Do I need a grill cover?

The quick answer is a resounding “Maybe” and to ensure no one feels I’m waffling and sitting on the fence here; I will categorically declare “It depends”.

I don’t think we need to go into long descriptions as to what a grill cover does — The name says it all! But there is a large range of quality and features you need to be aware of, which we will discuss further below.

As with anything else in life, before committing to any purchasing decisions, there are nuances to consider.
Here are some instances where you should definitely consider a grill cover:

1) Your grill is exposed to the elements. Rain, sun, snow, dust, bird poop your grill sees it all, day in — day out. If that is the case, then you should consider purchasing a grill cover as it will protect the appearance of your grill and possibly extend its useful life.

2) The built quality of your grill. For cheaper grills to sell at a lower price point, compromises are made on the quality / thickness of the material (steel, aluminum) and of the Stainless-Steel layer (Chromium Oxide). Therefore, these grills are more prone to rusting and degrade faster than a high-quality grill without protection.

3) Infrequent or seasonal use: If you use your grill almost daily in all seasons, there is less likelihood of moisture creep and corrosion. However, if you fire up the BBQ infrequently or store it for a long period of time outdoor, then a grill cover is heartily recommended.

You can therefore see the advantages in keeping your grill protected from the elements if possible. If that is your case, and you have a good quality grill you may be able to do without this accessory. Many users of high-end grills have reported years of use without covering and the grill still look as new as the day it was purchased.

A quick note on good quality grills: While most grills may look similar, the same cannot be said of the quality of the materials used and its components. From personal experience, I remember buying a cheap grill in a big box store — After all, it looked identical to the ones costing 5 times as much in my BBQ dealer showroom, and it’s the gas that does the cooking anyway, so why waste money! Aah, the innocence of youth! In a short time, the igniter failed which I had to fix on a regular basis then gave up and used matches. Then the paint started flaking and white rust started attacking the aluminum. Then the burner decided to become a blow torch. Then, then, then… After 2 years of ongoing repairs, the old adage proved true: “You get what you pay for”. Therefore, buy the best quality grill you can afford. Things to look for: Quality of material / components, brand warranty, local support, internet reviews etc. (shameless plug — your local WE LOVE FIRE dealer are experts on all things BBQ, Patio and Hearth related and committed to warranty and after sales support.)

According to this article from Consumers Reports, even with a good quality grill you may need a grill cover. This is especially true if your grill is near a pool (chemicals), trees (caustic sap) and lawns (lawn chemicals) which can erode the stainless-steel coating for rust to eat away at your investment.
What features should I look for when buying a grill cover?

Do not make the same mistake I did by buying a cheap cover as some cheaper options do not ‘breathe’ and may trap moisture and cause your grill to prematurely rust.


Napoleon grill cover with air vents , Is a grill cover necessary?Here are some features to look for:

1) Venting: Some better grill covers provide air vents to avoid trapping moisture.

2) Size and ease of putting on and off: One size does not fit all. If you have difficulties taking off and putting the cover back on, you will likely stop using it.

Your local WE LOVE FIRE dealer can recommend the proper size and fit for your grill. Some grill covers come with handles for easy removal.

If you are unsure what size you need, measure the grill from top to bottom, then width with all the sides and other accessories extended. Then bring these to your local dealer. They may have something in stock or can order it. In some cases, made to measure covers may be available.

3) Material: Back in the ol’ days you pretty much were stuck with vinyl. But now other materials are available which also dictates the longevity and how much you will pay. Here are 3 popular options:

Canvas is considered a premium grill cover. The material is durable, UV resistant, and due to PVC or other coating is water repellent. And as a rule, is the best-looking option.

Polyester is considered a stronger material than vinyl since it is more tear resistant and can withstand exposure to oils, solvents, and several chemicals. It is typically layered with vinyl or PVC to render it more waterproof.

Vinyl covers are waterproof and inexpensive. However, with both vinyl and polyester make sure the gauge (thickness) and stitching (quality) are there as thin material will eventually crack and develop rips and holes.

If your grill is exposed to the sun, look for a cover that provides UV Protection. Otherwise, the cover will prematurely discolour, crack and leak.

4) Cost: It depends on size, material, quality etc. but at the time of this writing it averages between $20 to $100 or more.

5) Maintenance: This is the easy part. Just hose the cover down (you can use mild soap) and leave it to dry. It’s also not a bad idea to clean your grill at the same time so as not to transfer dirt to the inside of your cover. As always, look at your owner’s manual for more specific directions.


Ambiance grill well maintained, Is a grill cover necessary?

So, do you need a grill cover? A good quality grill is worth protecting and extending its life. A grill cover is reasonably inexpensive and provide years of protection for your investment. You local WE LOVE FIRE dealer can help you make the right product choice for all things BBQ.

Can my fireplace flue be angled?

LET’S START WITH SOME DEFINITIONS.

A “flue” is the lining of a chimney. It can be ceramic clay tile, a poured or pumped cast-in-place liner or a stainless steel conduit that’s installed inside a chimney. Its purpose is to contain all the by-products from combustion, direct them to the outside atmosphere and protect the walls of the chimney from excessive heat and corrosion.

Chimney flues are normally associated with a masonry fireplace.

An “insulated” stainless steel or an “air cooled” stainless steel chimney is always used with zero clearance or factory built fireplace.

Although safety codes have required a flue liner in masonry chimneys for several dozen years, there are many masonry chimneys still being built improperly or without any type of flue liner at all. Additionally, there are many flue liners in dire need of repair.
Clay and brick old chimney Can my flue be angled? Can my chimney be angled?

THREE TYPES OF MASONRY CHIMNEY LINERS:

The most common type of masonry chimney liner are ceramic clay tiles. A clay tile is considered “bare minimum code” and is the least expensive type of chimney liner. Clay tiles are readily available at brick yards, most lumber yards and DIY centers. Clay tile chimneys are typically installed at the time the house was originally built.

Fireplaces that are properly operated and maintained perform quite well with a ceramic clay tile liner. However, there are several disadvantages, including thermal shocking; that is, a fast, sudden rise of temperature. Ceramic clay tiles cannot rapidly absorb and evenly distribute heat. Temperature in this type of chimney need to be brought up slowly to prevent the tiles from cracking. Ceramic tile also can have a difficult time containing the liquid by-products of combustion, especially from gas appliances.

A third problem that’s quite common with a clay tile liner is during its initial installation. Often, tiles are simply stacked on top of one another or mortared into place with standard brick mortar. This type of mortar will quickly deteriorate. The bonding material that’s used to join tiles together needs to contain the flue gases, help minimize condensation and be able to withstand extremely high temperatures.

The second type of lining system is a stainless steel chimney liner. These are frequently used to repair or upgrade an existing chimney. They are also needed for wood burning inserts. A stainless steel liner is very safe and is extremely durable. Stainless steel can be used for wood, gas and fuel oil. Don’t get a stainless steel liner confused with an aluminum liner. Aluminum is only used for natural or LP gas.

The third type of liner, a cast-in-place chimney liner is either poured or pumped into place. It’s a cement-like mixture that resembles mortar but has a very high insulative value. It’s a smooth and seamless liner, suitable for wood, gas and fuel oil. The main application for this type of liner is for improving the structural integrity of an older, aging chimney.

OFFSET OR NOT?

So back to the question at hand: Can we install an angle, or offset, a chimney? The answer is “yes”! It’s done every day and is perfectly safe to do so, provided codes are followed and equipment is properly maintained. NFPA 211 (US regulations) states that chimneys can be offset 15° or 30° while CSA B365 (Canadian regulations) states it can be offset at a 30° to 45° angle. Proper clearances must be maintained and the correct materials must be used.

Chimneys with a too severe angle or offset can interfere with the flow of oxygen to the fire and the velocity of the outflow of the combustion by-products.

Another point worth mentioning; it’s always best to keep the chimney as straight as you can and inside the house for as long as you can. Chimneys built on an outside wall, especially masonry chimneys, can cool off too quickly leading to creosote forming.

Note that if you’re using an insulated, stainless steel chimney pipe for a wood burning stove or EPA certified fireplace, all components must be from the same manufacturer. A pipe length from Brand A cannot be used with an offset from Brand B. A cap or roof flashing from Brand X cannot be used with a pipe from Brand Z. All components of the chimney system must be from the same manufacturer. This requirement has to do with the testing and listing procedures and how the components twist lock and fit together.

Yes you can angle your chimney flue, Fireplace icon, chimney flue icon and check mark, Can my flue be angled? Can my chimney be angled?

WOOD BURNINGS STOVES:

Many people get the term “connector pipe” and “chimney pipe” mixed up. They are not synonymous terms.

A connector pipe on a free-standing wood burning stove is the black pipe that comes out the top (sometimes out the back) of the stove and “connects” the appliance to the chimney system. This black pipe can be a single wall pipe or a double wall pipe, depending on the clearance requirements for the stove. The primary function of the connector pipe is to connect the stove to the chimney. That being said, a single wall connector pipe can be offset at any angle, up to and including 90°. This is accomplished through adjustable elbows. Double wall connector pipe can be offset at either 45° or 90°.

A single wall connector pipe is used when clearances are not particularly critical. Double wall connector pipe has a stainless inner pipe with a black heat shield as the outer pipe. The two-wall connector is used when reducing the stoves clearance requirements to a combustible wall.

People often refer to an insulated chimney pipe and a double wall connector pipe as the same: “double wall pipe”. It’s true that both have two walls and the inner walls on both pipes are stainless steel. However, their applications are different. The easiest way to avoid any confusion: the connector pipe is the black stove pipe that connects the stove to the chimney system.
Ambiance wood fireplace Elegance 36 with stone surround, nice new chimney, Can my flue be angled? Can my chimney be angled?

BUILDING PLANS?

If you are building an addition or a new home and need a chimney for your fireplace or stove, your WE LOVE FIRE expert would recommend an insulated stainless steel chimney system. This type of chimney comes with all the components you might need: various pipe lengths, offsets, firestops, support brackets, anchor plates, roof flashings, storm collars and caps. This type of chimney can normally be installed within a few inches of combustible framing components. It can easily be offset, or angled, around rafters, trusses or other framing to maintain those clearance requirements. It’s a tested and listed pipe that comes with a warranty from the manufacturer.

We highly recommend hiring an expert for your chimney installation. However, if you decide to do it yourself, your insurance company might require your work to be inspected and approved by a certified professional.

Don’t even consider a masonry fireplace and chimney. There’s no testing procedure and the warranty expires when the mason pulls out of your driveway!

Chef Ted Reader’s Smoked Rabbit Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients

1 whole rabbit about 3-3 ½ lbs
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 head of green leaf lettuce or iceberg lettuce, washed and patted dry of excess moisture

1/2 cup carrot, julienned
1/2 cup daikon radish, julienned
3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp white sugar, optional
Pinch of salt

1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/2 cup julienne cut cucumber
1/4 cup thinly sliced radish
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tart apple, thinly sliced and julienned
1 big handful of bean sprouts
1/2 bunch coarsely chopped cilantro
1 lime cut into wedges

Garnish

1/4 cup each of hoisin sauce, sriracha hot sauce, soy sauce and fish sauce
1/2 cup crushed cashews


Directions

1. Heat your Bradley Smoker according to manufacturer’s instructions to a temperature of 235-250 degrees F, a hot smoke. Use whichever kind of smoking Bisquettes flavor that you desire. Apple, Maple, Hickory are all tasty but for this recipe I used the Chili Cumin infused Bisquettes. Oh it be tasty!

2. Season the rabbit inside and out with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place on smoker rack, stretching the legs out from the body so that the rabbit is
relatively the same thickness. This will help with even smoking. Place seasoned rabbit into preheated smoker.

3. Smoke for 3-4 hours until rabbit reaches an internal temperature of 185-190 degrees F.

4. While the rabbit is smoking, prepare your lettuce wrap garnishes. Wash the lettuce leaves.

Tip: let the lettuce soak for 10-15 minutes in icy cold water. This will help crisp the leaves. Drain and pat dry with paper towel. Roll up in a kitchen towel and refrigerate until needed.

5. Prepare the salad: Combine the carrot, diakon, rice vinegar, sugar and salt. Mix well and set aside.

6. Slice/chop red onion, cucumber, green onion, apple, radish, bean sprouts and cilantro. Refrigerate.

7. Remove rabbit from smoker and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes. Peel the cooked rabbit meat from the bones using gloves or a pair of tongs. Pull it into thin strips and strands.

Tip: Save the smoked rabbit bones to make a tasty stock.

8. Assemble your lettuce wraps: Take a leaf of lettuce, top with a small handful of carrot daikon mixture and a pinch of the other chopped vegetables. Top with handful of smoked pulled rabbit, drizzle with your choice of sauces, garnish and a squeeze of fresh lime. Serve immediately.

Vegan Grilling – Not Only Possible but Also Delicious

First off, no, Vegan grilling does not mean just throwing some veggies on the grill. Vegan recipes can be diverse and layered in flavors and textures. Whether you are looking to satisfy your own tastes or incorporate Vegan grilling into your wheelhouse for friends and family, these tips and recipes will keep you coming back for more!

THE BASICS

It can be hard for those who are not Vegan to wrap their heads around what is and what isn’t Vegan. Here are the basics when it comes to Veganism.

Definition of Vegan | The Vegan Society defines Veganism as, “a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing, and any other purpose.” Strict Vegans will also abstain from products like honey and leather.
Dos and Don’ts | To avoid any confusion, there are a few notable points about Vegans that are sometimes overlooked.
Eggs, fish sauce, dairy, etc. Vegans DO NOT eat the by-products of animals. That means no fish sauce, no eggs, no dairy of any kind and so on. Strict Vegans won’t eat honey either.
Processed foods. Vegans DO have to be mindful when choosing prepared foods. Many processed foods, even Vegan, are high in fats, sugars and chemical ingredients. A product labelled Vegan or Organic isn’t necessarily a gold seal for something healthy or nutritious.
B12 is naturally found in animal sources. Therefore, Vegans DO NOT have access to natural sources. A B12 supplement is highly recommended for anyone following a Vegan diet.
Protein. While Vegans don’t eat meat, eggs or dairy, they DO have a variety of options when it comes to getting their protein. Anyone who decides to be Vegan must understand the concept of a complete protein.
Our bodies contain 11/20 amino acids necessary for our health. That means that 9/20 need to come from our diet.
Foods that contain all nine amino acids are Quinoa, Buckwheat, Hempseed, Blue-green Algae, and Soybeans.
You can also combine partial, incomplete protein sources that complement each other, providing the nine amino acids your body needs. For example, nuts and seeds + whole grains (peanut butter on toast), whole grains + legumes (beans and rice, pita and hummus, etc.), and beans + nuts and seeds (salad with chickpeas and seeds).

It’s important to remember that every individual is different, and therefore the benefits of any diet are relative. It’s also vital to note that healthy Vegan eating includes proper nutrition education and consultation with your doctor to eliminate potential risks associated with a Vegan diet.

That said, incorporating Vegan recipes into a balanced diet is a fantastic choice for improving health and wellness.

PRO TIPS

When it comes to grilling Vegan, there are secret tricks of the trade that can make every BBQ session a successful one.

Foil | Opt for the ultra-strong, BBQ-friendly aluminum foil. Useful in so many ways, it especially makes an excellent packet for steaming food and retaining all the flavor and juices.
Grill Mat | A grill mat or even parchment paper makes a great bed for grilling and helps to prevent sticking or food from falling through the grill.
Grill Bags | Mesh grill bags are exceptional, especially for recipes like mixed vegetables. They are basically metal mesh baggies that snap to close, made for easy and perfect grilling.
Avocado Oil | Avocado oil spray is a favorite among Vegan grillers for its high smoking temp and neutral flavor.
The Grill | Gas, charcoal or pellet – it’s really up to personal preference. The best grill for vegan grilling is the result of an educated selection process.

TOP RECIPES

There are myriads of Vegan grilling recipes on the web. To start you off, here are three delicious Vegan go-to’s that are quick and simple to master.

Veggie Steaks | We aren’t claiming that a veggie steak will taste like the real deal, but it will taste crazy good! Not to mention there is no “recipe” for this one. Serve these up with a side salad and baked potato for a complete meal.

Cut or trim your veggies into 1″ thick slices. (Beets, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Squash, Celery Root, Portobello Mushrooms, Eggplant etc.)
Mix up your favorite spices (dried and/or fresh), salt & pepper, and add your choice of grilling oil. Get creative and try Cajun, Jamaican or Korean spice mixes.
Slather those vegetable steaks in your seasoned oil.
Roast them on your grill using a bed of parchment paper or a grilling-mat on medium heat, turning once.
Depending on the vegetable, these take anywhere in between 20-40 minutes to roast to perfection.
Garnish with fresh herbs, salsa, kimchi, etc.

Satay Skewers with Peanut Sauce | This satay recipe is great for BBQs, whether it’s a finger-foods type meal or a sit-down dinner. Check out com for the full recipe.

If you are using wooden skewers, get those babies soaking the morning of, if not the night before.
Cube your skewer ingredients to 1″ cubes. Use nice firm tofu, along with baby corn, onion, bell peppers, mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes.
Marinate your skewer ingredients in a Ziploc or bowl for at least 30 minutes.
While they marinate, make the peanut sauce.
When you are ready to grill, place the skewers on a grill mat over medium-high heat. Grill until brown and repeat for each side of the skewer.
Serve them up on a platter, next to a bowl of peanut sauce.

Black Bean Burger | This is the ultimate black bean burger recipe; just ask com. You can even pick up some vegan mayo and cheese to top your burger.

Partially dry out your can of black beans in the oven. Lay them out in a single layer on a baking sheet for 15 minutes at 325° F. This will remove excess moisture and prevent a mushy burger.
Sauté your garlic, onion and pepper, providing the flavor base of the burger. Blot with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
Combine your sauté mix and beans, mashing them with a fork or in a food processor. Be sure to leave the mix chunky, as opposed to smooth, for a better texture.
Add cumin, BBQ sauce, smoked paprika, Vegan feta (optional) and chili pepper to your burger mix.
Add a binder combo. As a vegan alternative, use 1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed + 3 Tbsp hot water for every egg suggested or 1/3c. mashed sweet potato.
Mix everything together and form the burgers, using 1/3 c. of the mixture per patty.
Grill on greased foil at medium-high heat, 8 minutes on each side.

There you have it; Vegan grilling made easy! WE LOVE FIRE is an inspirational site designed to enlighten and inform you about the exciting world of fireplaces and barbecues.