Of all the supermarkets in all the world – Walmart’s in Canada has recently picked up an award for its “extensive barbecue selection.”
Private Label Store Brands magazine gave the superstore first prize in its Best Product Line category for its Our Finest barbecue collection. Part of the decision was based on the fact the products were good quality for a low price.
Around 50 products in the collection – which consists of meat products, deserts, side salads, sauces and buns – are priced at $10 or less.
Sandra Farwell, vice president of brand management and private label at Walmart Canada said: “We pride ourselves in the taste, quality and distinct twists we bring to family favourites. Our product developers start all their development sessions grounded in classic family favourites, but challenge themselves to take risks and be really creative when approaching these products.”
Canadian Walmart currently have around 370 stores and serve more than one million customers on a daily basis. It’s also recognised as one of Canada’s biggest employers.
Barbecuing using a wood pellet cooker
Meanwhile, staying that side of the Atlantic, we learned this week of a new book out which teaches how to barbecue food without the use of gas or charcoal but rather, by using wood pellets! The manual, by Bob Devon and entitled The Complete Wood Pellet Barbeque Cookbook is published by Square One Publishing.
The author discusses his experience of cooking barbecue on a wood pellet cooker for years – starting out as a novice until, over the years, he became an expert at the task.
The book discusses the idiosyncracies of cooking using a wood pellet cooker then goes on to outline the kind of chapters you’d expect in any tomb-like book about barbecuing by a master such as marinades, sauces, rubs then specific meat sections.
Wood pellet cookers tend to have a small band of devotees in the States.
What are wood pellets?
Pellets are a natural product which don’t contain the use of any additives or other artificial substances. Because of this they tend to be very clean to burn and leave behind hardly any ash. Most pellets are made from hardwood sawdust which has been compacted into pellets for easy storage and use.
When used on a barbecue pellets are quick to fire up and can cook meat at lower temperatures than charcoal. However they don’t tend to produce much smoke and are therefore less of an intense flavour than on a charcoal grill.
Can wood pellets for heaters be used for barbecuing?
The short answer to this is ‘no.’ That’s because wood pellets used for heaters are not the same as those used in cookers. The former contain additives and chemicals which you wouldn’t want anywhere near your food. They also tend to contain more softwoods than the hardwoods found in cooking pellets.
The different woods in pellets add a different flavour to food eg apple, peach, hickory etc.
The pellet stove is growing in popularity amongst home owners – but not at barbecue competitions where there are demands to have them disqualified due to the fact they are so easy to cook with and it “seems like cheating” complain some contestants.