March 23, 2022

British BBQ Company - Charlie Oven


We have the pleasure talking to a new British BBQ company  making bbq's a statement piece in everyone's garden!  We chat to founders Tara and Neil as they tell us about how Charlie Oven was launched, how the importance of using local materials and their love for the science of cooking. Check our Charlie Oven!

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Transcript

Owen - Host:

Today's episode is brought to you by iOS kitchens, the South's leading outdoor kitchen design and installation specialists.

Dan - Host:

Welcome to another episode of the meat & Greet BBQ podcast. If you're watching us on YouTube, please do give us a like and subscribe. And if you're listening through your favorite podcasting app, please do leave us a review as well. It really helps people hear us and know all about us. So in this episode, we are talking to Tara and Neil from Charlie oven, all about their fantastic barbecues. This is a British company champion in top quality cooks. And that's all their barbecue is about. So without much further ado, here's Tara O'Neill. So thank you for coming on. Tara. Neil, how are you? Both you? Okay, great.

Owen - Host:

So do you want to kind of tell, tell us who you are. And, more importantly, about Charlie oven, which we're here to talk about today?

Tara -Charlie Oven:

Brilliant. Okay, um, well, I'm Tara. This is my sidekick, Neil. And also my many moons. And we started Charlie over we officially launched at me topia in 2021, September, and it was like, we weren't still we were like just kind of testing the market to see if we had something that everyone else would like as much as we did. And the journey started quite a long time ago. And it's a bit of an odd journey in that I was on the hunt for the perfect sourdough way of cooking, or baking sourdough, and I'd heard about these amazing ovens that are used in professional kitchens. And then I was Googling, I was trying to buy something. And when I saw them, I was like, Oh, my God, that's just really ugly. Yeah, it looks fine and back a house, but to have in your garden, which is what I obviously have to live in. It wasn't me. So I then said, like, Can I change it? Can I do this? Do that. And anyway, forward a couple of years. And in my, my other job, my job before I started this, and speaking to the manufacturers that I was using to build a factory for me, they I said, you know, can you make an oven? And the answer was, yeah. And and Charlie was born, and Charlie, the name comes from charcoaled, not my sister, Charlotte. She's watching this, I really apologize. She said, No, Tara, it's because of me is

Neil - Charlie Oven:

nothing more sophisticated.

Tara -Charlie Oven:

Charlotte, it's not about you. So the name came from just you know, Charlie, as in wanting it to be sort of female and male. And it's just giving it a personality. And the first thing I thought was, you know, this came from the fact that having seen these other ones, I just wanted it to look absolutely gorgeous. And the tumor quanta, the yellow one is like the inspiration for the entire range. And so we have a whole bunch of different colors, and Charlie was born. So Charlie is quite a simple device in many ways. But what is brilliant about it is it's so incredibly easy to use. And there are other you know, there's there's a raft of different products out there in the market. And some of them are easier to use than others, and some are more labor intensive and prone to hiccups. And what I will have to say and what I love about this product is it's just so easy to use, and the results are outstanding.

Owen - Host:

Do you then do them focus your attention around the Charlie oven for a beginner barbecue? As as it is easy to use? Or are you kind of whole market, you know, even the very experienced barbecue enthusiasts that may have other brands that are perhaps more involved in tending the fires and those types of things will also, you know,

Neil - Charlie Oven:

it's obviously for everybody because it's inspired by the Charcoal Ovens that have been used in professional kitchens for years. So top chefs, that's the secret of a lot of that fantastic food they cook you know, with that thing, you know, Kiss by smoke and fire, and that's how the hell did you get that flavor? Well, they get it with a front opening Charcoal Oven. So yeah, this is one that works in that way that you can have in your own garden at home. So it's inspired, as I say, by a professional piece of kit. Now, it's so happens that it's also incredibly easy to use really what he wants to use it. I think there's a thing as well. If you're not unexperienced barbecue list. It's more familiar than a barbecue because it's sort of it's like an oven or I mean, the actual appearance of it with a door that opens with racks. It's a heat source. It's more like what you would find in a domestic kitchen. From that perspective. Yeah, but it's a Charcoal Oven. So it's sort of, you know, it's everything from soup to nuts is everything from the beginner to the professional. And I think the nice thing about it is, because it's really big, because it's really versatile, because it's got a huge temperature range, all of those sorts of things, because you can cook with it outdoors all year round. What it means is that, so I've lost my train of thought Toby was waving a hand that

Tara -Charlie Oven:

shot I'm like, Come back, come back in. So I think what you're saying is that it's very easy to use, and it depends on how sort of advanced you want to get, you can get whatever results you want. So the guys behind me, topia, and I met the godfather of meat topia, a chap called Richard Turner. And he was the executive chef, I don't know if he still is of the Hawks more Restaurant Group. He's got many strings to his bow, and he used one, he did a pop up event, and they requested one. And I said to him, I set the gauntlet. He said, Yeah, they look really good. He says, do they cook as well, you know, and, and he he's familiar with, there's an iconic brand. And these were the ones when I was talking about it didn't look particularly attractive. Well, you know, wouldn't suit sort of my backyard anyhow. But called Jasper. And these are like sort of Fast and Furious kind of charcoal grills. And they've been going since 1969. And before I was born, thank God. So Richard used one. And then I made the brave decision of asking for his contact details, because somebody else one of his people got in touch. And I said, Can I just get some feedback, and we actually put the feedback on the website, because he said, he couldn't get over how easy it was to achieve different results. And he was saying the fact that we have so many levels, so it's quite, the cavity is really big. So you can do direct or indirect. And with a lot of these things, you know, people just crank them up. And then they kind of, especially with the Jasper's, and you know, two by one, I don't even know if they make one as tall as ours would, because you can do sort of indirect by kind of going further away, he had so much more control over the cooking process. And Neil touched on on a point, which I think is really, really important. You know, there are so many different grills out there, and the majority of them open, like so. So what happens when you you take away the top of something, and there's got a lot of heat that it rises. And with Charlie, it's the bounces off the top and sort of stays within the cavity. So, you know, it's just easier to control the temperature and all that smoke. And the one thing about me, topia was, you see, all these people are working on open flame, and yes, it's sexy and gorgeous and, and all the rest of it, but you're coughing by the end of it, you come home and everything on you is covered in smoke. And that's all right, some of the time. But you know, all that, that flavor is from the smoke. And you know, Neil is quite geeky and has written a couple of blogs all about sort of, you know, you've got your five flavors, and then you have it's not a flavor, but it's an aroma which you get from cooking with charcoal that really elevates food to a different level. You know, we've got some teenage kids sort of early teens and a piece of broccoli that's steamed and then tossed in lovely butter only goes so far as soon as you stick it in the Charlie before they know it. They've eaten the whole thing and you just tossed it in some olive oil and salt and pepper and bang it's just amazing.

Owen - Host:

Yeah, I mean, we were obviously very lucky to meet you both sizzle Fest and try some I think it was you did a was a pork loin or a pork leg it was a huge joint that you did that was just so succulent. You had a you know a fantastic crackling, that's the word I was looking for correctly. But also I remember correctly you are actually doing some tenderstem at the same time. You're also making some bread when you some little rolls. Yeah. So I suppose again, that's showing the versatility that you're you're cooking a huge piece of meat, as well as doing something delicate like tender stems that only need very much a char for a few minutes and all within the same space at the same time which is again chose one verses

Neil - Charlie Oven:

that there are nine different levels on the rack and it's got two and a half times the cubic capacity of a regular oven. So you can cook a whole meal in there but the different bits have different heights. Obviously you can cook at different times which is you can set it anything from about just below 100 degrees Celsius, and you can crank it right up to about 400 degrees. Yeah, you can also bend smoke. So you can you can plan your meal very, very easily to do lots of stuff in lots of places at lots of temperatures and lots of ways. Yeah, it's really easy

Owen - Host:

to be put putting the meat at the top or the vegetables at the bottom. So all the all the juice is just tricked out. What sounds better than that.

Tara -Charlie Oven:

We often do that with a leg of lamb and on top of the roasties it's just divine.

Neil - Charlie Oven:

I did a little blog post a couple of weeks ago actually about why cooking vegetables with charcoal makes it taste like bacon. Yes. Yeah. It's all scientific things aren't aren't mentioned the lignin earlier, but it's the compounds that come out of lignin, which is you know, in a good charcoal, the work on the same flavor receptors in your mouth, and therefore in your brain as things like bacon.

Tara -Charlie Oven:

Yeah. Makes everything

Neil - Charlie Oven:

He also shares a lot of the science of flavoring with things like whiskey and vanilla and stuff like that. So there's quite a lot of complexity of tastes. And your your brain is fooled into thinking that there's something meaty and therefore delicious and satisfying about a piece of broccoli. But of course, it's not that it's the wonder of science,

Tara -Charlie Oven:

which I think is really nice as well, you know, we talked a bit about, you know, is this for people that are really into barbecuing and have like, some serious skills in that department. What I love about cooking on, Charlie is you're so close to the flame. Okay, especially if you do things like steaks, and we had some mates over quite recently. And they weren't huge, they weren't really thick, so we didn't have to set the door. So we just literally sear them on one side, certainly, it's like literally two minutes, and then took them out. And then they were just pink in the middle. But that you know, that theater of just doing that in front of your mates and you know, doing things like dirty leaks, or celeriac and stuff like that it's so much fun. It's not just a case of oh, it tastes great. And yes, it does, you know, without a question of a doubt. But you know, with all the different levels, you can, you can chuck the whole lot in at the same time, you know, as you were saying about, you know, but the meet up and do your potatoes, or do your veg down below, and so much that you can achieve with one of our ovens. Now one thing I would say is I wasn't so keen on how it looked on the inside, on the outside, and what I was looking at sort of developing the oven in terms of charcoal ones that are used in restaurants, but the inside, I've kept really sort of industrial, and great through the the the racks that come out. And they weigh over five kilos each. You know, they're a solid stainless steel, when we when we went into this, and you know, it's important that it looked really good, but also that it was built to last because this is a serious piece of kit, they they weigh roughly about 200 kilos. And, you know, we thought they were a bit lighter than that until we had to get you know, we had to do some tests for shipping. And we were like, Oh my God, that's how much they weigh. And yeah, so I'm we're gonna keep that because you know, they're built that you do not have to buy another. This should be it for your kind of future of kind of cooking outside and, and also cooking for a crowd so that it's easy. It's not the case that you have to kind of hang on, I've just done this, but now I'm going to go and do another bed. Or the other thing I often see on social media is where someone has like, three or four different devices, but there's three of the same but different sizes. I didn't you know, ones that usually open up like so. And I'm like going, Oh, once they got three, you know, you'd never need three of ours. And that's kind of what he said.

Owen - Host:

Yeah, unless you're a collector, of course, then you just want the difference.

Tara -Charlie Oven:

Yeah, sometimes you just have to have more more.

Owen - Host:

That's it. Buy more Charlie oven guys. Actually, that's the thing I just wanted to mention, which you touched on very, very briefly earlier, is I think we shouldn't kind of talk we should talk about the color.

Dan - Host:

Yeah, that's what drew me when we are at the sizzle fest because oh and I were walking in talking we've been there for a long time. And all of a sudden you turn your head and shock of color just draws you in. And then you're hit by the smells and everything. Plus you guys were handing out not only food but also booze and it was a beautiful combination. But the colors are only of course. Basically, if you get a Charlie oven, Tara Neil come round with two bottles of booze and but the colors are gorgeous. What made you decide on those specific colors?

Neil - Charlie Oven:

Well, one of our partners in the business is an art director. That helps us is See is stuck in trade colors is life. So we tried to choose things which would I think that the whole sort of science or color, talk about science again, the whole science of color thing is really, really interesting about different moods that evokes and so on and so forth. What we tried to do is to get a range of stuff which would fit all gardens all occasions or moods, all inspired by foodstuffs in in some shape or form. And they range from things which are really quite vibrant and bright. So you know, the ones which are the paprika one, which is a sort of dark color, it's a dark red. Yeah, you know, turmeric, which is a really vivid sort of mustard yellow to things like porcine, which is a dark, anthracite grey. What's the name of the really like truffle? It says it's sort of off white, gray, sort of almost Nordic. So there are some that are really relaxing, some that are really vibrant. We've got beetroot, which is a sort of sophisticated, purple, purple, believe it or not, yeah. And Oregon, which is a lovely darkish green, which sort of blends into the background. So you can have something relaxing, you can have something that sort of fits in an urban garden, you can have something that's a real sort of standout wave splash of color. So across the range, we've we've now got nine because

Tara -Charlie Oven:

we just, we were forced to bring them all black, an old black man, and actually Richard Turner, I blame for this, because he said, Target, you have to have black money for that color. And we call the black peppercorn. And then I was okay with it. So and then we put out on social media, everyone's gone. Yeah. So you know, for me, it's all about the color, keep it bright, cutie proud. I like things that are bold and vibrant. And, you know, if you did have your garden as well, it's kind of nice thing to have a splash of color, you know, especially all year round. So, yeah, each month, we've got something for everybody.

Owen - Host:

I suppose it's almost like a feature wall is going to decorate your room you would have you know, most people have a feature wall now. I suppose it's no different from your garden. Right?

Tara -Charlie Oven:

We were also inspired by brands like Yeti, you know, the beauty, water coolers, and what colors, food colors and drinks things. It just, you know, you just want one. And for me color is just so important. Like, you know, we don't have a lot going on in our lives, especially right now and more so than before. But you know, just keep it's kind of keep a colorful, you know, add some sunshine on a cloudy day.

Neil - Charlie Oven:

You don't want to color on at all. With. Oh, yeah, just doing a test of an all stainless steel one.

Owen - Host:

So this is exclusive news for us. Is it? Yeah, yes.

Tara -Charlie Oven:

Yes, it's being made? No, it does. It does exist. It's just still in the factory. Next week, next week, right? Yes, we are making old stainless steel one. And again, this is kind of fitting into the whole thing about outdoor kitchen. So if somebody has a couple of steel things in that sort of mix as well. And you know, it's got to be fully stainless steel is going to be at a different price point as well. So we have to sort of figure that out because stainless steel, because just with the market at the moment, you know, everything has gone kind of crazy. And steel and stuff has kind of done same thing. So yeah, we are developing some covers, which are based on the beautiful. So it's a bit like the oven itself, I didn't want to cover it up in a black shroud. I want to be loud and proud. And we are working with another English company where we're making it out of marine canvas with some beautiful webbing. And it's just it's a thing of beauty. So if it's covered up, you've kind of got what's underneath there, or you might be able to tell by the logo or something like that, but it'll be very sort of design LED. And then And it's funny because everyone who's bought one has gone once the cover coming out once the cover coming out. And I think just people just want the bits and bobs that go with it as well. But yes, it's going to be beautiful.

Owen - Host:

will be nice. Can't wait to see, I think there's a thing to celebrate, isn't it? It's a you're a British barbecue company. And you know, I think as much as we're all fans of some of the big names and you know, I've got a fair number of barbecues in my garden. They are all German or American or but it's so nice to to actually learn more about a British made local barbecue company.

Neil - Charlie Oven:

Yeah, I mean, it means we've got real control over the quality really got real control over distribution and shipping and all that sort of stuff. You know, we don't have to wait nine months to get one to your house. We can you know, we we've got real control over that. And the other thing is as well that there is you And I will, however important you think there is there is quite a strong sustainability angle to it. Because we're not shipping massively heavy things all over the world where you know, the, the, the barbecue miles are lower if you like. And the stainability thing is quite important to be honest, because the other aspects of this is compared to an open grill, we use about 45% Less charcoal. So even with a sort of modest over charcoal like this, the thing will stay hot, hot enough to cook for five or six hours. You don't have to keep topping it up. If you have a really big loads of charcoal, you can keep it going for hours and hours and hours and hours. But it's incredibly efficient. So, you know, from a sustainability perspective, the use of charcoal is a lot less than it is with some other grills.

Owen - Host:

Do you think even so, do you even think with you know, obviously, typically very long cooks, you know, huge pieces of brisket, those types of things. You know, so I've got a Weber Smokey Mountain. And it's, it's good, I really, really enjoy and I cook on it a lot. But I do go through a fair amount of charcoal in comparison to say a Broil King that I've also got, which uses slightly less. But from from what I read on your website, when you're saying actually just a modest handful. Yeah, it's really not that much charcoal is it?

Dan - Host:

I love like developing your own barbecue means that you must have had so much time experimenting with cooking on it and learning how it does and playing with all the different flavors. So with that in mind, what are your favorite kind of favorite combinations, particularly with the wood and how you're pairing it?

Neil - Charlie Oven:

Well, I think the things the things that are fun me the things that are most interesting, the things that you'd least expect. You'd expect a barbecue or charcoal barbecue to do meat fantastically well. But for for me things like bread, things like vegetables, things like pizzas, fantastic pizzas, because you get it sold a lot more if it comes in. It's got that extra generous a quad. You get it for charcoal barbecue, things like for catch your bread, all those sorts of things. I didn't I didn't apple crumble in it the other night. Yeah. Which is brilliant paella. Paella. Yeah. Yeah. See, we did. We did that the other night as well. So things like that, where you wouldn't necessarily expect to cook it in a barbecue. It gives it that elevation of flavor, that little subtle smokiness, which just takes it into a different league. And so that for me, those are these. I it was quite interesting. I was talking to a bloke a couple of weeks ago who was one of our early customers. And I'd love to chat with him. I was just, you know, asking him, I was getting on with it. And you know what he liked about it? Yeah, what he thought we could improve and so on and so forth. And I said, Well, what were your favorite things that you could have? He said, believe it or not, he said the two things that I could cook that I was most just amazed by because they were so much better than normal roast potatoes and gravy. Gravy.

Tara -Charlie Oven:

Yeah, it's following Genevieve Taylor recipe

Neil - Charlie Oven:

is roast potatoes and is gravy. Well, I know roast potatoes are gravy you never have before. Yeah.

Tara -Charlie Oven:

So can I just interject because a couple of things for me that there were things I never really cooked before but ribs. Oh, mg. And actually, when I met you guys, I had the source that I now have like the recipe on the website for this bourbon barbecue sauce. And it's one of those things that I don't I try not to do it too often. Because when I do, I eat every last. And it's just you know, and sometimes I do them slowly, sometimes I can't wait. And I just crank it up. And either way, they just taste amazing. And I love that kind of just tearing them apart and just knowing on the bones. There's something about like, I'm not the chicken I can't really cope with it. But with you know, specially barbecue ribs is just amazing. And the other thing we did add was it last week or the week before we or I did pork belly and I did it with them as five spice kind of low and slow. Did them for hours. I couldn't even cut it. Because it was that sort of sort of so it was just melting as I was trying to do it and doing that and bow bonds.

Neil - Charlie Oven:

I tell you the other thing that we've done a couple of times on it, which has worked out brilliant is muscles. Yeah. Okay. Getting really hot. Little bit of wood in there as well as get bit of smoke ball muscles with some white wine and some garlic and then it just infuses it all with the chocolate flavor. Just fantastic. In about literally about two minutes.

Tara -Charlie Oven:

Yeah, and I would say goodbye first things we did when we first got it, and actually totally mostly did what I'm sure a lot of people do, which is we fill the cavity up with charcoal. The thing was literally if it was a steam engine, it could kind of take it to Cornwall, it was literally, to the to the hilt, and we did some really gigantic prom. And we did muscles that night as well. But it felt like we were in the Mediterranean. I mean, it was like, I never thought I could do this at home, you know? And it was like, Oh, my God, you know, when we did, we've spent a lot of time we've had a few nightmares as well. I'm not going to pretend Sylvans plain sailing. We've learned, we've learned

Owen - Host:

that that leads us into one of our favorite parts of the show, I think quite nicely. That's our own is, is our barbecue fail. section where obviously, yeah, yeah, we all we all learn from our from our failures. And you know, we always want to hear from our guests about some of the things that didn't go so well. So you've kind of already was on to that. So tell us about your fails?

Tara -Charlie Oven:

Well, we we've had two monumental ones, quite frankly,

Neil - Charlie Oven:

was the would you remember when I fit that new thermometer because we were experimenting with a new thermometer. We had very fitted one which we subsequently haven't used, but into the oven. And therefore it was reading about 100 degrees Celsius less than the Oh wow. And I could read was a piece of beef or something like that wasn't it was something quite nice and something quite expensive. And it came out I think was sort of like I can't be it's only 120 degrees. I remember

Tara -Charlie Oven:

vaguely remember this because we it was a really hot day. And I mean it was very very hot. And I've made these amazing margaritas. And I was kind of well on my way to Happy Land. I'm pretty sure that there's no tar it's not cups, there's no cups and when it came out I hadn't heard you on sort of kind of Korean barbecue pace on the outside. So think the paste and actually then I just kind of put some mint leaves and some other things as I really look pretty but you literally couldn't need luckily there was a silver person in the house or maybe him and and that was it. The other thing that has taken us a while to get our head round. And we've had more than one epic fail is brisket. Oh yeah, we learned late in the day after considerable expense is a lot of it comes down to the

Neil - Charlie Oven:

we're buying the wrong type of brisket. Right? We're buying one without any real sort of marbling through through the meat.

Tara -Charlie Oven:

Yeah, we've made

Neil - Charlie Oven:

a few chili. We've talked to some some chefs after our experience to say really? Yeah, and, and Vincent as well. And yeah, so what is the secret? What Yeah, and of course the start with the right cut of meat. And then having done some more research into it turns out that that's absolutely vital because even if you're incredibly fastidious about how you prepare it, wrapping it, unwrapping it, resting it, how long you cook it for the internal temperature going past the stall, all these sorts of things. Even if you're incredibly fastidious about that off with the meat will be smooth without enough fat in it, it's never gonna work.

Tara -Charlie Oven:

Even if it's grass fed, it's kind of you know, cost you a fortune that doesn't guarantee results we've learned the hard way but apparently there's a cheat and we have yet to try this which is fair the blades take me to beef instead and gives you a much better consistent result. But once you've done it you know what it has worked out we we've used the right cut it's just been amazing with it, you know and I don't like to do is smother it in different flavors and everyone's to their own. But I just like to keep it keep it simple because the beef itself is just amazing. But on the fails we've had like they still tasted great, but they just just didn't give you that sort of buttery soft. We had like the inspiration was one of the chefs we saw making a fantastic chili did Yeah, but one of the one of the chefs we saw me topia and I can that's one one amazing place to go and sort of see different people to show to the beauty of cooking with fire. But um the brioche Bond was tougher than the brisket and I always remember that and that was like that was my kind of you know, that was what I was aiming for. The gold standard so we have gone through a great deal. And you know for me, I love doing stuff like that but for me it's about the everyday it's student things like a big lug pot I can say pretty Keter you know, sort of like pork belly wrapped up and, you know, it's about I haven't killed myself to this, but look what I've just served up to, like, you know, maximum results with minimum effort and you know, and it's things like you know, I like making especially in the summertime nice salads and stuff like where that you know grilled vegetables like that would used to take me for ever to do whereas because the the grills with the Charlie they are 40 centimetres wide and half a meter long. So You Think You lay some over jeans and things like that on that or courgettes, it's done an extra no time. And then you've got this huge kind of VAT a vat of food that you can then kind of turn into various different things. And for me, it's just about kind of minimum effort maximum results and things like again for dessert students don't free

Neil - Charlie Oven:

apricot plum lovely which is just fantastic. Yes. Lovely smoky taste with a bit of what was that? We what do we do with maple syrup mixed into it with that you get the sort of slight bitter sweetness of there's the same fruit and then the real creamy sweetness of the mask apparently with with maple syrup that is a combination maybe

Tara -Charlie Oven:

the other great thing you can do as well as when you if you kind of if you call smoke or even hot smoke but I'm cold smoking because and we've actually changed this since you saw the oven in September is we've increased the the height of the rack so the rack start at the very top of the oven and what you can do is hang butcher's hooks off it and then just kind of actually need to take a picture the next time I do this I did it before Christmas and it was dark and I didn't take the photos but have like a side of salmon just hanging down Yeah, nice. I you know, I mean, there's so much you can do.

Owen - Host:

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Dan - Host:

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Owen - Host:

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Owen - Host:

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Dan - Host:

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Owen - Host:

Visit aos kitchens.co.uk Have you done much cold smoking it's personally something I've never really done

Tara -Charlie Oven:

not a great deal we like we did we did the summer before Christmas and it's on it's on my list of of things that I really want to try now. And just I you know I was quite inspired by a lot of the people that were posting for Christmas Genevieve Taylor did some really interesting stuff where she's she's converted cupboards, like literally at bedside locker or something and she uses that

Owen - Host:

saw that I saw your socks

Tara -Charlie Oven:

honestly, we you know, we haven't been going that long, we've really focused on trying to do the basics, because this is not just about kind of, I want to do some more. But I don't that wasn't that wasn't my starting point. But now I'm kind of getting a bit more confident. So it's been like you were saying is this for the beginner or not? This is for everybody. This is for anybody who wants to eat outside or wants to cook outside and just have more flavor at home because you know, we're eating a lot more at home and even you know, a lot of these restaurants and stuff are doing take away like color chef boxes where you can make it all at home yourself. You know, the steaks we've made I mean seriously, I've never made steak like that before in my life not before we we started with Charlie, but you know, I just love it for everyday stuff as well really. Like you can chuck your lasagna in there if you want you know it's it's as simple as that you know, and I wouldn't do it just for that but I will probably do a few other things on the side as well.

Owen - Host:

So where can we see Charlie Charlie oven this year? What's what's 20 to bring? have you guys gotten the accessories and the the new exclusive stainless steel you mentioned.

Neil - Charlie Oven:

So we will In terms of places that will be me, topia, again, till September, that's not till September, we've got a few other things in the pipeline sort of sort of major, you know, garden and outdoor shows coming up barbecue

Tara -Charlie Oven:

shows, we haven't we haven't finalized our plans, none of its finalized.

Neil - Charlie Oven:

It's all sort of still in the thick list. In terms of product development, we will have a few nice accessories. And one of the things that we we've got planned as a line extension, which is Yeah, which which will be like a Charlie, but slightly different. I won't give any more away as

Tara -Charlie Oven:

your air tower when he tells everyone everything, you know, you know, that top secret?

Owen - Host:

will keep it a secret. It's fine.

Neil - Charlie Oven:

Got an interesting line extension.

Tara -Charlie Oven:

And we're gonna do the do the smoke and fire festival as well. Yes, yeah. Yes, we might do sort of some of the gardening ones like Hampton Court. We missed the Chelsea Flower Show. And it's already we can't even get in. We won't record all of these things this year. So I don't really know. So and we're speaking to a couple of different sort of barbecue specialist places. So yeah, we will see. And we'll you know, we're also we are planning and hopefully to do some events as well, this year. Okay. We're going to host so just trying, you know, trying different foods and stuff. So, but again, that is sort of still in the development phase. But um, yeah, we're going to be doing some events. And we might actually do a couple of barbecue classes, either online or, you know, get people to a set location. And, you know, a lot of the people that have bought one of like, starting to ask us more questions about how can they get a bit more ambitious and try different things? And, yeah, we're gonna answer that.

Dan - Host:

You know, what? I one thing I would love to see from yourselves, because my wife got me a new pair of barbecue gloves for Christmas. I absolutely love them. But she was saying, there's not really that much choice in how barbecue gloves look. And I bet a Charlie pair of barbecue gloves. Okay. Okay. That's a

Neil - Charlie Oven:

really good idea. Because I, I will use welding gloves. Yeah. Because they're rugged, manly like me. Yeah.

Owen - Host:

I use marigolds.

Neil - Charlie Oven:

For things in the world. I think that's really good idea.

Tara -Charlie Oven:

Yeah, actually, I

Neil - Charlie Oven:

think that's really good idea.

Tara -Charlie Oven:

I like your thinking. And we

Neil - Charlie Oven:

can get behind, or also be great. So that performed it really, really, really high temperatures, because even welding gloves when you're taking something out of the oven, you know, let's say you got a baking tray, with something in it was 333 150 degrees. Even with welding gloves, you know, you're pushing your luck holding it for more than a few seconds. Yeah, I think that's something which add the aesthetics and the performance to live up to what the oven can do, I think is a great idea.

Dan - Host:

Thanks for the welcome. I'll only take 85% of the cost. You say? Yeah, don't do me fine.

Neil - Charlie Oven:

Sorry. Yeah, no, go.

Dan - Host:

I was gonna say talking about experimenting and fails and things. Because the layout over Charlie, I suppose it would negate some of the problems that people have, like, for example, I always share barbecue fails, because that's part of what we do with this part. But I'm doing kebabs. So I was doing some kebabs, got the minced beef, made the mixed everything, put them on skewers, put them on my monolith and got the weights and everything wrong, and the meat just fell off. So I had to remake some more sought out was fine. But because the layout of the Charlie and how it works, those sort of things aren't gonna be as much of a problem.

Owen - Host:

Well, because of the layers.

Dan - Host:

Yeah. Because the different different layers and the racks and things. Yeah. And you've got much more space to play with as well, rather than just dangling. Sort of,

Neil - Charlie Oven:

it's not like going through a letter poster. Yeah, it's actually so easy, because, you know, it's, it is a barbecue but it is also an oven. So it's, it's the difference between cooking on a home, where you're always sort of prodding and poking and flipping and all that sort of stuff in your kitchen, you know, and cooking and stuff. And when you put something in there, yeah. And it cooks the way you want it because it's the temperature that you want and the heat coming from all around. And then you just take it out. So you get a lot of the stuff that you do from a barbecue in terms of flavor, and more, but it's the sort of the hands off stuff that you get an oven Yeah, you put it in, it cooks it. You So, you know,

Tara -Charlie Oven:

did you leave an uncovered? Are there the kebabs in the fridge uncovered for like? No, see, because that's what I would say one of the problems there is that it was to Wes and the mix fell off. So you know, that will be part of of it. So if you see how they do it in, in those Kebab shops, they leave it and they arrested and actually, it's best to rest on coverages, but like making a port chatter, I can say it Prakash pajetta. And okay, and if you sold it, and you kind of it draws out the moisture of it. So if you leave stuff like that in the fridge for a while, it just dries out. And it's sort of a kind of helps when you're when you're when you're doing if you just try and shape it and then bang, you know, even if you did it in on your grill at home in the kitchen, it just wouldn't

Dan - Host:

work that I've put at least twice the amount of meat that should have gone there. I

Owen - Host:

actually, one of the questions I meant to ask earlier when you were kind of describing the Charlie oven do you recommend cooking with the door open at any point? I think you mentioned you're talking about cooking steaks. And you were talking about how obviously, other barbecue as you open up the lid and obviously the heat loss where you don't necessarily get that because it's front opening but would you cook with the door open? Or do you always suggest that actually should be closed? Should be the best way to cook it

Neil - Charlie Oven:

should be it should be closely the only time you have it open as if you were dabbling with something that could so quickly. Yeah, closing it would be almost pointless. Yeah. So like a really thin sake. Yeah, minute steak or something like view cooking right down near the charcoal. I mean, it's literally Yeah. There's no point sort of, yeah.

Tara -Charlie Oven:

It depends on how well you want to cook it. But yeah.

Neil - Charlie Oven:

Yeah, it works best with the door close. Yeah. Because you still you get you still get the big draw there through it. Yeah, there's always ample oxygen. If you want to keep it really hot, there's no need to have the door open. And closing the door also encapsulates all the lovely stuff that you get from the charcoal.

Tara -Charlie Oven:

And the other thing, which is really nice and, and Christmas did this with lobster is when you if you cook some especially seafood as well, because it takes on so much flavor so quickly. If you close the top vent, you know, let's say you're cooking something you close the door, you flip them or whatever, close the top then for like the last three to five minutes, the amount of smoke and intense kind of flavor you get. It's just a flavor bomb. I mean, honestly, I can't describe it any other way. And that that's one nice thing to do. And also it cooks it from the inside you like it just you get what you what you you're better at the science of the radiant heat and the

Neil - Charlie Oven:

cooks it all right.

Tara -Charlie Oven:

keeps the moisture in as well. But I you know, first things

Neil - Charlie Oven:

from every side. Yeah, it keeps all the moisture inside it. So for example,

Tara -Charlie Oven:

if those steaks we were doing the other night were thicker than what I would do is see the outside movies up to a top shelf, and then just close the door for a bit, you know, in between or whatever you're getting. You know, it's cooking right through it to the level you want. And but yeah, it's

Neil - Charlie Oven:

progress. Yeah. It's actually with that door like that it works really well, because the little thin wire won't impinge on the plate. It also just magnets it to the side at Bluetooth ones. Yeah. And you can just have it there the whole time. It doesn't. Yeah.

Tara -Charlie Oven:

Because one thing I think, nowadays we're eating well, certainly we are eating less quantity when it comes to me. But what we're eating is pretty damn good stuff. Yeah. So if you care about you know where it comes from things like that. And for me what you can do the Charlies, you really honor those ingredients. So if you buy a beautiful piece of steak, you don't want to you know, you don't want to thrash it, you want it you want to you want to be able to enjoy every last mouthful. So it's just about kind of doing it in a way that really kind of takes care of it. And then you put it in low and slow you put a probe in or you manage it whichever way you know works for you. So it's either you know, you can either go off piste sort of you know and not use those devices or add them in and then just kind of, you know, manage to get into that kind of perfection point for you and we do a bit of both.

Owen - Host:

Well, I think we're talking a lot about ingredients and things that we like to cook so one of the things you know we like to do is our barbecue bingo challenge. where we'd like to set you a cooking challenge and we'd love to cook it on the Charlie. then post it on Instagram or on social media tag is in use the hashtag barbecue bingo, and show everyone what you've what you've cooked. So what I'm going to do is I'm just going to share my screen. And obviously everyone on YouTube is going to watch this they can, they can see. So we've just got a selection of ingredients. And I'm just going to spin the wheel. Nothing too elaborate this time round the first episode of season three. And I'm just going to spin it. One of the things that we have right here is my signature dish. We'd like to know what your signature dishes and if it lands on that. We'd like you to cook your signature dish. So what would you say your signature dishes?

Tara -Charlie Oven:

What's yours now?

Neil - Charlie Oven:

Oh, God was it is really difficult because I'll go with that seminar did the other day because I think that's

Tara -Charlie Oven:

pork belly for me.

Owen - Host:

Yeah. Okay, we'll let you fight out salmon or pork belly. I'll give it a spin and we'll see what it lands on. Okay.

Dan - Host:

Do you want that works really well with the episode there?

Neil - Charlie Oven:

Yeah, we'll definitely do that it's on demand. Nigga recount. What was it good to see a bridge be brilliant, actually, because we've done a lot of breadth of that. And, you know, it was part of the thing that got us going in the first place. Yeah.

Tara -Charlie Oven:

Well, I think it's like special.

Neil - Charlie Oven:

Different ones Can't We? We could do for cat show. We could do a sourdough. Yeah, were you into like the work here?

Tara -Charlie Oven:

100 Yeah, great. Yeah. All right, now.

Dan - Host:

You've got all the different layers. You could do lots of different ones. Show off in one go. Yeah, and

Tara -Charlie Oven:

I might even do an Irish band. Maybe with with Guinness again. Yeah,

Dan - Host:

let's go back on that. What's an Irish brown bread?

Tara -Charlie Oven:

It's like a soda bread. It's a brown bread with wheat, wheat germ and Bran and it's one that doesn't have any yeasted okay, you can add soda baking soda and even a bit of baking powder. I make it a lot Yeah, sounds Oh it is mean in itself. And but yeah, you know, I get carried away when it comes to things like this as I eat it as well.

Dan - Host:

I keep meaning to do on the barbecue. Speaking in general as well one thing I keep putting off which I need to do is I really want to do cookies on the barbecue and I want to experiment with using different types of woods to smoke through them because I know like a smoked maple tart is really good. Why imagine you could do some great things with like dark chocolate cookies with different types of smoke.

Tara -Charlie Oven:

Yeah, I think that's

Neil - Charlie Oven:

a yeah, this is this is cool.

Tara -Charlie Oven:

So I can see that I can see the other thing I want to try is Marines and yah yah,

Neil - Charlie Oven:

yah, yah

Tara -Charlie Oven:

smoke on them yet but someone recommended it to us so when

Owen - Host:

the car even just the color

Dan - Host:

columns look so different. Yeah. The thing

Tara -Charlie Oven:

about making bread and the reason why I kind of got inspired in the first place is your domestic oven only goes to 250 and if if it actually hits that kind of level, you know, yeah, as that's the maximum but to make really good bread a baker does it at a higher temperature than that. So that was what that was when I became really obsessed with those holes in the bread and you know, did I get the lift they get the air and I did have a moment in lockdown which I think is quite funny where my son was I was saying current you know, nobody's eating my bread and he goes Mommy, I'm eating it right now and he said there are two that are cooling on the side. This isn't really I went to town on making bread during during lockdown, but I really I got into it way before that. But um, it kind of kept me sane. Well, you can ask the kid I said the neighborhood's I would like a local post and say anybody wants some bread. And then I wrap it up beautifully in brown paper with twine and deliver it just as a thing. All right, wants to join in here. He's just

Owen - Host:

got a special special guest appearance.

Neil - Charlie Oven:

He recommends the sausages.

Owen - Host:

What's your favorite flavor?

Neil - Charlie Oven:

Yeah, we're always trying to get

Owen - Host:

fancy Stick? Well

Dan - Host:

go. I was also gonna say one thing that we always like to ask people as well is, is there anything that you'd like to talk about? Or ask us? In fact, I mean, in the past, we've answered questions or talked about things like, how we got into doing barbecuing, what flavors we're interested in, etc. But is there anything that either you guys would like to discuss with us now or you think isn't being talked about? That should be?

Neil - Charlie Oven:

Yeah, I got to pick up on one thing, which we talked about earlier, which is the whole sort of sustainability thing, I think, is quite interesting, because it doesn't get talked about that much in the barbecue world. Both in terms of products and also where charcoal comes from. Yet, there's, there's a lot of stuff that people buy, and I'm sure you chaps use the really good, best quality stuff. But a lot of stuff has sort of slightly dubious provenance, you know, gets shipped around the world full of stuff that preserves it, the sorts of catching fire on the boat might even come from the rainforest, can't can possibly come to market. So I think it's really interesting, a really interesting area, I think. So I don't know whether you've explored that at all, or dabbled in it in any way.

Owen - Host:

So well, I'll go first. And we are going to be talking on this series to a charcoal company, to kind of us to learn more about how it's you know, how charcoal was made, and provenance and those types of things. In reality, what we wanted to do for this series is talk to kind of experts. So we're starting off with you guys and talking about an actual barbecue and the making of a barbecue in the Britishness and we're going to be talking to a butcher. And as I said, a charcoal company, we're going to be, you know, hopefully a barbecue school that we've got lined up and other things, where we kind of hone in on expertise, I would really love to do a sustainable episode, actually in kind of more of an eco, because I suppose ultimately, we are burning fossil fuel. And how does barbecue become a more sustainable hobby long term? And I don't know the answer to that. But I'm interested to know how it's something that we want to do forever, it's a lot of it's a lot of passion and business, for a lot of people that we know, I suppose we're gonna have to, at some point, make it more sustainable than than it is.

Neil - Charlie Oven:

I think it's a, it's a really, really interesting area, which is, you know, everything from the production of the charcoal is really, really important. Because you know, if it's done in the right way, it can sort of, he can almost offset everything. Also, you know, the provenance of the ovens, how you cook, how long you fall, whether you waste a load of stuff, you know, just keep it going it for, you know, hours on end, and all that sort of stuff. I think it's a really fascinating area. So I'm really glad that you're getting stuck in on that as well. I think it would be a very interesting topic to explore in much more detail.

Tara -Charlie Oven:

I got another interesting one. Which is, what's your view on women in barbecuing? Sort of? Is it because you know, how many women do you think are attracted to barbecue? And what could we do to engage more women?

Dan - Host:

That, you know, I happily answer this. So one of the things that Oh, in and I made a conscious decision about when we planned the first series when you plan the second series, because it's so easy to just go out there and just target and speak to men. And that's not what barbecue should be about. Barbecue is inclusive. Anyone can do it. Everyone can do it. It's a fantastic form of cooking. And I think people are very guilty, particularly in the UK of discovering what's barbecue. Well, it's dad stood next to a kettle without burning as hot as possible and just flipping sausages. So we've been doing our best to make sure that we can speak to more women in barbecue and experts as well. So someone in particular we spoke about a great episode with is a woman car from scaling Taylor, who is a Canadian barbecue enthusiast, and she got into it specifically because she's a big barbecue. And she just felt that there wasn't the representation there or not even there, she felt the love women did barbecue. But if you looked online wasn't that was not mirrored at all. So she kind of wanted to stick stick her neck out there and say, Look, we I am a mum who does all of the cooking for the family on the barbecue. And I'm sure that women do there and if not, why not? It should be a more inclusive place. You know, you've already talked about Genevieve as well, you know, and she was

Owen - Host:

very passionate. She was very Are you passionate? Um, yeah, we're going to be speaking to su Stoneman on this, this series as well about baking on the barbecue, which we're really excited about. And pretty much every season, we've wanted to make sure that we have kind of diversity in our guests. So, yeah,

Dan - Host:

to always do better. We know that because everyone could do better at these things. But it's something that we want to be doing more of as well. Yeah, no,

Tara -Charlie Oven:

I just sorry, I was looking down because Bob house, they're in like their business. But they're based in Swindon, and I follow these these girls, and they do a lot of smoking and lately and and the rest of the crew. I've had a chat with them now a couple of times, and they are just amazing. And the passion. And actually because I was really struggling with the brisket at the time, and I was just like, honestly, girls do my head and I look good. Oh, you know, and then they're like, fit feather blade visibly, Tara just put it to one side, it's not worth the hassle. Because I've said to you before it for me, it's all about, I don't want to do something that takes me 25 hours and stuff. And then you know, as it's a bit it didn't work, you know. So for me, it's like the things that I can just do and be like, what all I got, I did and it just amazing. And I think these girls are real trailblazers. In this area and the Rangoon sisters. There's a whole bunch of like in there kind of more professional and I say this because I don't know a great deal about a lot of the women that potentially might be in this area. But you know, traditionally people do see it as you were saying about being it's it's the dad in the backyard. And what's one one interesting thing so from a general population point of view, barbecue is one of those things that you look forward to because it's the anticipation of summer it's this idea that we're going out we're gonna have our friends around and stuff like that. But often what the food you get off it is a bit

Neil - Charlie Oven:

the bag with the birds

Tara -Charlie Oven:

what I love is this whole way of doing it is Wow, Jesus, that's really bloody good. Yeah, so but yeah, word chaps.

Owen - Host:

Yeah, I think actually, you know, a the barbecue community on social media, although there's quite a lot of us, you know, even in the UK is worldwide, but I think probably we're still quite niche in comparison to other, you know, to other hobbies, you know, essentially. And again, I think if you if you do look through social media, there are plenty of female accounts, you know, both experts and hobbyists, but also that's also a niche kind of within a niche. I think, you know, I think that's, that's an area that should grow. And I think if we're brutally honest, looking at stats, for people that listen to the podcast is primarily male. Although from a guest point of view, we're absolutely making sure that we've got that diversity, but it is mainly listened to by males.

Dan - Host:

And also before I forget, we'd be doing her a disservice if we didn't mention her. Kirsty loves to cook for people. Fantastic. She's really inspirational. We loved having her on the show, and we went down to the sizzle fest, we spent the whole day with her in the end, just because we've got on like a house on fire, but she's really inspiring stuff that she puts through her account. Is it amazing, it's another person to really look into. Also, before I forget, on the sustainable side of things in charcoal, I'm guilty of having trying lots of different charcoal Some of it's probably not great. Some of that I've really enjoyed was almost certainly being shipped over from like Canada or something. So I've been trying to look into more sustainable things. And I'm really interested in a company called Norfolk charcoal, who pride themselves to be like sustainable charcoal company, UK based so if anyone is interested in that side of things, they're worth a look at as well. I don't know them. We'll

Owen - Host:

have a look at that. That's kind of quite close to us. Yeah, occasion. Yeah.

Tara -Charlie Oven:

No, that I think that's lovely. And actually Norfolk because our ovens are made and your way sort of near Norfolk. So we're in Norfolk, in Norfolk, and, and lead by a brilliant company. And yes, so I think we'll have to check that out. But um, what was the difference between getting quality charcoal and stuff that's been shipped across the world is you have to wait till you burn off all those kind of additives that have been kind of to stop it from going on fire while it's in transit. And you know, that that kind of the yucky smell sometimes you get from charcoal when it initially burns. When you buy the good stuff. You don't get any of that. It's night and day away. Yeah,

Neil - Charlie Oven:

yeah, yeah. Nice,

Owen - Host:

clean smoke kinda Yeah, translucent.

Tara -Charlie Oven:

You don't have to wait till you get to that white level it just once it kind of It's hard enough go for it. Yeah. So but yeah, I do think the Charlie is something that you know, anyone can have a go at you don't have to be an afficionado you don't have to be a fire kind of Gods you can just get. It's so easy to like

Neil - Charlie Oven:

sort of domestic familiarity.

Owen - Host:

Yeah. So can you tell our Can you tell our listeners? What What's your website, your social channels where they can go and view more about the Charlie and follow you on social media? What What's your accounts?

Tara -Charlie Oven:

So our Instagram account is the main one we post to which is called at Charlie Charcoal Oven. Can you believe that there's somebody in the UK called Charlie oven. Actually an actual name by default, but you know, there are limits and then the website will call. Yeah. And then the websites Charlie oven.com. Really straightforward, no WW, or anything. And we are trying to add lots of recipes and a couple of blogs and keeping it fresh and keep it interesting. And Neil comes from an advertising background, and so does one of our other partners. And they're you know, we tried to make some nice video a lot of show and tell and just bring it to life because you know, it's so much fun.

Owen - Host:

Great. Well, it's been an absolute pleasure having you both on on on the podcast and learning more about Charlie oven. So that again, sorry,

Neil - Charlie Oven:

I said likewise, chaps is

Owen - Host:

it my sound cut out a little, a little bit there typical right at the end. We really hope to meet you again. We're going to smoke and fire festival one of them. We haven't decided which one will definitely be going to sisal fest again. We had we didn't go to me topia last year, although we're probably going to go this year. So I'm hoping we get to see you guys again.

Tara -Charlie Oven:

No, definitely. And we are definitely going to do and we we actually just this is the only thing that is actually been organized today, the smoke and fire festival. There's like a mini one that's going to happen in May at Ascot and we're going to go and then there's another one in July. I don't know if we're gonna do the other ones as well, because we are still the small company and you know, trying to figure out how do we how do we spread it all out and make her make it to as many things as possible. So with that one is is a definite and there's a whole bunch of other things that are all sort of bubbling away. early January. lots lots to work out. But I'm

Owen - Host:

excited. If you do end up doing your own events and stuff. Let us know. We do let us know. Yeah, we'd love to come down.

Tara -Charlie Oven:

No, so but yeah, no. Thank you very much for having us. I really enjoyed meeting you. In September last year. It was it was really good.

Owen - Host:

We're a little bit more sober this time. Probably more reserved.

Dan - Host:

Yes. Just like the fact we were the only people happy to stand in the rain. We're walking around,

Neil - Charlie Oven:

right? Yeah, well,

Dan - Host:

I'm Welsh that summer to me, you know.

Tara -Charlie Oven:

I'm not gonna say anything about the Irish but yeah.

Owen - Host:

Great. Well, thank you very much for coming on.

Neil - Charlie Oven:

Thank you. And it's a real pleasure. Thank you.

Tara -Charlie Oven:

Thanks for your time, guys. Thanks.

Owen - Host:

Bye bye. That's it for another episode of the meat & Greet BBQ podcast. It was great to have Tara and Neil on the show and talking about their British made barbecue. And if you haven't checked them out, go to their website. They really have some statement peace barbecues with their color range. We'd love to hear from you. As always, please do get in touch with us through our social media channels on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, at meat & Greet BBQ podcast through our website or through our email, meat & Greet BBQ podcast@gmail.com We want to know what you would like to hear on the show any questions that you have for us have for our guests, previous guests that we can follow up with you know this this show is about you know barbecue and what you're interested in. If you're watching this on YouTube, please like and subscribe. Also, as you heard, Tara and Neil are going to be cooking this bread so remember to follow us on Instagram at meat & Greet BBQ podcast and follow the hashtag BBQ bingo to find out what they cook from their barbecue bingo challenge. So until next time, keep on grilling

Dan - Host:

these episodes as a meat & Greet BBQ podcast is brought to you by iOS outdoor kit. Students they are the South's leading outdoor kitchen design and installation specialists

Tara Quick Profile Photo

Tara Quick

CEO and Co-founder

A foodie turned bbq charcoal, oven maker. After working in start-ups and building businesses for other people, Tara took the plunge into building her own business. It all started with a passion for food and a desire to make the perfect loaf of sourdough bread. Tara discovered charcoal ovens used in professional kitchens. These ovens were amazing, and the flavours you could achieve for all types of food was amazing. There was a but, and that was the way the looked. They weren't designed for home use. So Tara worked with a steel engineering firm she previously worked with to build a crisp factory, she began developing an oven that not only cooked amazing food in a way even the least experienced home cook could manage but looked like a beautiful garden design feature. The Charlie Oven was launched at Meatopia and Sizzlefest in September 2021. Tara works alongside two partners, Neil and Glenny, who come from an advertising background. Their job is to bring the brand to life while Tara focuses on building the business.

Charlie Oven comes in two grades, one for the home market and one for the commercial kitchen market. Both are engineered to last, made in Britain with premium steel and insulation.