Do’s and Dont’s – the Barbecue Basics

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You don’t spend over thirty-five years designing grills without discovering all of the tricks of the trade to make cooking on a barbecue foolproof. Here are some of Napoleon® Grills hot tips for grilling great food time and time again:

DO:

  • Use the correct method to cook. There are two ways to barbecue – directly or indirectly. ‘Direct cooking’ is where small cuts of meat such as chops or burgers are placed directly over the heat source and turned once to cook both sides. ‘Indirect cooking’ can only be done on barbecues with a lid. The food is placed away from the coals or the lit burner.  Once the lid is on, the heat circulates, creating an oven – you can now roast or bake.
  • Keep uncooked food chilled. Refrigerate food until it is ready to be cooked.
  • Trim excess fats. Keep food healthy and reduce flare-ups, minimise fats and oils in marinades.
  • Make use of grilling videos and troubleshooting guides. If you want guidance, check out the internet for more advice.

DON’T:

  • Prod, poke and play with food. Piercing meats releases the juices and results in dry and chewy food.
  • Keep lifting the lid. If your barbecue has a lid it is there for a reason – to help food cook properly.  Food can be left to cook on its own while you enjoy the company of your guests.  Lifting the lid increases the cooking time and can cause flare-ups.
  • Scorch and Torch. Cooking foods at very high temperatures for short periods of time produces meat that can be charred on the outside and pink on the inside. Great if you want to sear meat (at which point Napoleon’s infrared SIZZLE ZONE™ comes into its own), but be sure then to continue to grill chicken or pork through thoroughly. Control the cooking temperature and time by checking the thermometer and using the vents on the charcoal grill and the adjustable burners on a gas grill.
  • Spray water to reduce a flame. Pouring or spraying water produces steam vapours that can scald and it ruins the finish of your barbecue. This does not apply to plank grilling. If your plank catches fire, it is alright to spray it with water.
  • Block air vents on charcoal barbecues. A fire needs oxygen, keep vents open to light your barbecue and leave them open throughout the cooking. Close the vents to extinguish the flame and save briquettes.
  • Use petrol or lighter fuel on charcoal grills. Only use non-toxic firelighters – taste the food and not the fuel.
  • Mix cooked and uncooked foods. Keep foods apart and do not re-use plates and dishes that have had uncooked foods on them.

How to buy the right washing machine

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Before you buy, make a list of your ‘must-have’ features – large-capacity drum, hand-wash programme, and so on – before you get bamboozled by the choice.

* The current trend is for washing machines to have large load capacities, high spin speeds and top energy ratings to make the washing process more energy efficient. To help you, here’s our guide to some of the most important feature.

What features are available on washing machines?

RATINGS
AAA or A+AA (for energy efficiency, washing and spin drying performance) rated washing machines may cost more, but are more economical to run and leave your washing drier.

DRUM/LOAD SIZE
6kg machines are very popular and some even have drums that will hold from 7kg-10kg loads. Clever design means many models with larger drums can still fit into a standard space. Don’t forget, with any size of machine, it’s more economical to wash a full load than do lots of small washes.

SPIN SPEED Faster spin speeds reduce drying times and keep fabric creasing to a minimum. An rpm of 1200 is perfectly acceptable.

Today’s latest washing machines will often offer several useful cycles on top of the standard ones we are used to, although the terms different manufacturers use to describe them may vary slightly. For example:
Hand Wash
For clothes that are labelled ‘hand wash only’ – not the same as the delicates or woollens programmes.
Freshen Up
A recent introduction to some washing machines. It basically rinses and spins clothes that may just need a spruce up rather than a complete wash.
Stains Guide
Siemens’ latest models have a built-in guide to the right programmes to use for specific stain removals.

FUZZY LOGIC/AUTO SENSING
A facility whereby sensors adjust the water intake, wash and rinse times, and so on, to ensure optimum performance with minimum energy and water use. A good feature if you have a water meter, or you want to wash economically.

CONTROL PANELS
Digital LED displays are usually straightforward to read and use. A ‘time left to run’ display is useful and worth having. Delay timers mean you can set the machine to start and finish when it suits you.

NOISE LEVELS
Manufacturers quote the noise level in decibels. Those rated in the 40s are considered particularly quiet. Check the decibel level if your washing machine is to be used in an open-plan room.

WASHER-DRYER
If you only want a dryer for occasional use, a combined machine is a good option. Drawbacks are that you can’t wash and dry at the same time, so may end up with a backlog. Usually drying needs to be done in smaller amounts, but some can dry up to a 5kg load.

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Bed

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Proper care will keep your bed in better condition during its lifetime. Always read and retain manufacturers’ care instructions and ask your retailer for advice, too. Otherwise, the following tips will help you to get the best out of your bed during its natural life.

1. Use a washable cover to protect the mattress (and pillows) from stains. Barrier fabrics for allergy sufferers are also available.

Leave the bed to air

2. In the mornings, throw back the bed clothes and leave the bed to air for 20 minutes to allow body moisture to evaporate.

3. Unless otherwise advised by the manufacturer, turning your mattress over from side and side and end to end ever three or four months (every week for the first three months) helps upholstery fillings to settle down more evenly. Some more luxurious mattresses, with much thicker layers of fillings designed to mould themselves to the contours of your body, may retain signs of these impressions, despite turning. Non-turn mattresses still need to be rotated regularly.

Beds are NOT for jumping on!

4. Don’t make a habit of sitting on the edge of the bed and don’t let the kids bounce on it.

5. Don’t roll up or squash a mattress to store or transport it – this can cause permanent damage.

6. Handles are designed to help you position a mattress on its base – do not use them to support the full weight of the mattress on their own – they may pull out.

7. Don’t leave any polythene wrappings on a new mattress – dampness, mildew and rotting could all result from a build-up of condensation.

8. Vacuum your mattress and base from time to time to remove fluff and dust. This should be carefully done with a brush attachment so as not to dislodge fillings or damage tufts. Open windows while vacuuming – especially if there is an asthma sufferer in the house.

9. When tackling stains, use mild detergent and warm or cold water. Never over soak a mattress or base.

10. Don’t put a new mattress on a base for which it was not intended, a new mattress on an old base or a board between the mattress and base can impede comfort and reduce the useful life of the mattress – as well as affecting any guarantees or warranties.

Out with the Old
Once you’ve bought yourself a new bed, make arrangements to have the old one properly disposed of (increasingly recycling options are becoming available). Don’t give it to the children, relatives, guests or neighbours. If it wasn’t good enough for you, it’s not good enough for anyone else, either. In fact, it’s a veritable health hazard – get rid of it!

If you have any other tips for us on caring for beds, we would love to hear them!

Lisa – The Sleep Council

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