THE WEBER GRILL ACADEMY
Ok, so you may have had your Weber Kettle or Weber Q barbecue for a while, but are you making the most of it? Well, whether you’re an old hand at barbecuing or a newbie like me, I guarantee that you’ll increase your Weber cooking repertoire once you attend one of the new hands-on Weber Grill Academy classes run by grill experts Adam Mizzi and Jacinda Gregg.
The new Weber Grill Academy in Adelaide is situated above Weber’s head office on Fullarton Road, Rose Park and it’s the first academy in Australia. It’s open and spacious, with a grand view across Victoria Park. As well as being perfect for the Weber cooking classes, it’s a great space for private events and corporate functions.
The Weber story started in Adelaide over 40 years ago when Ross McDonald brought us the Weber Kettle and the concept of cooking with the lid on. And that’s the thing – because you cook with the lid down, you can think of your Weber not just as a barbecue but as an oven, and cook pretty much anything you’d normally cook in a regular oven – as well as sausages, chops and steak, you can also roast or smoke a chicken, cook vegetables, bake cakes – even a pavlova!
I was lucky enough to be invited to one of the Weber classes which was extremely timely seeing as I’d just purchased a Weber Q family size. Well, when I say ‘just’ purchased, I actually bought it some months ago but haven’t actually taken it out of the box yet – it’s been sitting in my front room since I brough it home. However, I am now inspired to construct it and start barbecuing over the Christmas period!
The class I chose is for the Weber Q. Usually there’s around 10-16 people, so it’s nice and intimate. On arrival we don our Weber aprons and enjoy a drink and delicious smoked salmon canapes (smoked on a cedar plank in the Weber, of course). There’s a few recipes to get through during the class – and Adam talks us through the process and timing. For this class it’s Margherita pizza, scotch fillet and rib eye steaks, smoked chicken, vegetables and a lemon coconut cake.
The first tasks are making up the cake mixture so we can get that cooking, as well as oiling and seasoning the vegetables, and a couple of people are in charge of getting the pizzas ready. Then it’s outside to see Jacinda get the pizzas on the go and Adam talks us though how to prepare the chickens and steaks and insert the meat probes. We learn about Weber cooking settings and desired meat temperatures for both chicken and beef. We cover ‘reverse searing’ steak, direct heat cooking versus cooking on a trivet and convection tray, how to smoke meats, as well as meat resting times. Adam even showed us how to best carve a cooked chicken. And there’s plenty of opportunity to ask as many questions as you like.
The bonus is, you get to sit down and eat everything as it’s cooked, with beer and wine if you so desire. Adam and Jacinda do a fantastic job – they’re knowledgeable, passionate and enthusiastic. It’s definitely worth booking in for a class – it’s heaps of fun – or buy a class for someone as a gift. You can also pick up any of the Weber accessories you might need. Check out the class timetable at weber.com/AU.