Thanks for stopping by to visit RobbishFood. I'm a Welshman currently living in (sometimes) sunny South Wales, with my wife, two kids and dog
I'm a total food nerd, not to mention science and tech nerd too. I'm a computer scientist by profession so I am actually a professional nerd in that domain, and love investigating, thinking about and playing with the science of cooking. I also love being creative with flavours and playing with ideas and meals. Really cooking and computing are both ideal crossovers that fit perfectly in the intersection of science and creativity.
I have been BBQing seriously for about 10 years (since 2011 or so - prior to that I BBQ'd but just usual hot and fast stuff, no bigger pieces). I grew up in Wales, and most summers we would have lots of family BBQs, not low-and-slow, more traditional British hot-and-fast straight over the coals affairs, but never just sausages and burgers. Usually (and still now, to be honest) BBQs were large sprawling spreads: chicken legs, lamb chops, salmon along with lots of sides and always a side of ratatouille (my dad grew courgettes and aubergines in the greenhouse, so there was an almost constant supply most summers). You might come to notice ratatouille is now a well established go-to side for my BBQs still. I love ratatouille.
My product reviews
I always enjoy discovering new products, and especially enjoy supporting independent producers. Not only because I think its a positive thing to do (assuming you have the means to do so, we all have our own struggles), but by and large I also believe you get a much better product and better service.
I don't have the time or energy for writing overly negative reviews, though, so most of the reviews you will find here may seem overly positive and favourable. That's simply because if I'm taking the time to review it, then most likely I'm motivated to do so because I'm already a massive fan and want you all to know about it! (I am also happy to review products on request, just drop me a note if you want me to)
I don't care about that, tell me about cooking..
As you might imagine for a self proclaimed food nerd I love all sorts of cooking. I enjoy cooking in pretty much all forms that I have tried (although making my own pastry is never something that has really grabbed me). I have a bunch of kitchen gadgets such as a sous vide circulator, digital pressure cooker, bread maker, stand mixer and meat grinder, deep fryer etc.
When it comes to cooking with fire, I have a couple small kettle BBQs but the main kit I use for cooking are:
- Barbeskew - this was the first piece of kit that really got me into serious BBQ and cooking bigger pieces of meat. It's basically a dedicated rotisserie (with several spits). Rotisserie cooking really is a lot of fun, and I don't think there is a better way to cook a whole chicken than spit-roasting.
- Webber Smokey Mountain 47 - as I started to cooker bigger pieces on the spit, I started reading more and more about other things I could cook, and as you might imagine low-and-slow and smoking came up a lot, so I invested in this. It's such a great bit of kit, reliable and great results smoking food. Because I'm a nerd I love checking on it, but its a work horse at keeping temperature
- Masterbuild Kamado - my latest BBQ addition, bought mid pandemic (2020), it made sense to expand my outdoor cooking with the increased amount of time I had at home and outdoors. I considered a whole range of new kit during the year, came very close to getting a pellet grill, or a gass grill, but in the end this is what I went for. Fuel efficient and good flexibility when it comes to temperatures and cooking styles.
- Ooni Karu 16 multi-fuel - the latest addition to outdoors cooking, at the end of 2022. I had long fancied a pizza oven and this was a birthday gift from my wife. It's a great machine, dual-fuel definitely a huge plus - can have a party when entertaining and use wood, or for a quick and easy cook for the family start up the gas. Despite my obvious beginner levels of skill it has never failed to produce great pizza.