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2023 BBQ Experiences Beyond Grills

The UK barbecue village is a busy and growing community. JEMIMA NELSON takes a look at what’s new aside from grills in 2023

 Jemima Nelson   Spring 2023

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 #NewFor2023 #2023 #BBQNews




Heart Smoke & Soal  

Heart Smoke & Soal, based in Holsworthy, Devon, has added a BBQ cooking school to its live-fire products and experiences. The company designs and builds outdoor kitchens, while its showroom offers a range of outdoor cooking and living products. 

Heart, Smoke & Soal is now running seven bespoke courses including a wood-fired oven masterclass and salt block and plank cooking.

“Past experience tells us customers purchasing equipment often ask for advice or cooking services from us. It only seems natural that we can offer these,” says Zowie Rees of Heart, Smoke & Soal.

“Nothing can beat those sensory experiences when you smell, see and taste outdoor cooked food. We run homely and relaxed cooking experiences where you can gain new skills and at the same time share fun with family and friends; connect with like-minded people or celebrate a special occasion.”

Heart Smoke Soul


Gardenbox has launched a new BBQ cookery school, which will run from a purpose-built site at the BBQ and outdoor kitchen specialist’s Manchester showroom.

Classes will cater for all abilities, from beginners to pitmasters and there will be guest appearances from members of the Kamado Joe Fire Squad, Ben Forte (pictured), Adam Purnell and Dominic Eaton, with specific Kamado Joe courses on the menu. 

Other classes will include wood-fired cooking and pizza-making, with a large selection of barbecues and outdoor kitchens on display from brands such as Napoleon, Whistler, Kamado Joe, Gozney, Traeger and The Daddy.

Visit Gardenbox



LumberjAxe Food Company   

LumberjAxe Food Company is a premium producer of seasonings, sauces, and accessories tailored towards the BBQ community.

LumberjAxe has a range of new projects for 2023 starting with a rebranding of its original four products. The Birmingham-based company’s rubs and seasonings have drawn praise from amateurs, enthusiasts, pitmasters and celebrity chefs alike. 

Regulars at food and drink events and BBQ festivals across the country, LumberjAxe will be releasing a range of new flavours for the spring, cooking up an array of BBQ dishes to pair with its seasonings and sauces.

Visit LumberjAxe

Socal BBQ Shop   

Socal BBQ Shop, dedicated to all things barbecue, will be showcasing a range of new products at its Southampton store this year.

These include the new Traeger Timberline WiFi wood pellet grill, as well as the new Ironwood. The new Blackstone premium griddles from the United States will also be in store and available with air fryers and a full range of accessories, while Yeti coolers will show their new colours.

Socal BBQ Shop and the Sizzleshow will be holding its third SizzleFest event in September – a mix of the very best of the BBQ scene in terms of products and personalities, as well as live music and entertainment.

Visit Socal BBQ Shop


Thermapen is selling two BBQ bundles. The first, Smoke & Thermapen ONE, includes a smoke thermometer designed for low and slow smoking, with one probe for your meat, the other for your BBQ pit. The pre-paired wireless receiver also allows you to monitor your cooks from up to 90 metres away. The Thermapen ONE, for quick cooks, is highly accurate with one second readings, as well as a 360° rotating display and backlight.

The second bundle is for beginners, called DOT & Thermapen Classic. The DOT ‘leave-in’ meat thermometer allows you to set the temperature and wait for the alarm – ideal for larger meats like roast chicken and joints of beef. It is also magnetic so you can secure it to your BBQ, while the Thermapen Classic gives fast and accurate readings.

Visit Thermapen

Cambridge Home & Garden 

Cambridge Home & Garden, outdoor living specialists with one of the largest BBQ collections in East Anglia, has started the Cambridge BBQ School.

Cambridge Home & Garden sells barbecues, outdoor furniture, pergolas and water features and the school was born from the interest shown from customers in the whole live-fire cooking scene, driving the growth of its BBQ barn.

Visit Cambridge Home & Garden 

Fired Up    

Fired Up is a new kid on the chopping block but with a rich pedigree. The Fired Up BBQ Supply Co is a concept store in Richmond, south-west London and is owned and run by the directors behind BBQ Kitchens, Darren and Sinead Turnbull and Grant Davison.

The store is full of grills, smokers, pizza ovens, rubs and spices, tools and accessories and BBQ merchandise. Ideal, says Sinead Turnbull, for ‘like-minded firebugs and outdoor cooking purists.”

The store is not just about BBQ supplies, but the opportunity to seek expert advice whatever your level of grilling. The bricks and mortar store will soon be followed by an online one, as well as plans for Fired Up to roll out more outlets. 

“The Richmond store is already gaining a great reputation locally as we establish a loyal customer base, be you a BBQ novice, enthusiast or pitmaster, all sharing a love for live-fire cooking,” says Turnbull.

The store features leading brands such as Kamado Joe, DeliVita, Yeti, Meat Church, Monolith, Big Green Egg, Alfa, Traeger, Gozney and Solo Stove. 

“This is currently the only shop of its kind in the London area, and together with the online store we expect Fired Up to become a big player in the food, fire, and outdoor living space.”

Visit Fired Up

Adam Purnell – Shropshire Lad 

Until very recently, Adam Purnell was adamant he wouldn't open his own bricks and mortar venue, writes Steve Hoskins. 

The English fire-wrangler has grown an impressive following, particularly in the 12 months since he gave up youth work to become a full-time proponent of all things barbecue, and it's been his job to travel far and wide in the name of the grill, appearing at festivals, throwing banging popups and also a critic on BBC MasterChef: The Professionals.

But you can only take the Shropshire Lad out of Shropshire for so long, it seems. Adam has decided to recommit to his roots – and spend more time with his young family – by opening his own joint just outside his hometown of Telford. 

The blueprint for Embers, hidden among the trees at Coalbrookdale's Green Wood Centre, is to be a café by day and a venue dedicated to more extravagant food events by night.

Adam wants to give a warm welcome to big names from the barbecue world and beyond, to demonstrate, collaborate and generally show the people of Shropshire a good time. 

He'll also continue to produce the content his devoted followers crave, but more of it will be coming direct from his new woodland HQ.

As far as the day-to-day running of the café goes, Adam wants to build a team where individual passions are allowed to flourish; he's not one for breathing down people's necks 24/7 and is characteristically open to the direction the menu could go in: "It all depends on who the head chef is."

One thing is for certain, though: don't expect an unbridled meatfest. In fact, Embers will inhabit the beautiful building and surrounds of the erstwhile Green Wood Café, a much-loved vegan/vegetarian spot, and plant-based dishes will feature prominently on any Embers menu. 

Indeed, for someone who once cooked an entire cow over fire, Adam says we'd be surprised how little meat he eats at home. He's actually a big veg guy: "Some of the most enthusiastic feedback on my cooking courses has been about the meat-free dishes. People don't expect vegetables to taste that good!" 

What is a non-negotiable, though, is fire. After all, he has called the place Embers. Whether it's tomahawk steaks, his signature smoked tomatoes or even charcoal-infused cream, Adam's love of smoke will be woven through much of what the café offers, day and night. We can already smell it.

Follow Shropshire Lad


Tramontina is a Brazilian brand, true to the South American country’s traditions of roasting meat over a fire – churrasco.

Tramontina has created a complete line of knives, barbecue grills, spits and cooking grates. Its renowned knives range from fully forged chefs’ knives to simple cutlery sets.

Visit Tramontina on Amazon

Smokey Olive Wood 

​ Smokey Olive Wood is sustainably sourced and comes in six flavours. There is dust for cold smoking, chips for smoking guns and gas grills and chunks for charcoal barbecues.

Que Fresco imports and wholesales a select range of quality barbecue brands including Monolith, Ozpig, Pit Barrel and Smokey Olive Wood.

Visit Smokey Olive Wood 


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