Hi I‘m Russell Davies aka @mrrusselldaviesbbq
I have always had a passion for cooking, especially outdoors and I have been experimenting with BBQ-ing for as long as I can remember. Entertaining for family and friends is the most enjoyable thing.
As I’ve progressed with BBQ and smoking I have learnt to scratch cook and now have the ability to cater for food allergies and intolerance that have really made me who I am today. My passion continues to grow for outdoor fire cooks and I feel very lucky to be associated with some big brands within the BBQ scene. I truly love creating new dishes and producing variety in my cooks; live cooking with friends and the BBQ community is such a great experience!
The BBQ community is a special one, the support and guidance is amazing, everyone gets involved and the love for outdoor cooking is huge. There is masses of support via discussion groups and all sorts of forms of interaction across social media, especially Instagram where the engagement is phenomenal – everyone supports the live cooking, charity events and advice or masterclass cooking sessions. I can quite honestly say the BBQ community is one of the most supportive and friendly group of enthusiasts around, where relationships are formed all across the world.
A large Tomahawk Steak is definitely a centrepiece for any occasion with friends. Cooked indirectly then seared directly over the flames until a serving temperature of medium rare. This can then be sliced up directly off the bone with a sprinkle of rock salt and placed into a toasted bun with caramelised onions.
I would say Beef, Lamb and Pork are the three core meats I love to use. For me Roast Pork with crackling cooked using the rotisserie is out of this world and is a firm favourite in our house. Rotisserie cooking retains the moisture in the meat as it spins and cooks evenly, so you get a perfect crispy crackling and beautifully succulent Pork it is amazing.
All barbecues and smokers, whether they are charcoal, gas, wood or pellet grills, will have heat zones and hot spots. A good way to establish where these are is to place slices of white bread across the grill grates of your barbecue so the bread toasts, that way you can see what areas of the grill are hottest as the bread toasts darkest in those areas. It is always good to understand where the heat zones are to ensure you can cook using your desired method such as direct or indirect cooking without any worry of over or under cooking your meal.
For me Marcus Bowden is a huge inspiration and someone who is so friendly you can almost speak to him anytime for tips, tricks or a general conversation. What he has done for the UK barbecue scene is phenomenal and has inspired so many people to get outside and cook over fire.
I use a wide range of knives through the preparation of food. For me a cleaver is a great all-rounder and can be used for all aspects of trimming, butchering and slicing. Another common knife I use is a paring knife, which is perfect for peeling, coring or removing excess fat from meat. I also use a long bladed slicing knife for large cuts of meat such as Brisket or Short Ribs to ensure even slices and precision cuts.
Like anything, the key is truly in the preparation, whether that be which ingredients or recipe you are cooking or what barbecue or fuel you will use to cook with, get organised and your results will shine through. Practice and perfect a dish is also key - tweak until it’s just right and make lots of notes. Most of my successful meals are the ones that have been thoroughly thought through and tweaked to get to perfection. However saying that, the simplest of recipes are sometimes the ones everyone truly remembers.
Platters are the key this summer. A variety of different smoked meats is where I am going. From juicy succulent sliced Beef Brisket, Pulled Pork and Ribs right through to Smash Burgers, loaded Hot Dogs and of course, not forgetting those all important sides like Pit Beans, Crunchy Slaw, Hassle back Potatoes and beautiful salty Halloumi. A huge variety of colours and textures are an absolute treat for your eyes!