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EXPLOREMY LIBRARY
 / Home & Garden
The Shed

The Shed January-February 2019

The Shed is Eclectic, informed and always fascinating, there is something to interest everyone in The Shed. Aimed at those with a few tools and perhaps a few clues, this is the magazine for real sheddies. Packed with ideas, projects, advice and peeks into other people’s sheds.

Country:
New Zealand
Language:
English
Publisher:
Parkside Media
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SUBSCRIBE
$29
6 Issues

IN THIS ISSUE

3 min.
talkin’’bout a revolution

Because I do a fair bit of cooking, people say to me, “You like cooking, don’t you”? To which I reply, “No, I like eating.” Most of us love eating, of course, but I need to know what goes into my food. I like to cook and eat simple, tasty, unprocessed, fresh food, with no added extra anything. That’s why I cook a lot — control. So barbecuing suits me right down to the ground — goodquality meats, cooked just as I like them by me, with fresh salads and veg for balance. But like so many of us now, when we barbecue at home, it’s mostly on the kettle where you can easily add great smoky flavours and, if you have the skills, cook low and slow to get a mega…

3 min.
smoke without fire?

Until now most of us have just been scratching the surface of the art of the barbecue, chucking steaks, sausage, chicken, and fish onto the grill. We might get a bit of additional flavour from the flame or smoke from fat dripping through, but not much. Maybe we use a marinade — but that’s still just grilling food. And sometimes we cook on the hot plate — that’s just frying food outdoors. This direct-heat method is still great for small cuts of meat, cooking them at high temperature to caramelize the outside before the inside gets too dry, but the barbecue lid is basically used just to keep the weather off. Bigger cuts of meat or carcasses naturally need to be cooked for longer and at lower temperatures to ensure that the…

7 min.
more than a hint of oak

Barbecue smokers have to handle lots of heat for a long time, which is why most of them are made from industrial-grade steel — and that’s why Maurice O’Brien made his smoker out of wood. Industrial Revolution chic is the aesthetic of most offset smokers. The default look is big, black, and brutish steel barrels and boxes. Some of them do their darndest to look like vintage steam trains with tall chimneys and steel wagon wheels. Maurice O’Brien decided to go another way. He wondered about making one out of a wine barrel, evoking a rustic vibe, which is much more convivial than the Industrial Revolution. “I just wanted to do something different,” says Maurice. As you don’t set the fire in the barrel — you cook with hot air and smoke — he…

1 min.
a few tips

• Slather the meat in the rubs the night before. Most low-and-slow-cooking fans in New Zealand swear by applying them at least 30 minutes before (apart from brisket, which is overnight) so that the salt can help tenderize the meat. They can cook in as little as two hours. • Spritz your meat often with apple cider vinegar and water to retain moisture. • Resting your meat also adds to its flavour and tenderness, usually two hours plus for big cuts — wrap the meat in towels and put it in a chilly bin. • For real success in getting it cooked just right, use a temperature probe for meat — midrange is Thermopro and top-of-the-range Fireboard: fireboard.com/shop/fireboard-fbx11-thermometer/.…

3 min.
cooking without gas

‘Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to build an offset smoker barbecue, and you feed him for a lifetime’ — ancient shed proverb It’s elegant, original, and short enough to fit in a confined space. Matthew Lett made a smoker like no other using gas bottles. The elegant curves in Matthew Lett’s offset smoker make it look like a stylish factory product, or maybe part of a Cold War–era submarine, but then the builder’s signature touches catch the eye — the spanners sacrificed for handles and hinges; the spark-plug socket handle on the vent; and, above all, the wacky way that the firebox door opens and hangs in space, which is also reminiscent of a submarine hatch. Matthew, like Maurice, likes to do things…

1 min.
there’s the rub

Building your offset barbecue is only half the fun. Just as there are no rules for building one, there are no rules for how to cook in one, but a few traditions might give you some pointers. The US has a number of regional styles. The South is famous for its sweet barbecue sauces because molasses and tomatoes were easy to come by there. Pork is the traditional meat. Cattle farming in the West led to Texas barbecue using beef with a dry rub including some Mexican spiciness, and the local mesquite scrub wood added its own flavour. Sauce is added just before serving. Carolina-style barbecue is known for tart cider vinegar, mustard-based sauces from European cooking, and basting the meat — a technique picked up from the Caribbean. Kansas City has…