After a recent purchase of the Cadac Safari 2, it has come to my attention that we currently own 4 barbecues.
Bearing in mind 3 out of 4 of us don’t cook on them, one per beard seems a bit excessive.
Over the years of course we have had a parade of barbecuing hardware, but never so many at once.
So why so many? And will we keep them or actually get round to selling some off?
Well, let’s begin with the Broil King. A behemoth of a barbecue, stationary, obviously due to the heft of it, purchased when we lived in sunny Brinny and had many happy deck feasts over the years. It’s now located down the garden, and sees regular usage for steaks, roast choox and various al fresco delights. It’s so ruddy heavy that it’s going nowhere, despite KB’s lamentations and yearnings for charcoal.
Second purchase was the controversial Cobb Supreme, having previously had a standard Cobb and foolishly parted with it to upgrade. The range of accessories needed to enjoy it to the full just never materialised. Every time we went to the NEC shows we always had a chat with the nice couple who run the Cobb stall, but no new products arrived. We spent a fortune for the original Cobb on pans, rack, pizza stone and utensils (which get the most usage tbf). Although it is a solid fuel affair, the cobble stones made by them are quicker and easier to use than charcoal and last well enough to cook anything you can heave on to it. The sticking points, apart from the lack of accessories, are the enormity of it for a tabletop piece of kit, hence the time and heat needed to use the full cooking space and the fact that over the last few years (lockdowns excepted of course) loads of places have had fire bans in place, so gas appliances only. Really, for van life it’s too big. A standard Cobb in the van is more than enough to cook for the 4 of us when we’re on the road, but that is long gone.
The 2019 trip to the south of France is what prompted a purchase of BBQ number 3, our first foray into Cadac ownership, with the Carri Chef 2. Massive round pan on 3 legs, various high quality pans and grills and an adaptor to use the gas bottle from the van, so no need to buy canisters or owt else. We tested it at home and it was a quality item. Usage in the wild though, was less than frequent. In France I honestly think it was the heat, we just couldn’t be bothered, but in the Hebrides it got used only on South Uist. When moving from place to place the assembly, cleaning and packing away is just too much faff. The size of it, when you have limited space is too much, and the fact that the legs don’t fit inside the main pack and have to be brought (and remembered separately) has caused at least one hiccup on the dinnertime front. Cleaning it requires a proper sink, as the size of the grills and pans means that the camper sink and the collapsible washing up bowl can’t accommodate either . It’s a shame because it’s a great piece of kit, but we won’t even use it at home, due to the established Broil King scenario.
So is BBQ number 4 the answer to all this? We shall see. The Cadac Safari chef 2 is the latest acquisition, having previously been poo-pooed due to being small, we have now come around to the idea that small is beautiful, packable, washable and portable in a campervan situation, so is it useable?
We test drove it last night in the garden on a fillet steak and salad. The adaptor from the Carri chef worked a treat on a spare van gas bottle, the grill and pan lid went in the dishwasher and came out gleaming and the steak was delicious. Being a smaller set up, it’s going to need to be operated carefully on a table for it to be comfortable for the chef, but the metal picnic table should work a treat. It’s getting packed for the #BigOrkneyAdventure2021 in a couple of weeks, so we shall see how much use it gets, although following some Instagram research it looks like we won’t be shy of options for eating out in Kirkwall, so you never know.