Traeger takes Europe
We’ve had boatloads of orders from our European Traeger dealers, so we sent Chef Marco over to teach Norwegian Traeger dealers and aspiring chefs at the largest culinary school in Norway about the 6-in-1 versatility of cooking with wood.
The barbecue scene in Norway is huge, they grill year-round, especially during peak summer months when there are 24 hours of sunlight, everyone is outside. People barbecue by the lakes, BBQ on their boats, and participate in BBQ competitions hosted by The BBQ Shop outside Oslo.
The BBQ Shop is the flagship Traeger dealer in Norway, they gave us a warm welcome and are wonderful to work with. The Traeger display is off the charts amazing and the new Pro 2016 Series grills were front-and-center. They have a large demo kitchen for teaching classes, and Chef Marco did just that.
These two ladies, Lene and Anne are amazing—they had both worked for a competitor for nearly 20 years and then they tasted the Traeger difference at The BBQ Shop and were hooked. Now, they are the biggest proponents of cooking with wood in Norway. They helped gather thirty people from sixteen outdoor BBQ dealers from all over Norway to come learn from Chef Marco at a Traeger workshop.
Marco showed them how to build a Traeger, to burn it in, and to maintenance it. He loaded 6 grills, each with different pellet flavors, then demonstrated how to spatchcock a chicken. Everyone spatchcocked and cooked their birds so that they could taste how each hardwood pellet flavor enhances the meat differently.
Tip: How to burn a Traeger grill in. Fill the hopper with pellets, set the temperature to High and wait for the pellets to fill the auger and smoke to come out of the chimney. Then, set the temperature to Smoke, close the lid and leave the grill on High for 45 minutes. Turn the grill to the Shut Down mode and wipe down the inside of the grill and grates. You only have to do this when the grill is new, never again.
As Marco’s dealer class was cooking up a storm, delicious aromas sailed out the front door and 6 people stopped in to see if the smell was from a restaurant. Marco and the dealers had the opportunity to share their culinary creations and to demo the Traeger grills, which resulted in 6 new sales. The BBQ shop in Norway is awaiting their crates of Traegers, over 1000 grills are headed their way and they are all pre-sold. Pellet grilling makes sense to Norwegians, a vast majority of homes are heated by pellet fuel and cooking with pellets is an easy transition.
The Vestby Videregående Skole is the largest and most prestigious culinary school in Norway, students come from all over Norway and Europe to attend. The lead professor and head chef, Espen Thorgeresen saw a few Traeger videos on YouTube and loved the simplicity and versatility and sought out a Traeger grill to instill in the school’s curriculum. Chef Marco was a perfect fit to teach the students about culinary cooking on a Traeger.
Hunting is huge in Scandinavia, yet BBQ is a bit of a foreign language. They eat what they hunt; moose, wild duck, bear, deer, goose, sea trout, and they raise their own chickens for eggs. The students spent over 5 hours in the kitchen, Marco had them pull everything from the refrigerators to start cooking on the Traeger and they enjoyed getting their chef coats dirty.
The Executive Chef showed how to remove filets and Marco showed them how to clean fish and plate meals to make them look amazing like only a trained culinary chef can. They made Duck Confit with Potatoes and took the fat renderings from the duck and fried the potatoes in them, Smoked Duck, and White Fish poached in Traeger smoked liquid.
Tip: How to cook on a Traeger indoors. All you need is a commercial hood with proper ventilation to cook on your Traeger indoors.
The school has a smoker outside that they built and they currently smoke 200 pounds of fish a year. They have more Traeger pellet grills on order and they are building a smokehouse next to the kitchen for the Traeger room. They students use the Traeger grill to cook for the school’s public restaurant and they train on the highest quality equipment on the market so that when they are launched into a restaurant, they have the knowledge to use anything the kitchen may be equipped with. We are so thankful to have been invited to teach and it was truly a great experience to share cultures and food with the students of Norway.