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carol@ mirror.co.uk: SIZZLING SITES TO SAVOUR.



YOU may not feel much like celebrating it with the weather we've had lately but next week is National Barbecue Week.

To find out what's cooking, zip along to www.nationalbbqweek.co. uk It's got details of roadshows up and down the country as well as the Big Barbecue, which is your chance to hold a sponsored cookout in aid of the Variety Club - and bag yourself one of 1,000 Bumper BBQ Bonanza Boxes in the process.

A Christmas trip for two to Australia is the tempting prize on offer at Calor Gas's site www. barbecue-online.co.uk

It has lots of tips for stress-free outdoor parties, food suggestions and tales of the rivalry between fork-prongers and tongmasters.

The site also has its own discussion forum at www.barbecue-grill.co.uk where enthusiasts can swap recipes and ponder important questions.

If you associate barbecues with meat that's burned on the outside and raw on the inside, then www.britishbarbecue.co.uk wants to help.

This site, which annoyingly insists on playing Rule Britannia while you view it, was apparently set up to teach us Europeans the fine art of real American-style barbecuing.

We couldn't follow the instructions on building a special pit, which seemed to involve lots of welding and grinding, but luckily the recipes were easier to understand and there were plenty of them - 2,250 at the last count.

If you want to know more about how the Americans do it, web ring www.thesmokering. com has links to a variety of barbecue sites.

They include www.pigoutpublica tions.com, which claims to be the only company in the world specialising in BBQ cookbooks. Unfortunately, it's in Kansas City.

Join the fabulously titled http://grillerinthemist.com or take a look at www.ismellsmoke. com, home of a barbecue team from Massachusetts who, judging by their photos, might be just a bit too fond of their grub.

Antipodeans too love cooking outdoors, and www.bbqblue.com.au provides a highly entertaining guide to Australias's love affair with barbecueing, from memories of long-ago barbies complete with blackened sausages to the latest trends in trollies and hibachis. And if you feel like throwing what Paul Hogan called a decapod crustacean, or a shrimp to you and me, on to your barbie, check out www.toptastes.com/features/grill/ recipes.htm for lots of mouth watering inspiration from Down Under.

Of course you can't start cooking without the right equipment, and there is something to suit everyone available on the net.

If you are on a budget you can pick up a basic charcoal barbecue from B&Q's site www.diy.co.uk for just pounds 7.98, while pounds 9.95 will buy a built-in barbie at www.argos.co.uk - just add your own bricks.

If you have a little more to spend however, www. directgarden products.co.uk can offer you what it reckons is the must-have thing in outdoor entertainment, an Oasis cookout, for a mere pounds 3,025.

If that's too run-of-the-mill for you, the extensive rang stocked at www.thebbq.co.uk includes the Viking four-burner stainless grill and trolley - a real snip at just a penny under pounds 7,000.

But before you fire up that shiny new barbecue, make sure you are doing things safely by visiting www.foodstandards.gov.uk/ hygcampaign/summer_eating/ which offers all sorts of sensible advice about making sure food is cooked properly.

And if you reckon you already know all the basics of barbecuing, try the quick quiz to find out if you really are hot stuff or just a silly burger.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 16, 2003
Words:605
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