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Gotta have it

Who knew wood-burners aren't just for Christmas? Unleash the holiday hygge, the outdoor range cooker is here!

I know, I know it’s nearly summer and I’m talking about wood-burners but bear with; you are definitely going to want to hear this! In twenty years of writing about gardening I’ve never come across anything like it: an outdoor wood-burner you can cook on, because wood-burners aren’t just for Christmas!

You use it to heat and eat – think outdoor range cooker but with added summer-holiday hygge. Chill and grill by day, and come the evening, sit out under the stars and party like it’s the Caribbean not chilly Crediton.

The Heat & Grill is made by Chesneys, as loved by cheferati James Martin and interior designer Kelly Hoppen; they’re best known for their ultra-efficient, environmentally-friendly wood stoves. Part of the new HEAT range, the less fancy version is called the Clean Burn, which is just an outdoor wood-burner and there’s an upscaled version if you’ve got a big family or are a natural party animal. 

Just like your indoor wood-burner it has a flue but because it’s built for outdoors, there’s no installation cost and it has two wheels on the back, so it’s a moveable feast (though yes, it’s heavy and don’t move when it’s lit obvs!). 

Fill up the wood-burner with wood and kindling, light in the normal way and once the gauge on the top is up to temperature simply flip the lid, and cook a pizza, spatchcock a chicken, barbee some burgers – you can even bake focaccia or a cake, if you fancy. 

There’s also a baffle to flip down in front of the fire so you don’t cook your legs, or hubby’s, as let’s face it, even men who don’t know the oven from their elbow, love a beer and bit of burger flipping on a sunny summer afternoon. 

Want to know the best bit? There’s very little smoke (so no spluttering over the sausages) and the high heat makes it self-cleaning (yay!). Of course, the outside gets very hot, like any wood-burner, worth bearing in mind if you’ve got littlies.

Fancy having a nosey? Get yourself over to The Fire Engine just outside Bideford next Tues 9 and Weds 10 April, when you can see them in action and have a play (it would make a fabulous wedding pressie…). Owners Will and Annette are on fire when it comes to knowing about wood stoves and burners, with a carefully curated range and can tell you about all the latest rules and regs about particle emissions if you’re worried you need an upgrade.

Prices start at £1249 inc VAT for the Clean Burn and come with oven gloves, a metal ash scoop and if you buy before Friday 12 April, The Fire Engine will deliver and set it up for you for free.

thefireengine.co.uk

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