Having launched in September 2016, the new free-to-air channel BLAZE needed a voice outside of the programmes that it airs.
One solution to this came in the guise a series of short form films that celebrated the summer barbecue season by giving the BLAZE viewer a collection of handy hints and tips for when they roll out and dust off their prized griller.
When it came to selecting who was going to host the content, it made sense to partner an American with a Brit, mirroring the trans-Atlantic shows broadcast on the channel. Christian Stevenson AKA DJ BBQ and ITV’s BBQ Champ runner-up Tony Smith from barbecue team Man Meat Fire turned out to be the perfect partnership.
Each episode of the short series was eventually broadcast on the television channel, but not before they got a first-run across BLAZE’s social media, including YouTube (see below), Twitter and Facebook.
First up in the collection is a quick look at how to set up and clean your trusty grill. Who knew that you needed to ‘season’ – that is to heat the metal with oil – first before cooking? I’d also bet that not many have cleaned the surface with an onion or lemon, either? And who in their right mind starts a barbecue with tortilla chips?! Tony Smith, that’s who.
Next up is steak. Arguably the best of the barbecue meats. And my favourite? Rib eye. Especially when you see the size of these monsters. With Christian choosing to smash and Tony halving and then cooking dirty (that’s straight on the coals. Yep) there’s no way that you won’t want to try this after you’ve watched.
Did you know the number one Googled food in the world is chicken? That’s why we had to show off two ways to grill the most common bird on the planet. Tony Smith shows us how to cook beer can chicken while Christian Stevenson shows us how to grill your chicken in famous Alabama white sauce. Delicious.
Finally, on the cooking-front at least, is the humble burger. Cheeseburgers are the go-to barbecue food – but BLAZE takes that to the next level. And the secret, beyond the relishes and accompaniments, is fat. Get a high fat mince and you can’t go wrong.
Lastly, we wanted to touch on where the different cuts of meet come from on the animal. And so here’s a handy guide for which bits of the chicken (wings and legs!) and the cow (fillet steak and ribs!) you need to buy for your barbecue.
BLAZE is a new free-to-air entertainment television channel which raises the flag for real people. You can watch BLAZE on Freeview 80, Freesat 162, Sky 565 and Virgin Media 216, or catch up online.