News

  1. StoveCare™ - a new service contract (for an even warmer feeling)

    StoveCare™ - a new service contract (for an even warmer feeling)

    If you have a woodburning stove, you'll already know the warm feeling those crackling logs and flickering flames can bring.  But even stoves - reliable and solid as they are - need servicing.  And keeping your chimney clean makes your woodburner work better, while being safer.  And some people never know the transformative difference the best logs can make to their stove.

    So in response to customer demand, we are launching a new service to keep your stove at its best. It combines our famed customer care and impeccable workmanship in a cost-effective contract - like a mobile phone contract, but warmer!  

    StoveCare™ includes an annual service, an annual sweep of your chimney, and a promise that if something breaks, we'll fix it for you.

    StoveCarePlus™ is like StoveCare, with an added supply of kiln-dried logs sourced from sustainable forests. 

    Choose from two easy payment methods:

    • Pay monthly - Pay as you Glow
    • Pay annually (ideal for the larger stoves) - All You Can Heat

    To find out more: - 

    • Pop in to our Hexham shop

    • Call 01434 700 050

    • Email sales@cfgenergy.com

    Because Home is where the Hearth is

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  2. New ranges for the New Year

    New ranges for the New Year

    As you may already know, The Centre for Green Energy offers a wide range of biomass boilers and woodburning stoves, from top international suppliers such as Klover, Firepower, Fondis, Clearview, and Greenwood. We always source and choose our suppliers carefully to ensure you will always receive the best quality products when you invest in biomass technology for your home or property.

    Now we’re well into 2017, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to share some of our newer woodburning stove ranges and biomass boilers with you – as we know some of you have made New Year’s resolutions to be greener, spruce up your home or make a serious effort to reduce those monthly energy bills. 

    Introducing the 2017 Opus collection:

    Opus stoves are only available through selected suppliers and we are proud to say we’re one of them!

    Opus woodburning stoves have been built with you in mind. They’re engineered to prioritise efficiency whilst still being simple to operate with a stylish design. The large glass windows which wrap around the curved Opus stoves give you a stunning perspective of the dancing flames as your home is warmed.

    The classic Opus Melody woodburning stove offers 5kw of output, featuring the contemporary curved design. If you want to see even more of those stunning flames as they weave throughout the wood, then the Opus Trio woodburning stove offers three windows through which you can have a wonderfully wide view.

    If you’re looking to heat a larger room then the Opus Harmony woodburning stoves could be your perfect fit. With an output of over 7kw, the Opus Harmony biomass stove brings that touch of modern elegance but with even more efficiency and power.

    Or, if you want your woodburning stove to link up with your central heating system to boost the temperature of your whole house – as well as heating up your shower – then the Opus Calypso stove does it all.

    As with all Opus stoves, you can choose the version which will best suit your requirements – adding a log store, larger glass door, or pedestal and SE models can also be installed for use in Smoke Control Areas. With so many models and varieties available, you’re bound to find your ideal contemporary stove with Opus.

    Introducing the Klover Belvedere:

    Another recent addition to our range of biomass heating solutions is the Belvedere range from Klover. The Belvedere biomass boiler from Italian biomass experts, Klover features a modern, sleek and contemporary design – and we love the understated colour scheme too.

    Powered by wood pellets, this biomass boiler stove can heat your home and even your water depending on the model you choose. To ensure maximum output and heat distribution, you have the added option of including heat distribution fans with your Klover Belvedere biomass boiler too so that your home is cosy and warm throughout.

    If you want to see these new stoves in action then drop into our showroom or get in touch to find out more. 

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  3. Healthy Blueberry Muffins Recipe

    Even when we're trying to be healthy, we still can't always shake the craving for something sweet. We've been experimenting and come up with this yummy blueberry muffin recipe which will help satisfy your sweet tooth, but you won't feel so guilty about eating a muffin for breakfast or a mid-afternoon snack.

    These cakes are wheat and gluten free and they taste amazing too. 

    We hope you enjoy this recipe and if you give it a go make sure you tweet us a photo! 

    Ingredients

    200g ground almonds
    30g ground linseeds
    100g brown sugar
    50g maple syrup
    1 tsp baking powder
    Pinch of salt
    1 ripe banana
    150g blueberries
    2 large eggs
    120 ml soured cream
    60 ml coconut oil

    Place muffin cases into a 12 hole muffin tin.

    Mix together the ground almonds, linseed, sugar, maple syrup, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

    In a separate bowl, mash the banana and mix in the eggs, coconut oil and sour cream. Then add the blueberries. Add the ground almond mix to the banana mix. Spoon the batter into the muffin cases.

    Use the plate setter (feet up) and the stainless steel grill. Place the baking tin on the grill and cook for 35 minutes at 160 degrees. Leave for 10 minutes to cool down. Then enjoy!

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  4. Cooking pulled pork on the Big Green Egg

    Once up to temperature add some dampened wood chips or wood chunks of your choice – my favorite for this is cherry!  Add the plate setter in the feet up position and in this photo it has been pre-wrapped with aluminium foil to protect from any drips.

    Then a roasting tin filled with about 2cm of water sat on top of the plate setter to catch any meat juices and to add moisture to the cooking environment (the water seems to be omitted in many of the recipes but I like the effect it seems to bring).  The stainless steel cooking grill is put in place and then the pork placed on the top of the grill with the fat side up.

    The pork is shown here with a meat temperature probe inserted into the centre of the body of the meat away from the bone, just after putting it on the grill.  So at this point just close the lid and let the Big Green Egg temperature equalise. Once at the right temperature there is so very little to do. You can see from the photos that the meat is not moved during the cooking process and all that may be necessary is to carefully top up the water pan – do take care with this as water should not be splashed onto the hot ceramic – and if at all unsure you might want to omit the topping up altogether.

    The three pictures below were taken at 9 hours, 14 hours and 25 hours into the cooking and were the only times the top of the Egg was lifted!

    Managing the temperature can easily be done with a combination of the draft door at the bottom of the Egg and the Daisy Wheel at the top – the Daisy Wheel will need to be almost fully closed and the draft door closed to somewhere around 1-2cm.  Done this way there is still a primordial need to keep checking the temperature – with an expensive piece of meat and guests coming... quite understandable but it may mean a disturbed night’s sleep!  The other possibility is to use a temperature controller that monitors the temperature of both the cooking meat and the temperature of the inside of the BGE at the level of the Grill.  This is largely fit, turn on, set and forget. The one I am currently using is the DigiQ  and so far has been a real joy to use. 

    If using an in dwelling temperature probe in the cooking pork you will see the temperature slowly and evenly rise throughout the cooking period.  Do however be ready for the 'Stall' when the internal temperature simply stops rising – probably due to evaporation from the surface of the meat.  There are suggestions for getting your meat to get through the stall. For me I am happy to let nature take it’s course as long as you have left enough time for the cooking in your plan!

    The meat will be good to eat and will be really succulent once the internal temperature has reached 88°C cooked this way. I have to say I usually aim for 92-93°C as an ideal temperature.  The plan should be to reach this temperature some 2-8 hours before you intend to serve so there is lots of flexibility! 

    Carefully lift the meat off the grill without letting it fall apart - you may need some assistance and wrap it in two layers of heavy-duty aluminium foil.  Pop to into an insulated cool box which is easiest to do if laid on its side, cover with some clean towels and close the lid. It really will stay warm possibly for up to 10 hrs if it is a good cool box and the lid is kept closed. Cooked this way there is no need to pull the pork it will gently fall apart by gently teasing it.

    Classically served with BBQ sauce and served in rolls with slaw and sauce – I have to say I prefer mine on its own with some roasted potatoes of triple cooked chips and a little salad but which ever way you prefer it … there is nothing quite like it!  YUMMY!

    Footnote:

    Can you really do this on one fill of charcoal?  The picture tells the story.

    This is what was left after cooking the pork and shutting down the Big Green Egg! It was raked slightly to remove the loose ash and relit the following day without adding any more new charcoal, and comfortably roasted a couple of chickens... quite impressive!

     

     

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  5. Mediterranean Lamb with a Lemon, Rosemary and Thyme Marinade

    Mediterranean Lamb with a Lemon, Rosemary and Thyme Marinade

    We've had a lot of Big Green Egg posts and recipes from the contintent recently. Although not cooked in Tuscany this recipe was just too good not to share with you and we like to think it was inspired by the region so it still counts. 

    This lamb recipe was cooked locally in Ponteland and in a bigger Egg than the one you'll have seen in recent posts. 

    Mediterranean Lamb with a Lemon, Rosemary and Thyme Marinade and a touch of Cherry Smoke

    Ingredients for the Marinade

    1 Large or 2 small lemons

    Good glug of Olive oil 

    Rosemary

    Lemon Thyme

    Quarter of a teaspoon of ginger powder

    Salt and pepper
     

    Main ingredient

    2.2Kg leg of Lamb

    Method for the marinade

    Zest the lemon then cut the lemon in half and squeeze out the juice.  When zesting the lemon be careful to remove only the very superficial skin layer and not the white pith underneath or the overall marinade will be bitter.  Add an equal volume of good olive oil to the lemon and whisk into an emulsion.  Add the leaves from a couple of sprigs of rosemary and a similar amount of thyme (and a large pinch of ginger powder). Lastly, add a little salt and pepper.

    Dry the leg of lamb and put into a Five Litre zip lock bag.  Pour in the marinade, squeeze out most of the air and close the zip.  Keep out of the fridge and turn over the lamb every time you pass it for around two to three hours. 

    Preparation

    Put the leg of lamb with the lemon zest onto a trivet/rack over a roasting pan and pour the rest of the marinade over the lamb from thr bag.  Salt and pepper each side generously.  Add half a pint of water to the pan but keep it below the rack so it doesn’t touch the lamb. 

    Cooking

    Set up the Egg to cook indirectly using the platesetter in the feet up position.  Bring up to 150°C.  Once the Egg is stable add some damp cherry wood (or wood chips of your choice), replace the platesetter and the stainless steel grill and put the roasting pan with the lamb on the grill.  Close the Egg and bring back to 150°C and cook for 1.5 - 2 hours until the internal temperature reached 60°C (for medium rare). It's worth noting that if you left to rest in a warm place for 30 minutes the core temperature is likely to rise to 66°C.

    Wrap the lamb in a double layer of foil and put somewhere warm to rest for at least 30 mins.  Whilst the lamb is resting deglaze the roasting dish with a little red or white wine, stir in a little cornflower and heat until the sauce thickens stirring all the time.  If you like a smooth sauce pass the sauce though a fine sieve.

    Plate the rested lamb with a few green vegetables and some roasted potatoes and pour over the sauce you've made from the roasting dish.  The lemon works very well with the lamb and cuts throug” any fattiness in a similar way that combining with mint sauce does.  For me, it reminds me of summer days in the south of Europe.  Delicious!

     

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  6. Buying an Electric Bike - My Experience

    Buying an Electric Bike - My Experience

    Here at The Centre for Green Energy we pride ourselves on being experts in the product areas we offer, providing our customers will advice and recommendations based upon conversations to understand your requirements  - we want to make sure any products suit you and your needs. 

    That's why we were thrilled to receive this amazing feedback from one of our customers recently: 

    "I am aged 65, 6ft 7in tall and weigh 18 stone. I had my right kneecap removed as a result of a rugby injury 40 years ago and as a result have “overworked” my left knee and it too needs replacing very soon. I have also had a “blokey type” of operation which has resulted in nerve damage in an area which is very tender!

    I have been inundated with flyers from a well-known vacuum cleaner vendor who now sells electric bikes and as well. These flyers set me thinking.

    I researched local e-bike vendors and as we were going to Hexham decided to drop in to the “Centre for Green Energy”… One of the reasons being they listed, on their website, what they actually had in stock.

    We arrived, unannounced, to find the bicycle specialist, Jacob Douglass, was not on site. A charming young lady rang him and made us a first class coffee while we waited.

    Jacob arrived, full of apologies and carefully listened to my thoughts and requirements. He suggested a bike which would probably be OK for me and suggested I take it for a trial run. I did and thoroughly enjoyed it…. I only went a couple of miles but came back a happy man. I told Jacob all along that I wasn’t buying today as I needed to see how I felt the next morning. He suggested if I felt OK to go back and borrow it for an extended ride.

    I felt fine the next day and went to see him. He said he’d been thinking about my health problems and wondered if the more powerful motor would be better. I tried his demo bike and have to say it was truly amazing.

    Initially I only went to the shop to look. I had a budget in mind which, as always was too low, unless I wanted a “cheap” import which wouldn’t last.

    There was still no pressure sales. I spend all my life in sales and resist pressure selling like the plague.

    Jacob had done his job with honours! He qualified me, made sensible suggestions and I’m now the proud owner of a KTM Macina Cross 10 CX4 with the Performance Line Bosch motor."

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  7. Big Green Egg on Holiday – experiment with Italian veal

    Big Green Egg on Holiday – experiment with Italian veal

    One thing we wanted to experiment with was Vitello Tonnato.

    Vitello Tonnato is a classic Italian dish served cold. It has the advantage that you can prepare in advance and is ready just when you want it. 

    Our version was going to have a little twist on the classical Italian version but before that a little shopping and some experimentation was needed. The first confession is that I have never knowingly cooked veal and certainly never on the BGE. So the first thing was to track down the veal. As we were approaching the Italian holiday of Ferragusta – on the 15th of August there was a good chance of finding some reasonably easily!  We were hunting for  what is in effect a veal silverside which is used to  make veal escalope, but the plan was to cook it whole let it go cold and slice it very thinly.

    Well, we found a piece of veal but just one and a little large for the two of us at 1kg but this gave us the opportunity for some experimentation. 

    We cut off about a quarter, removed the 'silverskin' then added a little rub. We were limited with what we had to hand, so tried simple salt and pepper, a little paprika and some dried herbs.  The piece of veal was going to be served hot with a lightly spiced Italian sauage with a green salad.

    The Big Green Egg was set up to cook indirectly with the platesetter feet up and the cast iron grill on top and was brought up to just 130-140°C.  The sausages were popped on first  as we wanted those cooked through and then was joined after about 10 minutes by the veal with the temperature probe sitting in the centre of the meat. 

    The plan was to cook it till it just reached a core temperature of 52°C which should be around medium rare.  Meanwhile a Tonnato sauce was made. Not normally served with hot meat it did give the opportunity to experiment a little (and I have to say it does go well with hot meat if you were wondering!)

    Once the veal had reached 52°C it was taken off the grill and wrapped in foil to rest for around 10 minutes.  When the veal was sliced there was just a touch of pink, slightly less than I would have chosen suggesting that the core temperature of the meat continued to rise when it was resting – note to self for next time. 

    Served with the salad and the Tonnato sauce with just a little of the meat juice that collected in the aluminium foil spooned onto the veal it was looking very good!  The veal was tender, subltly smoky and the outside of the meat had a little tang from the paprika and white pepper. Simply delicious!

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  8. Big Green Egg On Holiday – Fish Friday!

    Big Green Egg On Holiday – Fish Friday!

    Wandering around the village on Friday we found that Friday here too was fish day. At the end of the car park there was a man selling fresh fish from his van and, well this was too good to miss.  So amongst other things we bought a lovely Sea Bass and a Sea Bream – only when on the way home did we suddenly think they might be just a bit too big for the Mini BGE!

    Now this is where the MiniMAx would have been perfect. But on this occasion necessity is this mother of invention and so a little fishy modification was finally undertaken before cooking...

    It reduced the aesthetic impact a little – but the taste was still wonderful (more of that later!)

    So how to cook – lets keep it simple:

    We were going to cook indirectly – so the BGE was set up with the platesetter in the feet up position with the Cast iron grill on top but inverted so the widest part of the bars were uppermost.  We brought the temperature up to about 140°C and then a handful of soaked Oak wood chips were added as a circle just outside the burning charcoal area before putting the platesetter and grill back in place. 

    Both fish were gutted and lightly descaled, washed and then patted dry.  The head was removed from the Sea Bass and the body cavities of both fish were salted and then stuffed with sliced tomatoes, a little thinly sliced fennel and sliced lemon.  The skin was salted and peppered and dusted with a mixture of dried herbs and allowed to rest as the BGE came up to temperature.

    But then we needed to modify the fish a little bit more...

    A little bit of tail trimming was needed for both fish to allow the top of the BGE to be closed properly. It looked less impressive but needs must!

    As there was fresh Rosmary to hand, a stem was added for the cooking period – wetting it before hand allowed it to smoulder for that little bit longer enhancing the slightly smoky aroma - incredible. 

    We decided not to tempt fate and so we did not turn the fish over whilst cooking – but that is the great thing about the BGE, it is so forgiving. 

    The fish were served simply with a little wild rice lemon and olive oil and just a little bread to mop the plate at the end. 

    The tomatoes and the fennel added a delightful sweetnes to the fish and the gental smokiness set the whole plate off beautifully.  The only difficulty was deciding who had which plate. If only all of life’s problems were so easilly resolved. 

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  9. Big Green Egg on Holiday – something simple!

    When surrounded but so much beautiful fresh produce and some delightful places to eat, grand and underrated it is easy to get carried away!

    Time to come back to earth a little, to clear the decks and eat modestly (but oh so well!).  Jackie and I wanted just a simple supper, so to come back to earth we found that we had a little slightly stale focaccia bread, a courgette and an aubergine to use up!

    So the plan was 'warm focaccia' for dipping in oil and balsamic vinegar, followed by some simply grilled courgettes and aubergine.  Simplicity itself.  The aubergine and courgettes were just sliced to around half-centimetre slices and tossed in some salted olive oil and left to stand.  The Big Green Egg was lit and brought up to around 150°C with the Cast Iron Grill in place for direct heat cooking.Focaccia grilling

    The focaccia was cut into strips and popped onto the grill, if it had been a little more stale than it was I would have drizzled on some olive oil but that was not really needed!  For one minute it was lightly toasted then spun over to let the flames lick the other side then served immediately.  Perfect for dunking into a little local olive oil with a little balsamic vinegar added – perfect with a light white wine!

    Grilled aubergine

    The sliced vegetables were then added to the grill in batches and cooked until lightly charred on each side – once all were just about done the Egg was 'shut down' and all the vegetables placed back inside just to make sure they were evenly warm.  Remember with the Big Green Egg – once “shut down” the remaining charcoal simply goes out to be used another day so nothing is wasted making quick cooking like this really worthwhile!

    Served on their own or with a little crispy salad they had just a hint of smokiness…

    Perfect!

     

     

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  10. Big Green Egg on Holiday – has a day off!

    Big Green Egg on Holiday – has a day off!

    Today's post is short but sweet....

    We all deserve a day off and this day was the Big Green Egg's turn to relax. Rather than firing up the grill, we made a simple salad with apple, tomatoes and cheese.

    ...and it was delicious!

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