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Friday, March 10, 2017

When is "Barbecue Weather" in Finland?

Johannes' outdoor cooking setup in Hyvinkää
Image via by Johannes Leppihalme 

It's been a long winter here in Eastern Washington. It snowed on Monday. Again. It's March already.

I'm itching for Summer. Or Spring, even. I want to take my kids for a walk without spending 15 minutes getting dressed.

But waiting for Barbecue Weather? Silly, in my book. I eat in the winter, therefore I barbecue and grill in winter.

I won't let the weather tell me what I'm going to eat or how to cook it.

You know who else cooks outside whatever the weather?

This guy:

Image via by Johannes Leppihalme 

Meet Johannes Leppihalme from Hyvinkää, Finland. Up at the 60th parallel winter days can be less than six hours.

If you're waiting for a long sunny day to cook some meat outside, you'll be eating a lot of canned beans in the dark.

We met on Twitter and I realized we had a lot in common. We'll both cook outside whatever the weather. He doesn't like to lean on sauces or glazes, and neither do I. And we're both launching new things into the BBQ and Grilling world.

My wife and I have Dragon Knuckle.

He just launched his website Arctic BBQ today.

Is Hyvinkää the Barbecue Capitol of Northern Europe? Not exactly, but I'll let Johannes explain it.

"I live in Finland, which is not considered as the heart of the world's BBQ scene. However, there are a few BBQ enthusiasts here who are pretty damn serious about it. I have cooked outdoors since 2011 throughout the year, rain or shine, cold or warm, storm or calm, about hundred times a year.

"In my blog I try to share my experiences of BBQ near Arctic Circle through four seasons. I will share some of my favorite recipes, give insights to various BBQ equipment and accessories and share data on my grill and fuel performance. Data is something I would have benefitted from in the early days but I could not find it anywhere. I hope this will help new hobbyists to get started.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin
Image via by Johannes Leppihalme 

"Most importantly, I try to get connected with other BBQ enthusiasts around the world and learn new things. All feedback on improving my blog is warmly welcomed."

What are his favorite things to cook? He cooks a lot of fish, especially smoked or grilled salmon. He loves to do chicken, pulled pork, pork tenderloin, ribs, brisket and tenderloin steaks.

He says he's particularly well known for his grilled Christmas ham.

He's working on his moose technique. He's had success with smoked moose ragout, but this four pound moose roast was a challenge:

Image via by Johannes Leppihalme 

I imagine, like deer or elk, it's very lean and tricky to keep juicy.

He's going to two different BBQ Camps in May and will have a lot to share.

Check out his site. He's a Dragon Knuckle kind of guy.

Image via by Johannes Leppihalme 

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