* Prices may differ from that shown
Spring arrived in all its glory and along with it came some nice, sunny days. Being one of those people who more or less live in the garden when weather permits, I soon realised that a grill would be needed if we were to enjoy the full potential of outdoor living. A good friend was visiting recently and thanks to her and her credit card, we now have a nice kettle-type grill sitting amongst the copious collection of weeds that I inherited from the previous tenants last summer. It was bought because we wanted to do a barbie during our celebration of Norway’s constitution day (17th May), so a few days previous, we popped down to Wilkinson’s and as I’d always like the kettle types, the choice fell on the Landmann Kettle Grill. Being as we’re both the sort of people who never do anything until it’s absolutely necessary, the grill stayed in its box, in the boot of my car, until the actual day arrived. Then it was panic stations. We wanted to light it at 5 o’clock, and it wasn’t until 4 that we remembered we hadn’t actually set it up yet. Ever optimistic, we were certain it couldn’t be that difficult to set up. Just a matter of screwing a few bits into some other bits and we’d be off and grilling before we could spit three times. Or would we? Well as it happened, it wasn’t too difficult to set up, but that doesn’t mean to say it was easy either. There were lots of bits to be screwed together but luckily, the instructions were reasonably clear (compared to a lot of instructions I’ve recently had to deal with). A phillips screwdriver was needed, and again, we were lucky because I actually own one. The first thing I noticed was that the handles on the side of the actual kettle, the part where the coals go, are plastic. I wasn’t sure how they’d withstand the heat because these babies can get VERY hot, but after using it
twice, they still look fine so I guess they aren't going to present a problem. Anyway, handles went on, legs went on, the rack and tray that resides between the legs went on and all seemed rosy and bright. It took a pair of dozy females about 20 minutes to assemble. Now came the moment of truth. Could we actually prepare food on this thing? There’s plenty of room in the bottom for the coals. We lit the coals and within seconds flames were leaping out at us. Boy did it burn! About 15 minutes we were ready to put the food on. The cooking rack is set at a fixed height, which is a bit of a drawback but nothing I can’t live with. The Landmann has a lid. What does that mean? Is it just there to stop rain getting in when it’s not being used or are you supposed to have the lid down during the cooking process? Well, there’s no doubt that the lid’s handy for keeping the rain out, but that isn’t its main purpose. The lid is there for barbecuing. There’s a difference between grilling and barbecuing y’see. Let me explain, in case you don’t know. When you GRILL food on one of these things, you’re cooking it quickly over hot coals. Small bits and pieces, like prawns and small pieces of fish will cook in about 3-4 minutes and large beef steaks and the likes will take about 15. Sausages about 6 minutes. Keep turning the food so that it doesn’t burn too much (although having it a bit burnt is part of the charm of grilling isn’t it?) and whatever you do, make sure it’s properly cooked before you eat it. You’ve seen that advert haven’t you? The one with the sausages? YUK!! Right, now on to BBQing. This differs from grilling in that you put the lid down and cook your food slowly. You shouldn’t use quite as much coal for this method and it should be left a bit longer, with the lid down, before cooking commences. The lid contains the hea
t and reflects it downwards, cooking the meat through from both sides. I very rarely cook my outdoor food by this method, but it’s handy to put a few extra sausages and burgers on and let them cook slowly so you have something for later if you get a bit peckish. The Landmann has a vent underneath it, which I presume is for adjusting the heat of the coals. I’ve never used one before and as I’ve got along perfectly well without it, I doubt I’ll use it now either. There’s also a vent on the top for adjusting the heat inside the kettle, but unless you’re BBQing, you won’t need it. The grill has a 47cm cooking area, which is big enough for general garden use. There’s a tray underneath that would normally be used for a plate or similar, but ash leaks through the bottom vents and lands on the tray so I won’t be using it for much. Below the tray there’s a grid, but this is so low that it’s not really useful at all and presumably only put there to stabilise the legs. There are plastic wheels for ease of movement but they didn’t fit quite as well as you’d expect so the whole things a bit wibbly wobbly. I’d say that at £19.99, it’s not a bad grill. You get what you pay for after all, and at that price, if it only lasts a season, I shan’t complain. If you can afford to double that, there are far better grills available, but for anybody on a tight budget I’d say this is probably one of the better models around. I just wish it’d bloomin’ well stop raining so’s I could get out in the garden and use the darned thing more! British summers, eh? Tsk. ~~+~~+~~
Cooking area of 55 cm in diameter, with chrome plated cooking grill, charcoal grid, ash catcher, bottom shelf, air ventilation. For direct and indirect grilling with charcoal baskets.