Posts tagged "barbecue"

How can I repair a rusted up barbeque?

After reading last week’s barbecue themed posts, Ali got in touch to ask about repairing a rusted up bbq:

The grill is rusty pretty much all over and there is a rust hole in the base too. My husband wants to throw it out and get another but I’d like to try fixing it first. Please give me some hope that the effort with a wire scrubber will be worth it!

A lot of barbecues at the cheaper end of the market have chrome-plated steel grills and once the chrome gets scratched or otherwise damaged, the exposed steel rusts really quickly. You might get all the rust off now but I’m not sure you’ll be able to keep it off in the future – anyone know any heat/food friendly way to protect it again? If it’s a cast iron grill – most expensive but not uncommon – then you should be able to de-rust it and protect it again like any cast iron pan/appliance.

As for the base, it depends on the size/location of the hole – a small one low down could be turned into a fat trap. Assuming it’s a kettle/barrel type bbq, you could strip it right back to metal (possibly worth doing all over in one go) and repaint it with a heat-proof metal paint (like stove paint) to reduce further rusting. However as someone who has spent far too long stripping metal recently, let me warn you, it’s not exactly a fun pastime.

If you don’t think it’s worth the effort to save this one, learn from this one’s untimely demise when you buy/care for your next one — look for one with a better grill or if it’s already a good one, protect it better in the first place, and don’t leave bbqs outside and uncovered in wet/moist weather.

Any further advice/suggestions?

How can I reuse or recycle used paper plates?

Finishing up our impromptu barbecue themed week, I thought I’d run a post that is sure to get some people screaming “DON’T USE THEM AT ALL! USE REAL, REUSABLE PLATES!!” – and those people have a very good point. The first part of the 3Rs is Reduce and disposable paper plates are really unnecessary in most situations – and also usually really frustrating to eat off.

However, they’re still useful in some situations – for example, extraordinarily big outdoor parties, especially for clumsy kids or festivals etc – so it’s probably worth thinking about ways to reuse or recycle them for those times when they’re almost unavoidable.

Between food waste and the often synthetic wax/plastic coating used to make them moisture resistant, you don’t really want them near your compost heap. You can get paper plates designed to be composted afterwards though – some made from thick paper, some from palm fronds, others from a light bamboo – just scrape off any large amount of food waste that might cause a problem for your heap. On our post about waxed cups, someone said you can recycle them at tetrapak recycling facilities – I would if this is true of waxed paper plates too…

Any other suggestions/advice? Or ideas for alternatives?

How can I reuse or recycle overcooked barbeque meat?

Inspired by thinking about barbeque-related food packaging on Monday, we’re having a bit of an impromptu bbq themed week here on Recycle This. This is a less a “reuse or recycle” and more a “how do you use it up?” question…

There always seems to be a few burgers or sausages leftover at barbecues – left on the grill or the keep-warm grill even though no one wants them and they go dry or turn to indiscernible black lumps.

Of course this situation could be avoided all together but only cooking the correct meat (hard to judge) and obviously it’s better to take them off before they reach that point when they’re still edible and have them as leftovers at some point but does anyone have any recipes for dried out meat? Our fussy-when-she-wants-to-be dog turned her nose up at dry-but-still-edible burger the other week but I suspect the cats would have gone for it if we’d been at home.

And what about when they’ve gone beyond that and are, essentially, greasy charcoal? Can they be crushed/ground up and used as a soil fertiliser like other charcoal?

(Photo by DeusXFlorida

How can I build a barbecue reusing or recycling stuff?

In a bit of an impromptu barbecue-themed week, I thought I’d ask about building the key part of the experience: the barbecue itself. This is partly because I’m interested in hearing bbq ideas and partly because I’m thinking of building myself a little smokehouse for my birthday and I suspect there will be a bit overlap – and asking about smokehouses may be a little obscure.

So anyway, barbecues. John’s dad, my father-in-love, has built a number of brick barbecues – a squared-off u-shape of bricks to about waist height – from salvaged bricks: I think he used grill kits for the grill bits but there is a possibility he made the coals pan from scrap metal. I’ll ask him tomorrow.

But brick structures tend to be a bit permanent – what about slightly more mobile ones? Ones made from old oil barrels (or ideally non-oil metal barrels) seem quite common the DIY bbq world. Old gas bottles can apparently be used for smaller versions but there are more safety concerns with initial cutting.

Any other suggestions? Any ideas about things to use for the coals pan or the grill itself? And what about alternatives like fire pits?

How can I reuse or recycle charcoal ashes from my barbecue?

charcoals on bbqWe’ve had an email from Rob asking what a million people up and down the UK will be asking given the recent rush of awesome weather:

How can I recycle charcoal from the BBQ?

At the moment it’s still sitting in there but need to clean it out soon. Any suggestions instead of chucking it out?

As I’ve said before in relations to ashes from bonfires, ash from wood fires – untreated, unpainted wood – can be used in the compost heap or in the garden to bring down the acidity of the compost/soil (don’t use too much though, then it’ll get too alkaline).

But most of the charcoal briquettes that people use on barbecues tend to have random things added that you wouldn’t necessarily want in your compost heap – so unless you know they’re 100% wood based, it would be safer to leave them off your heap/veg plot.

So any there any things that can be done with them instead?