Sorry to bring up the subject, but Christmas is coming and it’s time to start thinking about what you can buy the outdoor chef in your life.There are so many outdoor cooking accessories and gadgets out there, please be careful that you buy something of worth and actually useful. Just because they sell it in the shops, doesn’t mean it’s worth buying!
So here is my Christmas list, stuff you can actually use!
- Woodfired Oven from Alfa Pizza
Yes, it’s not exactly a stocking filler but if you have someone special in your life who loves to barbecue, get them a woodfired oven and their world will be complete! This is a Christmas present that will keep on giving all year round, year after year. A woodfired oven doesn’t compete with a barbecue, it compliments and the love of fire cooking starts.
If you’re looking for advice on which one to get..just contact me.
- A knife from IO Shen
Every chef or home cook needs good quality knives, it makes such a huge difference to cooking. Be warned, once you start collecting – it never stops so at least you’ve got the next 20 years of Christmas presents sorted!
My preferred knives are from IO Shen – the feel, the balance and the design. If you don’t know which knife to start with (there are more than you think) ring Nathalie at IO Shen and have a chat.
- BBQ Planks
They are a great stocking filler and can be used indoors or outdoors and also in a barbecue or woodfired oven. Great fun trying out all the different wood flavours and creating recipes with your favourite food. For inspiration, take a look at Wildwood Grilling in the US. They have a great range of recipes.
You can buy BBQ Planks all over the place, but these guys are great: The Old Smoke House
- Cast Iron Cookers from Natural Heating
I’m having so much fun with these cast iron cookers, they are made for cooking jacket potatoes but, by using some imagination, they are incredible versatile. Use them in your woodfired oven or BBQ or wood stove for soups, bread, chestnuts, mussels and more. Any Outdoor Chef would be over joyed with them.
- Thermometer from Thermapen
There are so many thermometers on the market and this world can get quite techie! If you are looking for a level entry thermometer that covers all indoor and outdoor cooking with incredible accuracy – thermapen is a great choice. It also comes in a cool range of colours. Every outdoor chef needs to learn how to cook using temperature and not time.
- A recipe book
Where to start with choosing a book? There are so many great choices and so many incredible chefs with books about outdoor cooking. My ultimate choice ? I always go to the Fire God himself Francis Mallman and his Seven Fires recipe book – absolute fire inspiration.
- Outdoor Cooking Masterclass
This is not just an excuse to book a masterclass with me! Just to say that there are lots of great outdoor cooking masterclasses around the country, have a google and check out your nearest cookery school. Riverside Garden Centre do lots of masterclasses on Weber, Traeger and Alfa Pizza and Manna from Devon offer a range of woodfired oven courses. Great Christmas present.
- Firelighters from Dalby Firewood
I know this isn’t a very exciting Christmas present, but buying these natural firelighters will stop you being tempted to buy all the unnecessary fire starter accessories. There are lots of products to help you to start your fire and I fundamentally disagree with them. Any outdoor chef worth their salt knows how to light a fire or light up their charcoal without unnecessary kit like a looftlighter! Stick to the basics: quality wood or charcoal, natural firelighters and, for a woodfired oven, quality kindling.
- Mauviel Cookware from Selfridges
Similar to the knives, having the best cookware for fire cooking makes a huge difference and Mauviel is the best there is. I’ve hammered mine and (apart from needing a clean at some point) they works brilliantly in a barbecue or woodfired oven. Built to last forever, Mauviel cookware become heirlooms and there is enough choice to cover many Christmases.
- Cold Smoker from Mac’s BBQ
A great Christmas present for any outdoor chef wanting to move into cold smoking, not ridiculously expensive and there are a range of wood dust flavours to choose from. Cold smoking is a great journey to start and any outdoor chef would be overjoyed with a starter kit.
Are these enough ideas for you? I’m sure to think of more..lots more..but hopefully I’ve given you some inspiration for the Outdoor Chef in your life or to put on your own Christmas list.