Author Archives: Berry Walker
Author Archives: Berry Walker
It’s that time of year again…
The warmer weather is coming. The smell of bacon and sausages crackling away on the BBQ is not far away.
How about making sure your garden is up to scratch before summer rolls around?
We’ll look today at how to stain your decking the easy way. Keep things looking crisp and smooth for the garden parties ahead.
Wooden decking is continuing to grow in popularity. It’s a wonderful way to create separate areas in your garden, particularly for BBQs or cooking and relaxing outside.
If you want your decking to give you its best, you’ll need to clean it regularly.
It also pays to use a treatment every 2 or 3 years. This depends to a large extent on the stain you choose and whether or not your decking is sheltered or exposed to the elements.
When you first install your decking, you can wait a few months before applying a treatment.
If you want to stain your decking without creating a mess, protective clothing and gloves are essential.
Get the following basics sorted and you’re good to go…
If you opt for a roller, you’ll obviously get the job done more quickly. The downside of rollers is that they tend to be quite messy.
Using a brush will be slower but more precise and cleaner.
If you are in this for the long haul, consider investing in a pad with a lengthy handle. This will make your life a great deal easier.
There’s no right or wrong answer to this.
Many factors will influence the brand and type of stain you want for your decking.
You might want to check some consumer reviews for paint and stain so you can choose the most appropriate kind. Most people give pretty honest feedback once they have purchased a product.
More or less any exterior wood stain will do the trick. The advantage of specialized decking treatments is that they will last longer and penetrate better.
Translucent stains tend to last longer. Opaque treatments will flake off more. The same is true of deeper, richer colors.
Take your time, ask advice from friends and family then get the most fitting treatment.
And before you get started…
Try a test patch so that you don’t end up making the wrong decision and getting a color that just doesn’t look good on a bigger canvas.
You’ll need to hose down your decking first so it’s nice and clean. If you have a power washer, this is another good option. If the decking is dirty, the stain will not adhere properly so it’s worth cleaning it well.
Some oxygen bleach cleaners are handy for getting rid of any stubborn or lingering imperfections and marks.
If you have some older stain that needs removing first, a stain stripper is an extremely handy piece of kit. They can be fairly toxic. Make sure you take all necessary precautions and work safely.
Sand down any flaws and finish off using some sandpaper for a great foundation.
Clear away all garden furniture and anything else that will get in your way as you apply the stain.
Kick off by staining any rails or balustrades on your decking. If you start at the top and work downwards, you can brush out any drips as you progress.
As you start applying treatment to the decking, ensure that you have a route back. Go to the farthest edge and work in reverse. This will prevent you needing to step on the freshly stained wood spoiling the effect.
Many people don’t think about freshening up their garden until the weather starts to pick up. Thoughts of firing up the BBQ and inviting friends over for dinner and drinks often prompts action.
Staining when the weather is cold or frosty is not a wise idea. The treatment will simply not dry out properly.
Working in the rain is an obvious no-no. The stain will wash away before it has had chance to take. Although avoiding the rain is tough in some countries, watch the forecast. Be patient. Don’t waste your time and effort by trying to get this done in the rain.
Fierce direct sunlight is also not good. It could force the stain to dry out too quickly leading to patchy and uneven coverage.
You want dry decking and a dry day for the optimum outcome.
However you choose to apply the majority of the treatment, start off with a brush and take care of all the edging.
Continue with the brush or switch to a roller.
You should always work in the direction of the grain. Keep a wet edge so that you won’t get any darker spots with overlapping. The wet edge is achieved by brushing your way into a wet area then brushing back again.
If you choose to use a roller, be certain to cover all the gaps between the decking. For some parts, you might need to revert to the brush again.
When you apply the stain, don’t be too sparing. Dollop it on so that it can penetrate the wood fully.
Saturate all of the end grains thoroughly. This part of the wood has been cut and is exposed. It will be prone to splitting without adequate treatment.
The instructions on the stain of your choice will make it clear whether a second coat is necessary. If so, apply after 24 hours.
If not, allow your decking to dry out for the same 24 hour period and then you can start firing up that BBQ and celebrating summer in style!
We hope you’ve found this glance at staining your decking for the BBQ useful and informative.
Please feel free to drop us a line if you have any queries or feedback. We’re always more than happy to help.
Are you the type of cook who likes to make everything from scratch?
If so, a meat grinder is absolutely essential for your kitchen. These devices are inexpensive and extremely versatile.
We’ll take a look today at the best way to produce fantastic burgers. If you want to know which cuts of meat work best for homemade burgers, you’ve come to the right place.
First thing’s first, though. Why should you bother to use a meat grinder?
There are two driving reasons behind most people grinding their own meat: safety and taste.
If you choose to grind your own, you retain full control over the ingredients. If you buy pre-ground meat from a butcher, on the other hand, you simply have no idea of where it came from.
Freshly ground beef undeniably tastes better, too. You can tweak the fattiness and taste according to your preference. There will no time for it to oxidize so you’ll enjoy a fresh burger precisely as you like it.
The difference is like comparing fresh herbs to the freeze-dried alternative… There’s no real comparison to be made. Homemade burgers win out every single time.
Let’s look now at 5 different cuts you can use.
Experiment with your burgers and see which cuts most tickle your taste buds.
When it comes to blends of meat, there’s no right or wrong answer for what works best. It’s very much a matter of personal preference.
The ideal is to shoot for around 25% fat. Enlist the help of your butcher if you are not confident gauging this by eye.
What are some of the best cuts for your burger?
While they are no rules, chuck is generally the basis for burgers.
Chuck has a buttery, melt-in-the-mouth taste and texture. It’s an economical cut from inside the upper shoulder area. Chuck has the perfect balance of meat to fat along with a deep, rich flavor.
Many burgers are made entirely from this cut so you can’t go wrong with chuck.
If you fancy some variety, mix it up with some of the following options…
A mix of 80% chuck to 20% sirloin makes for a mean burger!
The sirloin helps to enhance the “beefiness” of the chuck. Blending it in this way is gaining in popularity.
Sirloin comes from the back portion of the cow. It’s often used for steaks, many quick-cooking recipes and, in this way combined with chuck, for delicious burgers.
There are several different types of sirloin with top sirloin considered superior.
This cut comes from the lower chest.
Brisket is one of the nine primal cuts.
Grinding brisket helps to break down the connective tissue. There is plenty of this. Brisket muscles on a cow include the pectorals. Due to the absence of a collar bone, these muscles support over half the weight of the animal when it’s standing or moving around.
The elevated number of fatty acids mean that brisket is perfect to pop in your meat grinder if you’ve got burgers on your mind!
If you’re looking to enrich the meaty taste of your burgers, get yourself some round steak.
This is found on the rear leg of the animal. Round steak is lean and fairly tough but works well with chuck to make a hearty burger.
If you happen to live in Brazil or Argentina, look out for rump cover. This is prized for its high fat content so it works wonderfully with burgers if you are lucky enough to find this particular cut.
You’ll often see round steak used to make pies or beef jerky. Why not give it a go in your next burger?
To finish up our 5 suggested cuts, consider opting for short rib to complement your chuck steak.
This cut is taken from a shortened portion of the rib bone where meat lies over the top.
Short rib will add a real richness to your burgers. This is due to the marbling and helps with the fat content needed for mouth-watering burgers.
Tip: If you want to boost the fat content further, ask your butcher to throw in some beef trimmings when you are picking up your supplies.
Now that you have a nice range of cuts to choose from – and remember, combine each of these with chuck for prime burgers – you need to know how to make them.
We’ll look now at some very straightforward instructions and you can be enjoying a home-made burger in less than the time it takes you to head to McDonald’s.
The great news is that making your own burgers could not be much easier.
Just follow these simple tips and enjoy the magnificent feeling of a home-cooked burger in double-quick time.
Buying a meat grinder is a wise investment.
Take back control over what you put into your body and enjoy a tastier burger tailored to your desire.