Cooking on your deck means you can spend more time outdoors, preparing and enjoying delicious meals in the open air.
Building a garden deck means you can enjoy spending more time outdoors. Preparing meals outside is a great way to make the most of your garden. We talk to Ty McKend of ProQ Barbecues and Smokers to get some tips and ideas for cooking on your deck.
We are a family run business with strong ethics: we strive to educate and inspire others to share the same enjoyment of BBQ, outdoor cooking, and the love of food as we do. Our product design reflects this. We aim to make all our BBQs as versatile as possible!
Absolutely. I think more people than ever picked up a new hobby, and BBQ was certainly one of them. I think this year we’ll probably see more garden parties than ever, now that so many people have had the time to practice and perfect their outdoor cooking skills.
A BBQ smoker allows you to control your cooking temperature much more accurately. That means you can cook anything from your usual burgers or sausages to a whole brisket, maybe some ribs and even the Christmas turkey.
Before modern-day refrigeration, the way we preserved fresh or cured food was to salt and smoke it over smouldering wood. Nowadays we tend to mostly use smoke to impart wonderful aromatic flavours to a wide range of foods. This method, known as cold smoking, is the process of creating wood smoke without cooking or heating your food. You can cold smoke salmon, bacon, cheese, nuts, and even butter or marmite.
It’s got to be our Beef Cheek Tacos!
I think there are two key elements to cooking outdoors.
The first is to make sure your fire is set up right for what you’re cooking. Be patient, cook things more slowly, and you’ll avoid burnt outsides with raw middles. Don’t overfill the BBQ, you can always add more charcoal.
The second is about knowing when food is ready, by cooking to temperature instead of relying on cooking time or the colour of the food. Grab a digital probe and a temperature chart and you can’t go wrong. This applies to cooking indoors too.
Think about the number of people you cook for on a regular basis and get something slightly bigger than that. It’s always nice to have a little extra room.
Try to consider the different techniques you want to use. These could include slow cooking, grilling, or smoking. Do some research about what you’re buying to make sure it does everything you need it to. Lastly, I would say buy the best you can afford. Many brands now offer really good warranty (ours is 10 years!), so there’s no need to fall into the trap of buying cheap and buying twice.
Don’t stress too much and expect it to take more time than you think. Smoking is a process, so try and enjoy it. Use a thermometer - it will give you the confidence that your food is ready and safe.
Good quality lumpwood is really easy to find and relatively cost effective for shorter cooks. We also do a coconut-based “Cocoshell” briquette that will last for ages during longer cooks.
In 2008, we designed and developed the very first ProQ BBQ Smoker. With plenty of requests for a cold smoking feature, the patented ProQ Cold Smoke Generator quickly followed. We’re at over 70 BBQ Smoker and cold smoking products and accessories.
We’ve just launched the ProQ Flatdog portable BBQ, which folds completely flat, to try and keep those disposable BBQs off the beaches. Our other new product is the ProQ Travel BBQ Multi-tool that unfolds into a fork and spatula, then clips together to make a pair of tongs.
If you’re planning to create an outdoor cooking and dining area, check out our Residential range. With Gripsure non-slip decking, you can create a beautiful, safe space to enjoy all year round.