting you know more about it in future issues.


Recipe - Cheesburger with onions.

Whenever I barbecue I always find that simple food like chicken wings, sausages and burgers are the most popular. I had friends and family around for a BBQ a couple of weeks ago but the weather in the North of England has been terrible. So I decided to cook quick and easy food like the above just in case the weather got so bad that the BBQ had to be called off and I would need to cook it indoors. As it turned out it was one of the best days of the year, warm and sunny. The recipe below is a quick and simple recipe for the cheeseburgers that I made. I've based the quantities on six people but you can easily amend the quantities for more or less people. Or make more burgers and freeze them for future use.
I've enough room on my barbecue grill to cook the burgers and onions, and grill the burger buns all together. I use a shallow oven dish about 12 inch x 8 inch to cook them. If you've not enough room, cook the onions indoors just prior to cooking the burgers. Or get someone else to cook them while you cook the burgers.

Preperation: 10 minutes plus 1 hour refrigeration.
Cooking: 10 minutes

  • 1 large onion
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • 2lb (900g) of best minced beef
  • 3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 slices of cheese
  • 6 burger buns, halved.
  • Tomato ketchup or your favorite barbecue sauce.

1. Put the minced beef into a bowl and add the Worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and divide into six. Shape into burgers about a half inch thick, put on a shallow dish, cover and refrigerate for an hour

2. Slice the onion in half, chop off the root and peel away the skin. Then cut into slices. Cut into smaller pieces if you prefer. The put into a container and cover.

3. Put the oven dish on your barbecue grill and add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil.

4. Brush oil over one side of your burgers and place oiled side down over hot coals.

5. Pour the sliced onions into the oven dish and spread out. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.

6. After about 4 to 5 minutes brush the top side of the burgers with oil and turnover.

7. After about 4 minutes put the bottom of the burger buns onto the grill and grill for about 1 minute until browned. Check that the burgers are done, turn over the buns, place a burger on each followed by a slice of cheese. Put the burger bun tops onto the grill and cook for about another minute until browned.

8. Remove the burgers and burger bun tops from the grill. Top the burgers with the cooked onions and place a burger bun top on top of each burger.

9. Serve immediately with tomato ketchup and your favorite BBQ sauce.

I like to cook my onions until golden brown with slightly burnt edges. If you prefer them less done, just cut down the cooking time.


***Barbecue tip****
If you've a barbecue grill with a hood, at step 7 after you top the burger with the cheese, close the hood for about 30 seconds, this will allow the cheese to melt more. Then open the hood, place the burger bun tops on the grill and proceed as the recipe.


Guest article - Top 10 BBQ Mistakes by Novices
Author: Ron Goodwin

There are several common mistakes that many barbecue cooks make
when preparing food on the barbecue. Check out these top ten
mistakes NOT to make when preparing food on the barbecue.

1. Being in too big of a hurry. Barbecueing and smoking meats
takes time and patience. You can't rush it. Figure 1 to 1 1/2
hours per pound for most meats. If you're tending a wood-burning
smoker, figure on adding fuel every 30-45 minutes.

2. Opening the lid to peek too often. This lets out the heat and
the smoker will be below temperature. Open the lid only when
necessary to mop or move or turn the meat. The meat's not going
anywhere, so you don't need to keep checking up on it.

3. Trying to do a brisket or spare ribs the first time you use
your smoker. Start off on the road to "Perfect Q" with the
simplest meat to smoke-a whole chicken or a pork picnic roast.
They're cheap and hard to ruin. Don't fill up the smoker with
meat until you've had some successes. Start with just one item.

4. Using lighter fluid to start your charcoal briquettes. This
can give you some really awful odors and tastes in your smoked
meat. Use a chimney starter for charcoal. If you must use a
charcoal lighter fluid, let the coals burn for at least 30
minutes before you put on the meat.

5. In wood burning meat smokers, making the fire too big and
closing the inlets and exhaust dampers to control the flame.
This is a no no. Open that exhaust damper all the way. Regulate
the oxygen intake with the inlet damper. Be careful how you
close that inlet damper-your fire can smolder and give you some
nasty-tasting smoke. Best advice-keep your fire low and your
dampers open. Remember, a bad-smelling smoke=bad-tasting meat.

6. Using green wood. You must use seasoned wood to get good
results when you begin barbecuing. The old pros can use a mix of
green and seasoned wood, but beginners should not use the green
stuff until they know about fire and temperature control. Using
green wood without knowing what you're doing is the surest way
to ruin the meat. You'll get creosote and that will make bitter
meat that cannot be saved.

7. Trying to adjust too many things at once. Don't adjust
everything on the smoker at once. Change one thing, see what
happens, then change another.

8. Changing things too much at once. Make small changes to the
smoker. Open or close the intake vent a little bit, not a lot.
If you are continually making big changes, you will continually
overshoot the correct temperature point. Your temperature curve
will look like a giant sawtooth. Make the changes in small

9. Putting cold meat into the smoker. This can lead to the
condensation of creosote on the surface of the meat if you don't
have a clean-burning fire. Beginners should allow the meat to
warm up on the counter, but for no more than an hour, before you
put it in the bbq smoker. Experienced smokers can put the
cold meat directly into the smoker. Some say this helps smoke

10. Inviting the family, the in-laws, and the preacher and his
wife over the first day you get that new smoker. Practice some,
get to know your smoker on a personal basis. Do a pork picnic
shoulder, some chickens, then some ribs and finally when
everything's coming together, do a brisket. Then invite the
whole gang over and wow 'em good.

About the author:
Ron Goodwin is one of the founders of The Good-One Smoker/Grill.
Rons smoker and barbecue grill articles offer information about
the Good-One Smoker, barbecue, trailer smoker techniques and
grilling tips and bbq smoker grills product information.


Food trivia - Record Size Cheddar Cheeses

White House historians assert that U.S. president Andrew Jackson held an open house party where a 1,400 lb (635 kg) block of Cheddar cheese was served as refreshment; this block of cheese would later serve as direct inspiration for two episodes of the Emmy-award winning television series The West Wing.
A cheese of 7,000 lb (3,175 kg) was produced in Ingersoll, Ontario, in 1866 and exhibited in New York and Britain; it was immortalized in the infamous poem "Ode on the Mammoth Cheese Weighing over 7,000 Pounds" by James McIntyre, a Canadian poet.

In 1893 farmers from the town of Pert, Ontario produced The Mammoth Cheese, at a weight of 22,000 lb (10,000 kg) for that year's Chicago World's Fair. When placed on exhibit with the Canadian display, The Mammoth Cheese promptly crashed through the floor and had to be placed on reinforced concrete in the Agricultural Building. It was more written about than any other single exhibit at the fair, and received the bronze medal.

A still larger Wisconson Cheddar cheese of 34,951 lb (15,853 kg) was produced for the 1964 New York World's Fair. It required the equivalent of the daily milk production of 16,000 cows.

Source: Wikipedia.

And finally...
That's nearly it for this issue of the Chargrill Chat. Please let me know what you think of the new format.

Before I go, I'd just like to mention a special offer from the people I use to host my Barbecuehut website. Lots of people express an interest to me about creating their own website based on a passion or hobby that they have; similar to me and barbecue. The service that I use is SiteSell and they are currently running a special offer. Take a at their Halloween Special Offer.

That's all for now,



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