Heston Blumenthal's hi-tech Everdure BBQs take outdoor dining to the next level
There's something primal about barbecuing meat. Our time as hunter-gatherers may have shifted to that of online orders and convenience services, but the age-old desire to cook outdoors is still firmly ingrained into our DNA. Now, renowned chef Heston Blumenthal hopes to reignite our love of cooking outdoors with his Everdure range - claiming to give BBQs the 3-star Michelin treatment.
Blumenthal has collaborated with Australian barbecue manufacturer, Shriro, to launch a new range of BBQs with a technological and stylistic edge. Following a successful launch in Australia at the end of 2016, the BBQs are now available in the New Zealand.
Everdure BBQs consist of six products in varying sizes. The four charcoal burners on offer are the Hub, Fusion (two varieties, with or without pedestal) and Cube. Gas alternatives come in the forms of the Furnace and Force.
The largest model out of the Everdure range, the Hub, takes its cues from minimalist Danish design. Upon first glance, its sleek black frame with sharp orange accents is well suited to its function - mimicking the aesthetics of a roaring fire and burning charcoal. However, its premiere qualities aren't merely stylistic, but technological.
A fast flame ignition system is the crowning glory of the Everdure range, featured in the Hub and Fusion models. A fusion of electricity with an integrated heat element, it's a technological alternative to barbecue lighting - and a first in the category.
Simply add charcoal and press the ignition button and the barbecue can be ready within ten minutes - without the need for chemicals or firelighters. This built-in ignition system is an entirely new feature for BBQs and promises to not only to simplify the process of cooking on a barbecue, but has been claimed to preserve the flavour and quality of food during the cooking process.
"It’s one of those things nobody had thought about," Blumenthal said. "Because there is no firelighters and lighterfuel you can start cooking on the coals much earlier. They haven’t got any residual chemicals on them. So you don’t get those nasty flavours."
"If it runs out, you can put more on and press the button again. Or when the coals are ready you can scrape it all to one side and set off a new batch," Blumenthal said. "You can end up with three different bands of temperature on the grill."
Another aspect of the electric ignition system is that is may stop the numerous burn injuries inflicted on barbecuers each year from using flammable fuel. "This is safer, too," Blumenthal insists. "I burnt my hair once, and I didn't have much of it! It was ages ago in the early days of lighter fuel and I heard this woof."
The Hub is based around the desire to get back to a classic chargrilled flavour when cooking with BBQs - a precarious balance that often leads home cooks to burnt or tough meat. As the largest model of the Everdure range, the Hub hosts a range of features designed specifically for heavy-duty cooking. This is exemplified by the complementary 'Rotoscope' that comes as standard in Hub and Fusion models. An integrated rotisserie system rises up from within the main body, without the need for complex assembly. With a 40kg capacity, it's large enough to slow-roast a whole chicken, or a leg of lamb.
Both Hub and Fusion models are powered by electric motors and require access to an electrical outlet within a 1.5 meter range for usage.
"On the gas ones, the curvature of hood was vital to get better convection flow along with a vent underneath and vent at the back. This makes a huge difference. The burners, too, needed to have more power. Also we needed to have the burners go up in smaller gradations, to give you more control."
Blumenthal, known for his work at the Fat Duck restaurant in Maidenhead and experiments culinary chemistry, said of the range, "I wanted to bring some of the techniques and methods I have developed in over 20 years in the kitchen and bring them to the great outdoors."
Asking the famously inventive Blumenthal what he's planning next for the grilling machines. "There is the possibility of adding a built-in probe, so if you are doing a leg of lamb on a spit it will tell you you are at the right temperature. It could also work out the heat gradient and therefore work out how long your meat is going to take. This would be smart, too, and connected to your mobile," he said.
"The other thing may be a paella or wok that can sit on top. Or a frozen unit with a top that can also double as a table. Perfect if you have a small balcony or flat. Oh, and we are also thinking about a lighting system, so you can see to barbecue in the dark. If you've tried it, it is almost impossible. You can’t see a thing!"
Blog provided by wired.co.uk
For more information and the range click HERE