Firstly let’s get the cards on the table . . .
I was fortunate enough to be sent both a ‘Series 2‘ and ‘Big Pig‘ some time ago now, however, this was to help with content creation and at no point was I provided with guidelines on what to say / not say.
When I’m approached by companies asking if I would like to try their products / services out I make it clear that if I accept them my content will be true . . . good and bad . . . it’s more important to be honest than simply provide a ‘free’ advertising outlet to companies.
So, that’s the legal / ethical disclaimers . . . let’s get down to the real reason you ended up on this page . . . what do I think to Ozpig one year in?
Introducing the ‘Series 2’
First it’s worth summarising what Ozpig themselves say:
The ‘Series 2‘ is a portable and powerful barbecue that is perfect for any outdoor event. With its unique open top design, you have incredible flexibility when it comes to what you‘re going to cook and how you‘re going to cook it. The ‘Series 2‘ also has a range of accessories available, making it more than just your standard barbecue. With the Oven Smoker, Rotisserie and chargrill to name a few, you‘ll be cooking tender briskets, fall off the bone ribs, perfectly seared steaks and juicy roast chickens in no time. Join the thousands of others around the world who are experiencing real flavour born from fire with Ozpig.
Introducing the ‘Big Pig’
Again, let’s summarise what Ozpig says about the Big Pig
The Big Pig is the perfect barbecue for those who want to achieve maximum flavour. With an endless range of accessories, you can cook over wood and charcoal to get an unrivalled flavour experience. The Big Pig is also the perfect way to enjoy a real wood fire, with a customisable chimney stack that directs the smoke away and a spark arrestor that ensures no embers escape. The Big Pig is also the largest fire pit in the Ozpig range, meaning you get maximum heat and a large viewing portal.
Both Ozpigs are well-built and sturdy products that truly last the test of time . . . sure, i’ve had a little rust spots appearing now and then but nothing a quick brush, a spray of oil and heat doesn’t sort.
They are made from high-quality materials (steel / stainless steel) and are welded together for added strength and durability. The legs are wide and fit securely into the sockets, therefore ensuring that neither Ozpig will tip over easily.
This quality does come at a price though . . . not in financial terms . . . but in weight. The ‘Series 2‘ comes in at 18kg and the ‘Big Pig‘, well, at 41kg I don’t tend to move it around too much if I can help it!
Note: The ‘Series 2‘ does dismantle in a matter of minutes and can be packed away in the supplied heavy-duty bag for transportation.
At this point you may be comparing to products such as Weber Go-Anywhere coming in at just 6.8kg . . . but you are missing the point . . . the Ozpig ‘Series 2’ is so much more than a compact grill . . . bear with me for just a few more minutes . . . all will be explained.
Cooking on the ‘Series 2’
A year in and I haven’t touched the surface of what’s possible.
The direct cooking area may be small (the diameter of the circular hot plate is just 26cm), but when you explore the ‘Series 2‘ in more detail and get more confident you realise that you can open up other multi-cooking options such as simmering a Dutch oven on one side, resting your steaks on the other whilst at the same time direct grilling your sides over the live fire.
Note: Ozpig do sell a Oven Smoker that you can use with both Ozpig’s which obviously unlocks further options, but that’s something I don’t have.
Here are just some of the meals I’ve cooked to date on the ‘Series 2’:
Cooking on the ‘Big Pig’
Honestly, you are only limited by your imagination. One day I had time on my side and fancied adding some smoky goodness to my cook. Going for an Asado style of cooking food in the open air I suspended a rack of beef ribs near a contained fire for a few hours before transferring to a Dutch oven to braise . . . resulting in one of the best meals I’ve made to date.
Due to the size of the ‘Big Pig’ (alongside options to use wood / charcoal / rotisserie etc) there isn’t much you can’t cook up . . . be it just a tasty lunch for one . . . or a feast for family and friends . . . there’s no need to worry!
Here are just a few of the meals I’ve cooked on the ‘Big Pig’:
Not just a Grill
Hands up . . . I’m a geek! I work for a large UK company within the field of ‘Emerging Technology’, own a small digital marketing agency called No Bull (shameless plug there) and also enjoy gaming when I get the chance.
Realising that I was spending more and more time in front of screens exploring mind-blowing technology I was looking for an escape and invested in my first BBQ. Back then I didn’t realise that disconnecting from the world, managing a fire and enjoying quality time away from the constant stream of alerts and notifications with the family was JUST what I needed . . . and for me it’s what I use both Ozpigs for more than cooking.
Don’t get me wrong, the Ozpig is more than capable of cooking up a tasty feast (as you can hopefully see from earlier in this post), but with 2 jobs and 3 kids, time isn’t always on my side and it’s often easier to rely on the Kamado Joe or Bradley Smoker . . . something that is less demanding / hands on.
Would I recommend the Ozpig? For sure . . . even if it’s just as a firepit that won’t ruin your lawn (due to the distance between the chamber and the floor) it’s well worth the investment. It’s a talking peace, something that friends / family naturally gravitate towards and for me . . . the perfect opportunity / excuse to disconnect from the world and safely manage a contained fire that keeps you warm regardless of the time of year.
I honestly enjoy cooking on both the ‘Series 2’ and ‘Big Pig’ and hopefully demonstrate the versatility of both products, however, the hands on nature of managing the fire isn’t a luxury I (or many of us) often have when we just need to cook dinner for the family. But when I do have the time . . . oh yes . . . It’s the most fun I have cooking outside and that is a fact!