Make this summer the season of Michelin-starred grilling, thanks to Heston Blumenthal's new range of barbecues.
Heston Blumenthal's latest handiwork has less to do with disguising meat as fruit, as he's famous for at The Fat Duck, and more to do with the simple and perhaps most vital cooking technique known to man - cooking with fire.
Working with Australian manufacturers Everdure, Blumenthal touched down in Australia for a hot minute this week to launch his own range of sleek, modern barbecues, right in time for grilling season. The collection of six spans from charcoal-powered to gas, and come in sizes perfect for the deck at home or in a more portable size to transport to the park or beach.
"I've been doing a lot of work on the link between food and cooking and being human," says Heston at his launch at Sydney's The Grounds of Alexandria cafe. "We're the only creature that can make fire, and the only creature that cooks its food. The actual act of barbecuing is something that's in our blood." His range has made it easier than ever. The Fusion range of charcoal barbecues has eliminated the need for matches or lighter fluid with a one-touch ignition button. Press it to light the coals, and the temperature will rise to the optimal temperature for cooking within 10 minutes. A discreetly powered rotisserie attachment is one of the best add-ons available for the likes of porchetta, lamb shoulder or whole chicken, all infused with the flavour of charcoal smoke.
The gas range, available in graphite, mint, orange, red and stone enamel coatings, "are the most powerful gas barbecue on the planet," says Heston, who points out the extra roomy hood makes for perfect heat convection.
Next time you're picking up some prawns for an impromptu barbecue on the beach, take Heston's Cube along too. A portable and compact charcoal barbecue that's lightweight thanks to its aluminium construction, it's easy to set up, store and clean.
Heston's top barbecuing tips:
- Grilling can only add so much flavour. Buy only the best quality meat and you're already halfway to greatness.
- Throw some fresh herbs on the charcoal while cooking, spritzing with water every so often to add a fragrant smoke.
- Wait until a crust of ash forms on the charcoal before cooking, that'll ensure the coals will have cooled down enough to emit a steady heat.
- Cook fish and delicate seafood off centre and away from the direct heat.
- Always bring meat to room temperature before cooking to ensure an even temperature in the centre.
- Flip your steaks! It keeps the juices and flavour from dripping away.
- After you've removed your meat from the heat, let it rest to seal in the juices.
- It may seem obvious but clean your barbecue regularly - sticky build-ups lead to flare-ups.