About Springbok BBQ
Springbok is the name of a Southern African antelope-gazelle which is renowned for jumping 4 meters high and 16 meters far and running up to 100km/h. In the Southern African region, the Springbok’s name is synonymous with a distinctive pride and quality, and that is also why we chose it as the name for the artisanal outdoor cooking we do.
You might guess then that we have some South African blood in us – and you’d be quite right – but we also have English blood in us, and we certainly don’t position ourselves as another South African BBQ catering company. In fact, there is rather little South African about what we do… We’re fans of most things British and, just like England, we very much have a global perspective on the things we do.
Back in August 2013, among a plethora of caterers that cook with gas or coal, we became the first outdoor catering company in England to cook with wood – and to this day we remain one of the only to cook exclusively with wood. We were also the first bill ourselves as a BBQ rather than a catering company – a practice which has since rather flatteringly been adopted by some of our friends in the industry too.
We might be in the catering business, but there is nothing ‘catering class’ about what we do – and we’re certainly not just another bunch of ‘foodies’ running a ho-hum catering business. All our hot foods are freshly wood-fired on-site at your event, so feel free to come and watch us firing your foods on the grill when we arrive at your event, usually a good 5 hours before your main course serving time.
Please browse our online menu, choose the foods for us to serve your event, tell us what type of wood to cook your food with, and then place your order – all right on our website. Thanks for your consideration, we look forward to be able to be able to do some authentic wood-fired cooking for you.
Springbok BBQ’s Grills
Our original wood pellet grills were the first machines in the world to use wood pellets as the sole fuel source for BBQ catering and hog roasts. Using wood as fuel source strikes the ideal balance between a gas cooker that burns so clean that it imparts no flavour whatsoever on your hog roast, vs charcoal grills or briquettes which can be dirty, smelly and unhealthy.
Using wood as fuel source for BBQ catering and hog roasts imparts a divine taste and flavour that is simply unmatched by any other fuel source. The experts agree : the best outdoor cooking by far, is done with wood. So if you want to really treat your guests, make sure your BBQ catering is done with real hardwood! See our grills below.
Our portable wood-fired BBQ catering grills are meant for the kind of events where there is no vehicle access to the party spot. We will pull up in front of your property, offload everything, and carry it to the back of your property– even if it means we have to go through your house. The cooking/catering capacity of our transportable BBQ catering grills is up to 100 people per grill.
Our trailer wood-fired BBQ catering grill is meant for larger parties where we have vehicle access to the party spot. It can also be used when you are happy for us to set up our grilling station slightly away from your party, such as in front of your house or in your driveway with the party at the back. The cooking/catering capacity of our trailer grills is up to 300 people.
In the image below hardwood pellets are fed into the firepot for combustion. Being hardwood means the wood is very dense and therefore the amount of energy per volume is very high. Only a handful of pellets is burnt at any one time. Digital controls monitor the grill’s inside temperature and adjusts the pellet feed rate so as to give us very precise control over the fire temperature.
Springbok BBQ’s Woods
The majority of hog roasts in the UK are done with gas-operated machines, with a few people using coal. Gas is extremely convenient for a hog roast, but it burns so cleanly that it imparts no flavour to a hog roast at all. Coal does impart some flavour, but is usually made from low quality materials – and even when it is made of good materials, the majority of flavour is lost in the factory. Hardwood on the other hand offers by far the most flavoursome results of the various fuel sources that you can use for your hog roasts.
We do the same wood-fired hog roasts in a catering setting as outdoor lovers and bush-craft enthusiasts do out in the wild! We use only high quality virgin hardwood pellets from trees that are world-renowned for their quality and flavour in cooking applications and our wood is renewably sourced from orchards that have reached the end of their productive lives. Read on to discover the various hardwoods that you can choose from for us to do your hog roast with and the wonderful flavours they impart on your foods.
There are more than 7500 cultivars of Apple trees. The Apple tree originated in central Asia and is the most widely cultivated of fruit trees. Rare Apples with pink and yellow flesh also exist. The central flower in an Apple flower cluster often develops a larger fruit than the rest of the flowers in the cluster. The Apple has 57 000 genes, the highest gene count of any plant studied to date – and even far more than the 30 000 genes humans have! SMOKE FLAVOUR: The smoke produced by Applewood is light and fruity with tones of Pine and Hops.
Hickory is a tree that is found commonly found in Canada, India and China. Shagbark Hickory and Shellbark Hickory are regarded by many as the finest of nut trees. An extract from Shagbark Hickory is used to make an edible syrup, much like maple syrup, but with a slightly bitter taste and smoky flavour. Hickory is also very popular around the world for smoking cured meats – most famously used to smoke bacon, and goes great with a hog roast. SMOKE FLAVOUR: The smoke produced by Hickorywood is beautifully hearty with hints of Malt & Rye.
Maples are extensively planted as ornamental trees due to their beautiful clustered flowers that are green yellow, orange or red. Large collections of Maple trees occur in the five great W’s in England: Wakehurst Place Garden, Westonbirt Arboretum, Windsor Great Park, Winkworth Arboretum and Wisley Garden. Maples are famously used for making maple syrup, which is made by boiling the sap. It takes 40 litres of sap to make 1 litre of syrup. SMOKE FLAVOUR: The smoke produced by Maplewood is mild and sweet with tones of Caramel and Raisins.
Originally from North America, more than 600 species of Oak exist. Wines, sherry, and spirits are aged in barrels made from European and American oak, imparting a desirable oaky vanillin flavour to these drinks. Japanese Oak is used in the making of professional drums from manufacturer Yamaha Drums. Oak leaves and acorns are poisonous to cows, horses, sheep, and goats – but notably not pigs. Acorns and can be eaten by humans if soaked in water for a week. SMOKE FLAVOUR: The smoke produced by Oakwood has a toasty flavour with tones of Pepper & Bourbon.
Rosemary is a perennial herb and a hardy shrub native to the Mediterranean. When left to its own devices Rosemary can grow up to 2 meters tall and 3 meters wide, forming thick woody branches. Needing no introduction for its culinary uses, the name Rosemary has its origins in Latin meaning ‘Sea Dew’ and it is widely prized for the piquant, charred flavour in imparts to roast foods. SMOKE FLAVOUR: The smoke produced by Rosemarywood is mildly hearty with hints of Mint & Mustard.
Our pellets are made by putting the hardwood through a hydraulic press, similar to the way a butcher would make mincemeat. There are no additives or chemicals or any other foreign elements in our hardwood pellets. We do not take cheap wood and artificially add flavours to them, and we also do not artificially add smoke flavours to our hog roasts. Most hardwoods come from a tree that produces a fruit or nut. Hardwood is hard because it grows slowly and more densely, and therefore it contains a lot more energy per volume. It burns a lot longer and, most importantly for us – has far superior flavour and cooking properties. Think of hardwood as mature wood – it grows slowly and just like a good whiskey, matures with time.
*** Since the advent of Springbok BBQ our friends in the industry have started a cacophony of mimicry, making claims of providing ‘wood-fired’ food – despite using gas or charcoal grills. Don’t be fooled: unless it burns wood – and only wood, it’s not wood-fired…
Springbok BBQ’s People
Charles is a huge fan of house music and has a masters in business management. He founded Springbok BBQ in 2013.
James is a South African chap with a Scottish heritage and he enjoys flying aircraft and fishing when he isn’t BBQing for us.
Jenny loves travel and fitness and she was actually vegan for a while whilst working for us, but eventually we won her over 🙂
Oscar’s heritage traces back to Gibraltar and he enjoys water sports and motor sports and when he isn’t BBQing for us.