No one wants trouble with their Ozpig, so follow these useful tips and you’ll be hot to trot.
Five ways to get your Ozpig firing!
Start with the right timber
- The best burning timber is a seasoned hard wood split down into 280mm long pieces, the diameter of a coke can.
- Foraging for good firewood is hard, so take a box of good timber on your travels – then supplement it with any timber you find.
- Look for weathered timber, which has most likely has had time in the elements to dry and season.
- For tips on seasoned timber go to - https://bettaburnfirewood.com.au/wood-moisture-content-seasoning/ or http://www.wikihow.com/Season-Firewood
Know your cooking fire
To get great results when cooking on your Ozpig you need to know these key points.
- The best results come from for cooking on a well-established bed of coals in the bottom of the Ozpig. Either allow the fire to build the coals naturally or use heat beads as a short cut to help establish the bed of coals.
- For high heat cooking, like wok cooking or deep frying, cut your timber into smaller pieces roughly ¼ of a coke can in diameter and add more timber to generate more flame for cooking.
- For moderate heat cooking, like BBQ and camp oven roasting, use larger pieces of timber with a maximum of 2 to 3 pieces in the cylinder. This will give you a good bed of coals suitable for longer cooking times.
- For lower heat make sure the Ozpig is full of hot coals, while burning 1 to 2 pieces of timber about ½ a coke can in diameter. This is perfect for camp oven baking and you can also put some hot coals on the lid for browning the top.
- Use the lower heat for chargrilling thicker cuts of meat and for a perfectly cooked rotisserie roast.
- Use the handy diffuser, placed between the fire and your cooking surface, to quickly reduce the heat when required.
Keeping warm by your Ozpig
- Try to create a cosy space to warm – if you’re in the middle of a paddock and the wind’s blowing a gale the heat won’t hang around. So look for a windbreak - such as a car, caravan or building or rig up a tarp - to help the warmth build up around you.
- If you can’t find a windbreak, build up a bigger fire and sit as close as you safely can to your Ozpig. If you’re able to open the top lid slightly (check local camping regulations) you can build a larger fire inside the Ozpig.
- Take advantage of the offset chimney kit, which lets you place the Ozpig under your awning in a more protected position which will allow the space to heat up.
- At home the best position for your Ozpig is one that’s out of the wind!
Get creative with your cooking
- Camp ovens allow you to do so many different dishes on the Ozpig from Roasts to Stews, Curries, one pot pasta dishes and even baking the perfect damper or cake. Turn your camp oven into a slow cooker by placing it on the warming tray and using the radiant heat from the Ozpig. Then you can use the top of the Ozpig at the same time.
- Throw on a wok and you can whip up a healthy stir-fry or shallow fry the catch of the day. Choose a wok the same size as the BBQ plate, turn it upside down and it can double as a lid to create an instant pizza oven.
- Chargrill over the hot flames for mouth watering wood-fired meats and chargrilled vegies.
- Remove the top BBQ plate and get creative cooking anything you can cook at home. To control the temperature use the diffuser when required.
Pamper your pig
Give you pig a little love, care and maintenance, and it will be a loyal companion for many years to come.
- Before firing up your Ozpig take off and clean out the spark arrestor, ensuring all holes are clear.
- While you’re there take a look down your chimney to make sure you don’t have a carbon build up, which will ultimately restrict airflow. If you do, give the chimney a good clean out.
- Empty most ash from the bottom of the belly, but leave a small amount to make starting your next fire easier.
- At the same time flip your fire grate over to prevent it from distorting too afar in one direction.
- After use, but while the Ozpig is still warm (but the fire is out), close the door and give the entire pig - including BBQ plates, chimney and body - a light coating of oil. The warmth will help the oil soak into the steel to season your Ozpig. Ensure you only use a thin coat of oil and only use seed oils. Never use fruit or vegetable oils, like olive oil, as they have low heat points and never use animal fats as they will go rancid.
Your Ozpig is smoking or not giving off enough heat?
It's all about the fire -
- Did you leave the BBQ plate closed over the fire when starting? This can restrict oxygen from feeding the fire, making it hard to light and generating a lot of smoke.
- Did you close the door after lighting your fire? The solid door needs to remain open at all times, so the fire can breathe. Plus you can watch the flames and enjoy all the ambience of an open fire.
- Did you use the wrong sized timber? For a big fire, start small! Don’t be mistaken and think big is better when it comes to timber. Small pieces of kindling placed in a ‘tepee’ formation will get the fire started and prevent smouldering and smoke.
- Did you use the wrong type of timber? Timber that’s not seasoned properly or dry enough, will contain a lot of sap which will cause the fire to smoke - and also cause your chimney pieces to stick together!
- How thick should my timber pieces be? Once the fire has been successfully started, the thickest timber used should be no greater than the diameter of a soft drink can and 300mm long (as long as a ruler).
- How much timber do I use in the chamber? Don’t over feed your pig! If you fill the chamber with wood, the fire will be suffocated and start to smoke! Once the fire is up and running, place just 3 pieces of timber (the size of a soft drink can and approximately 300mm long), in the chamber in a crisscross pattern. Once these have burnt right down to form coals, add 2 to 3 more pieces to generate good strong heat. Always place your wood so that oxygen can still flow around the chamber.