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The Ultimate Guide to Cooking with Your Snappy King

The Snappy King is a proud member of the Heatlie product family, boasting a new level of versatility when compared to its BBQing counterparts. With the Snappy King, you open up your possibilities for outdoor cooking. You aren't stuck with just a flat BBQ plate or grill, instead, you can do everything your indoor oven can do, but with more size, power and capability. So, if you're looking for ideas on what to cook with your Snappy King, or you recently purchased one and need a hand getting started, this is the guide for you. 

Snappy King Outdoor Roasting

First off, it may seem obvious but always roast with the lid down. This is because the burner is located at the back of the Snappy King, and when the lid is closed, the heat rolls around the circular body.  With the heat rolling forward, the hottest area inside the Snappy King is on the inside edge where the lid opens and shuts. This is where your roast meats should be placed to cook most efficiently. From here you can optionally move your meat around to less intense heat spots for a gentler, slower cook if you wanted.

Always start off roasting on high, then turn down to low after 15 or so minutes, this seals in the flavour. Always roast on the roasting rack, never leave the hotplate in for roasting if you happen to have one. This will block up the airflow and the heat.

No two types of meat are the same, and they all require different cooking conditions to get the very best out of them. Let's have a look at a few different types and the ideal ways to roast them in your Snappy King.

Whole Fish: Add any seasonings or flavourings, then wrap in alfoil. Cooking time will vary, but for 8-9kg of fish allow 1 - 1.5 hours.

Beef or Lamb: Red meat can also be wrapped in alfoil to start with but remove all alfoil for the last hour or so of cooking for the meat to brown. The alfoil will prevent the meat from drying out too much. Generally speaking, cooking time is about 2.5 hours for 2.5kg of beef or lamb, so roughly an hour per Kg. Obviously, this is only a guide, and cooking times will vary with the weight of the meat and other variables.

Chicken: Just place the chicken on the rack, season, and close the lid. For an average size chicken of 1.4kg, allow 1.5 - 2 hours of cooking time. Don't forget to turn it down after the first 20-30 minutes or the chicken may burn. Check to see if your chicken is done by poking a hole in the skin around the base of the leg. If the juices run clear, it's most likely done, if they are pinkish or red in colour it may need more cooking time. 

Turkey: Similar preparation to chicken, although wrapping in alfoil will keep the moisture in, as turkey tends to dry out easily. An average size turkey of 5-6kg will take around 3-3.5 hours of cooking time.

Vegetables: Vegetables can be placed in baking dishes, or directly on the roasting rack, or if you have the double up veggie rack, use this. They can be wrapped in alfoil, or for crispier skin, leave them unwrapped. Don't place food directly over the burner, as they could burn.

If you have a double-up veggie rack for your Snappy King, you will have plenty of space to cook your roasts below and the veggies on the double up rack above. The temperature on the veggie rack will be higher than the normal roasting rack because it's higher in the oven, so keep an eye on them, as they can cook quickly.

Pro-tip - invest in a meat thermometer. They make life a lot easier, especially when roasting. You can be sure that your meat is at a safe temperature without cutting into it and drying it out.

heatlie snappy king roast vegetables

Using your Snappy King as an Oven

The Snappy King is capable of cooking practically anything your conventional oven can cook. This means you can branch out from just roasting chunks of meat. You'll be surprised to know that there is a huge array of cooking potential right there in your Snappy King. For example, why not try a batch of sconesapricot piefruit cake, or steamed puddingPotato bakes or cauliflower bakes, or any similar vegetable dish can be cooked or simply reheated in the Snappy King, and it browns the top beautifully. Wrap your garlic bread in alfoil, and put it in the Snappy for five minutes, or a bit longer if you like it a bit crisper.

The Snappy King is also handy for those quick Sunday night snacks like nachos - just pile the corn chips, grated cheese and salsa in a dish, and serve with sour cream and mashed avocado. It's so simple and very tasty. Fish fingers or frozen chips cook in no time and will come out nicely brown and crispy. Best of all...pizza! Place it on a pizza stone or a metal tray like you would in an oven and cook away. 

Barbecuing with your Snappy King

Yes, you read that right, the Snappy King can also be a barbecue. Though primarily designed as an outdoor roasting oven, Heatlie innovated a way to convert the Snappy King to a hotplate BBQ cooker. This is available as the Snappy King Hotplate Kit.

If you've purchased this kit, follow the following instructions to convert your Snappy King over. It's important to know that you will have to convert it back to a roaster to roast meat. It's one or the other. 

  1.  Remove the roasting rack and veggie rack completely.
  2.  Remove the burner from the back position and insert it through the hole further to the front, secure it with the barrel bolt on the left-hand side. The flue is at the back of the plate, and the flame is naturally drawn towards the back of the plate.
  3.  Put the hotplate in, it simply rests on the same ledge the rack was on.

After doing this, your flat plate should be sitting directly over the burner at the front. This allows you to get direct heat under the plate like you would on any other barbecue.  From here, all you need to do is heat the hotplate for a few minutes first - don’t leave it empty too long, this could cause it to buckle. Add a bit of oil to the hotplate, and barbecue as you would on any other barbecue.

The lid should always stay open when the Snappy King is used as a barbecue. Cooking times are not given for BBQ food, as everyone has a different idea of the perfect steak, so you'll have to have a few barbecues to perfect yours.

heatlie snappy king hot plate cooking

The Worst Part of Barbecuing...Cleaning

No one likes to do it, but unfortunately, for the sake of the longevity of your Snappy King, it's a good idea. We recommend cleaning often, so that fat, grease and food gunk doesn't build up and create unsanitary conditions. The good thing about a Snappy King is that most things you roast or cook in there will be on a solid tray, wrapped in foil or not too messy at all. This means it will stay generally cleaner than a BBQ, but enough trying to escape it, it's inevitable you're going to have to clean it. 

You don't have to worry about ruining any seasoning on your plates here at least, so have at it with hot soapy water. This will melt away the grease and fat and make your job way easier. A stainless steel-safe scourer may be required for the harder to remove stains. Try to avoid scrubbing with steel wool, as the steel fibres can embed themselves in the stainless steel and start to rust. Find a non-metallic scourer for the best results.

For super tough, baked-on problems, try an oven cleaner or degreaser. These are generally a 'spray and leave on' application. You then come back after a couple of hours and scrub it off. 

For a pre-emptive strike, try lining the base of your Snappy King with alfoil, then just roll up the alfoil and dispose of it afterwards.

As for fat collection removal, the 3-litre stainless steel fat container just slides out. If the fat is still liquid, be careful not to spill it as it can be quite heavy. If the fat has solidified, just scrape it out and wash it with hot soapy water.

So there you have it, the ultimate guide to rating, barbecuing and cleaning with your Snappy King! Check out the Snappy King and all its accessories for more ideas.

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