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Some Cheaper Ways To Dress Up Your Home

If you’re looking to dress up your home for the season, or to change things around to make sure there’s a breath of fresh air circling through your living space, let’s make sure you’re not spending too much money! You don’t want to be forking out hundreds for your living space, month after month, and it’s much more homely and personal to be a bit more DIY about things. 

So, without further ado, here are a few cheaper ways to dress up your home. Whether you’re on a budget or not, there are plenty of inspirational little tips out there that you should feel free to use within your home. 

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Blinds Instead of Curtains

If you fancy dressing up your windows a little, seeing as they’re huge focal points in any room, using a good pair of blinds instead of curtains will seriously change the perception of your space. And you can find all kinds of blinds on the market, in all materials and colors you could think of. 

Blinds make a space seem a little lighter and brighter, and a little more contemporary and professional, if you prefer the minimalist side of life. And blinds might seem a little pricey at first, but they’re much easier to clean them curtains are, and they last a lot longer. It’ll be a good investment for your interior design plans. 

Break Out Leftover Paint

If you have tins of wall paint left over in a cupboard or closet somewhere, bring them all out now and see if you can mix them together or come up with an ombre pattern that’d look good on one of your walls. You could easily make a feature wall for the living room like this, and at little cost to yourself; in fact, you’ll actually free up some space, and even use up leftover paint that would have otherwise gone to waste. 

If not, you could always use them to paint a mural – follow a painting tutorial to draw a nice nature scene on one of your bedroom or hallway walls, and add a little more life and personality to your living space! 

Move the Furniture Around

And if you don’t want to spend any money at all, and you’ve got a bit of time on your hands this weekend, why not just move the furniture in your house around? It might sound like something low effort and a little useless, but it can do wonders for the way you see your space, as well as revealing patches of carpet you haven’t seen since the 90s! 

Interior decorating seems to have a lot of rules and regulations to it, but there’s a lot of things you can do to quickly switch up your living space. You don’t have to fork out much cash here, and there’s always a weekend or two you could put to good use. Tidy house, tidy mind, and the more you appreciate your surroundings, the happier you’ll eventually feel! 

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How To Get Your Home Ready For Children

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When you have a child on the way, there are many things that you need to think about in order to make sure that you are going to be able to care for them as you would hope to. One of the main things that you need to focus on is ensuring that the home is truly ready to have children in it. If it is not, then you will struggle to properly care for your children in the way you should. So what are some of the things that you will ideally need to focus on here? Let’s take a look.

Childproofing

This is probably the first thing that you will think about, and it is certainly the most important. Childproofing is simply the word for ensuring that your home is actually safe for children to be in. There are so many potential dangers in the home which a parent needs to be aware of. Whether it’s sharp corners, bleach and other products in a low cupboard, or slippery surfaces, you need to somehow consider it all, and do your best to try and make it all as safe as possible. It can really help if you literally get on your hands and knees and consider the world from the child’s perspective, as that will enable you to see what potential dangers there are much more clearly.

Decluttering

As well as making it safe, you also need to keep the home as free of clutter as possible. This might also fall in line with the safety concern actually, but it is also its own thing to worry about. Too much clutter makes for a much more stressful home, and in particular as the parent you might find that it becomes much more of a challenge to look after your baby in such a condition. So you need to find some effective means of decluttering all parts of the home before you have your child. Even looking into things such as ‘5 Tips for Organizing Your Master Bedroom Closet’ will help you to create a much more conducive home. The less clutter there is, the better off you will be as a parent.

Decorating

Now on to one of the more enjoyable parts of the whole process – decorating the nursery ready for your baby’s arrival. This is something that many parents look forward to, and indeed it can be especially enjoyable and rewarding to decorate a room that you know your baby is going to sleep in. This is your chance to get a little creative, and to enjoy the process a little more, so it’s something that you will want to think about if you are to really feel that you are getting ready for your child. The happier you are with the decorating, the more likely it is that the home is going to be truly ready for your children.

As long as you have focused on these things, you will find that your home is going to be much more ready for your children.

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Adding Value To Your Home Before Selling Up

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If you are planning on moving home at any point in the near future you will need to know that you are going to get the most money possible for your existing property. There are a number of different things that can affect the value of your home as well as the amount of equity that you can hope to achieve when it comes to selling up. The way that the property market was behaving when you bought your home, and the way that it is now, will be major contributing factors on whether you will have managed to gain a rise in the value of your home. If you bought during a price peak, you may, unfortunately, find yourself in negative equity. 

Whether you are concerned about losing money, or if you would just like to maximize the return that you get from selling up; there are many things that you can do to add substantial value to your property and you may want to try to add curb appeal to your home with these tips and tricks.

Working Out The Areas Of Your Home To Work On

When it comes to adding value to your property, you need to look at the ways that you can increase the potential sale price by putting in the least amount of investment and effort. There are many smaller things that you can do around the house quite cheaply, such as decorating. These may give a better finish and help your asking price. 

Bigger jobs such as converting your attic should not be out of the question. However, you do need to know that you will be guaranteed to add a substantial percentage increase on the value of the property if you are to go ahead and get this work done. 

Speak with an estate agent and get valuations of your property in its current state, along with estimations based on any improvements. 

Finding A Contractor

Getting the work that you need doing carried out by a professional is important as it will ensure that you end up with a high-quality finish. Your home is more likely to sell for the price that you want if the work has been carried out to a high standard. 

Read 6 valuable tips for choosing the best roofing company and learn about the best ways to get a contractor that you can trust and who will provide a good service at a reasonable cost. 

Ask around for tips on who to use. A firm of contractors who come highly recommended by someone that you know and trust will save you from lots of worries when it comes to them carrying out the work. 

You will need to fully agree on the job that is being carried out and what exactly it entails. Make sure that your contractors are in full understanding of your wishes, and you listen to their professional opinions if they need to alter the plans in any way.

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Creating a Perfect Living Space in Your Yard

When it comes to our homes, we tend to focus on what’s going on inside. We take the time to ensure that the space is well designed, well decorated, spacious, and an all-around comfortable living space. However, it’s important to remember that there’s more to your property than the interior. If you’re lucky enough to have an outside area, then you have the potential to have another living area, one that’s unlike anywhere else in your home. Below, we take a look at a few ways for creating a perfect living space in your outdoor area. 

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Getting It Into Shape

The fun parts of designing a living space in your yard will come later. The first step will be to get your yard into shape. This isn’t a particularly complicated task, but it can be time-consuming and hard work. It’ll involve clearing away any old debris if your yard hasn’t been touched in a few years, and cutting the grass. While the aesthetic quality of your yard isn’t the most important aspect of this project, you’ll want to have some easy to care for plants there. They’ll make things all the more enjoyable.

Add Decking and Furniture

You couldn’t have a living room without comfortable seating. The same principle can be applied to your yard. Your yard’s decking and furniture are going to make the space, so take the time to get it right. You’ll want to work with a professional when it comes to installing the deck. Hiring a company that specializes in deck coating and proofing will also help to keep your decking in tip-top condition for many years. It’s best to have a variety of seating options so that there’s something for all occasions. These could involve tables and chairs, reclining sun loungers, and side tables. 

Bring the Fun

Once you’ve got your furniture sorted you’ll be able to relax. But what about when it comes to having fun? Unwinding is perfect for those lazy summer afternoons, but what about when you want to have a special day as a family? Then, it’s all about the additions that can make the day extra special. If you have a BBQ, sound system, and some toys for the little ones, then you can enjoy the summer months to the max. 

Year-Round Enjoyment 

You’ll find that once you have your yard set up, you’ll want to be out there as often as possible. Alas, the weather may not play ball. As such, it’s recommended that you add the infrastructure that’ll allow you to enjoy your yard space all year round. A cover to protect you from the rain and heavy sunshine is a good idea, as is having a fire pit for those chilly nights. 

Private Spaces

Finally, don’t forget to make your yard private! Your enjoyment will be compromised if you believe that someone can see into your yard, even if they’re not. Adding a fence or hedge, and planting trees can all help to fill out the space and offer a level of privacy.

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Benefits of Strength-Training

It’s recommended that we do two strength-training sessions every week, as well as at least three thirty-minute or more cardio workouts. But, many of us, especially women, neglect strength work altogether. You might think that if you want to lose weight, you should focus on burning more calories from cardio. Or, that cardio is more effective if you want to improve your health and increase your stamina. Many women worry that if they weight lift, they’ll develop a manly body.

But, none of this is true. Women are unlikely to develop a more manly body and generally become toned and muscular in a way that suits a feminine figure and strength work is vital to any fitness goals. 

Strength training doesn’t have to mean hitting the weights either. As well as weight lifting, workouts like yoga and Pilates focus on strength and toning. Check out Club4Fitness for some other strength workout ideas. Here’s a look at just some of the benefits of strength training, if you need more convincing. 

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You’ll Be Stronger

The most obvious benefit of strength training, whether it’s weight lifting or other strength work, is that it will make you stronger. Your muscles will be firmer and more toned, your body will look leaner, and you’ll find it much easier to lift heavy loads. 

Strength Training Can Make It Easier to Lose Weight

People that lift weights and practice other forms of strength training often find that it is easier to lose weight, or to maintain a healthy weight. Aerobic exercises like running, burn more calories and help us to lose weight. But, strength training increases our resting metabolism. This means that even hours (and in some cases days) after your workout, your body continues to burn more calories. For the best results, team strength and cardio.

A Stronger Body Is Less Likely to Get Injured

Increased muscle mass and a stronger body is a healthier body. You are less likely to become injured when running, or taking part in other exercises, and you may even find that your immune system works better. 

Your Cardio Performance Will Improve

Say you are a swimmer. Practicing swimming will improve your times and performance. But, strength training, such as lifting weights in the gym, will mean that your body can perform better. As a swimmer, you might focus on building shoulder muscles and core strength. 

Strength Training Can be a Great Confidence Boost

One of the best things about strength work is that there are quick and clear results. You can see what you are lifting. You don’t need to wait for times. These measurable results can be a significant confidence boost. 

Focus on Strength for Improved Posture

Increased core strength is one of the best ways to improve your posture, which also improves back health. A strong body stands straighter and taller and is less likely to slouch. 

It Could Boost Your Energy Levels

Strength work can be a great wake up. It releases endorphins and adrenaline quickly and wakes your muscles effectively. Practice strength training first thing in the morning and your energy levels might stay high all day.

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Impressive Health Hacks for 2019


It is so important in 2019 to look after your health and well-being. And the good news is that more people than ever are focused on trying to improve their health at the moment. You need to look after yourself, and this can lead to more opportunities in life, as well as helping to make you a happier person. Think about the best health hacks you can use to keep you in good shape this year.
 

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If you are serious about doing as much as you can to improve your health, you need to have some idea of what this entails. The best way of doing this is to have some sort of system or structure in place to help you. There are plenty of excellent ideas that will help you here, and these are some of the key health hacks you can use to improve things this year. 

Keep Active

Make sure you do as much as you can to keep fit and active, as this is going to help you go a long way toward boosting your health. You can exercise in many different ways in 2019, and it is important to make sure you are looking at how best to improve your fitness. This is something that you should be working on as much as possible. You can even download fitness apps for your phone to help you stay in shape these days, and this is important.

Look After Your Mental Health

Improving your mental health is really important in 2019, and something that too many people ignore. Making sure you have a strong and positive mental health outlook is so important for a positive way of life. So, you need to address the fact that you might be dealing with mental health problems, and it is important that you talk about how you feel moving forward. You need to address and confront any problems you might have with your mental health, and take steps to deal with them right now.  

Self-Care

Self-care is so important, and this needs to be a big part of your focus in 2019. Self-care can involve anything from looking after your mental health to taking care of your body physically. You have to give yourself a break now and again and take time to relax and unwind. You should also focus on things like sober living and a healthy lifestyle as much as you can. If you get this right, you are going to benefit from it significantly moving forward. 

Eat Better

Eating better is another factor you have to bear in mind, and there are a lot of things that can play a role in this moving forward. You need to make sure you are doing as much as possible to have a balanced and healthy diet, and this is something you can achieve by planning your meals out more effectively. If you can eat better, you are going to be well on your way to enjoying a healthier lifestyle as a result. 

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As you might imagine, there are a lot of things that are going to help you improve things moving forward. You need to be aware of the different ideas that you can use to improve health and fitness and help to keep you moving in the right direction. Make sure you do as much as possible to factor in these health hacks and try to use them to your advantage as much as possible.

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Giving Your Home That Added Curb Appeal With These Tips And Tricks

We are supposed to get all of those emotions when we see a potential new home. The thoughts of us living there, our cars outside or on the driveway. The emotions are supposed to excite. But in the same breath, we can also feel dislike and disappointment with a potential property. The same can be said for when you have purchased the property and lived in it for some time. To often the novelty can wear off when it comes to maintaining your home, and instead of pulling up on the drive feeling happy and excited, you turn up to your home thinking it looks a mess and things need to be done. Whether you are living in your hope for the foreseeable, or looking to sell your home, it’s so important to make those first impressions count. With that in mind, I thought it would be a great time to discuss some of the ways you can improve your curb appeal. 

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Tidy up any debris and take on the big chores

One of the first things that you could start to do is to think about tidying up the debris and taking on some of the big chores that need to be done. At this time of year especially, there are fallen leaves and debris, and so you may want to clear all of that away from paths, driveways and flowerbeds. This can make a big difference in itself as the gathered leaves can make an exterior look messy and unloved. You could also use the opportunity to clear out any drains and gutters. This ensures that they can work properly, as the weather is likely to get more wet and irritable as the winter carries on. 

The windows and doors are huge features of the exterior 

    

Another big feature of the exterior of your home is the windows, doors and also any garage and outbuilding doors that you have on show. This takes up a big element of your property, so if they look altered, old and in need of repair, then this can seriously let your home down when it comes to curb appeal. It may be time to start thinking about making some changes and replacing them. You could even look at a Renewal by Andersen Window Replacement to see if there is anyway you can make a big investment and take on the job now instead of waiting. During the winter, new windows and doors can also help to save on your energy bills, as your heating is less likely to escape through windows or draft points. 

What about the lawns?

It’s important that you take care of any exterior lawn you have, not only on the front but at the back as well. After all, any potential buyer is going to be checking out all of the outside space. Keeping a lawn maintained isn’t one of the easiest tasks you have to do, but it can make a real impact if you happen to have a wonderfully green lawn that is well maintained. So it may be worth your time to ensure that you cut the grass regularly and apply feed to give it some extra nutrients. This can really help with the condition of your lawn. However, none of that is going to work unless your lawn is watered regularly. 

How about adding some color?

Now that you have cleared everything away, taken care of the exterior and looked after your lawns, it’s time to dress the exterior of your home with a bit of color. Flowers and shrubbery are a great way to do this. If you have the space, why not add a flower bed in line with your lawn. You can plant some amazing little flowers that could give the exterior home that curb appeal you are looking for. Other things to consider would be points lined up outside your home filled with beautiful plants, or baskets that hang down filled with cute flowers and leaves. All of which can just give the exterior of your home that extra wow factor. 

Give your home that white picket fence feel

Finally, many people like the idea of the white picket fence border of your home. But while that isn’t always possible, why not consider adding a fence or border to your home. It separates your home from the rest of the properties on the street. It could just finish the whole look off. 

Let’s hope this has provided you with some inspiration to improve your homes curb appeal.

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Strike Back Against Back Pain

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You shouldn’t have to grin and bear back pain. While it’s not always curable, there are many ways in which you can relieve back pain to make it more tolerable. Here are just several ways to strike back against back pain.  

Talk to a doctor

Some people never see a doctor about their back pain. It’s possible that you may be able to get treatment if your back pain is severe enough. This could include prescription medication or even surgery. There may be specialist doctors that you can see such as a worker’s compensation doctor for a work-related back injury in order to explore broader options. On top of seeing a doctor, it could be worth talking to a chiropractor or physical therapist, depending on the nature of the injury.

Stay active

Back pain can make many people want to do nothing but laze around all day. However, lack of physical activity could be making your back pain worse by causing muscles and joints to seize up. While certain exercises involving jumping, running and sharp movements may aggravate back pain, low-impact exercises like walking, yoga and swimming could be beneficial. On top of preventing stiffness of muscles and joints, exercise may also help to provide an endorphin rush that helps to numb pain.

Upgrade your mattress

Regular mattresses can sometimes be too soft for sufferers of back pain, failing to offer the support needed and making back pain worse. This could lead to lack of sleep, which in turn could intensify the pain further. Switching to a firm mattress could be worthwhile. You could even try an orthopaedic mattress designed for sleepers who have a bad back.

Have regular hot baths

Hot baths can be a natural forms of pain relief. The hot water helps to relax muscles and release endorphins to numb pain. Some people find that Epsom salts can further improve pain relief.

Destress

When we’re stressed, we release a hormone called cortisol which can increase our sensitivity to pain. If you live a stressful life, try to find time each day to unwind so that you flush out this cortisol. Activities such as listening to music, meditating and laughing (as well as previously mentioned activities such as exercises and hot baths) are all great stress-busters.

Try herbal pain relief

Herbal pain relief could be useful when you fancy a break from over-the-counter painkillers – or you could use it as a supplement if your meds aren’t fully effective. Turmeric, devil’s claw and willow bark are a few commonly used herbal remedies for back pain.

Book a massage

Massages can help to relax muscles and free up trapped nerves. They can be a great form of pain relief for when you have a bad back. A professional massage therapist will be able to focus a massage around your pain.

Try acupuncture

Acupuncture is a holistic form of therapy that many people find to be an effective form of pain relief. It involves using tiny needles to target specific pressure points and nerves. Acupuncture should only ever be carried out by a professional.

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Hearing Loss: Myths & Misconceptions

Hearing loss is incredibly common, with the condition affecting around 50 million Americans. However, while very well-known, loss of this sense is also subject to a number of myths and misconceptions, as we have discussed in more depth below. 

MYTH: Hearing loss only affects those over a certain age. 

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Hearing loss is definitely connected to age; the older a person is, the more likely it is that they will develop the condition. However, hearing loss can develop for a variety of different reasons, such as ototoxic medication, fluid buildup in the ear, or chronic exposure to sound over 85 decibels in volume – all of which can affect people of any age. 

MYTH: Hearing loss only affects the ears 

Hearing loss can sometimes be seen as a problem, yes, but not a particularly significant health issue – not ideal, but not worrisome either. However, hearing loss is actually connected with a number of different health conditions, including a higher rate of falls as well as cognitive decline, depression, and paranoia. As a result, it should be seen as a serious, wide-ranging condition that should always be treated as soon as possible. 

MYTH: People directly notice if they develop hearing loss 

Hearing is such a crucial sense that it is often assumed it would be obvious if it was reduced, but this isn’t actually the case. Hearing loss tends to occur very gradually, which can result in the brain essentially adapting to the loss of sound – which means that it’s not always possible to directly ‘notice’ the condition for many years. Regular hearing screening is recommended, especially for those over the age of 60, to help make sure that hearing loss is diagnosed as soon as it becomes apparent.

MYTH: Hearing aids are prohibitively expensive

Hearing aids are by far the most common treatment choice for hearing loss, but unfortunately, hearing aids have a reputation for being rather expensive. However, while this conventionally may have once been true, there are now options that can make the costs far more manageable; you can get more details here about the different options that can help reduce the costs associated with these crucial devices. 

MYTH: Hearing aids are very obvious in the ear

While the early hearing aids were rather obvious when worn, the current generation of hearing aids are anything but. Modern devices have benefited from years of technological improvements, research, and development, which has led to models that are almost invisible while being worn.

MYTH: You do not need a hearing aid if you only have mild hearing loss 

Hearing loss is hearing loss, which means it should always be treated, even if the degree of loss is rather mild. It’s also worth mentioning that while hearing aids cannot outright prevent further hearing loss, they can slow the progression, so treating even mild hearing loss is absolutely essential. 

MYTH: Treating hearing loss just involves amplification

Often, people with hearing loss can hear sound fairly well – it’s the clarity of sound that is lost, with sounds appearing to be muffled or distorted. As a result, amplification alone is not a sufficient treatment for hearing loss. What’s more, simply seeking greater amplification (for example, by turning the TV volume up) could actually exacerbate the issue and cause further damage to hearing. 

MYTH: Hearing loss and tinnitus are unrelated 

Hearing loss and tinnitus (where people “hear” sounds such as ringing or buzzing, but no such sound actually exists in the physical world) are often talked about as though they are two distinct conditions – which is true, to an extent. While each condition can occur individually, up to 90% of people who develop tinnitus also have hearing loss – so a hearing test is often the first diagnostic step for anyone who develops tinnitus symptoms.

MYTH: Hearing loss is always permanent 

Sensorineural hearing loss, which includes age-related hearing loss, does tend to be permanent – but conductive hearing loss can sometimes be resolved. With conductive hearing loss, the inner ear is able to ‘hear’ as standard, but sound waves are being prevented from reaching the ear due to an obstruction (usually) in the middle ear – such as fluid or earwax buildup, or a tumor. Sometimes, removing the obstruction can result in hearing capabilities being restored. 

MYTH: Only extremely loud noise can cause hearing loss

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When people think about potentially harmful sound, they think of extremely loud noise; like the sound of a rock concert or an aircraft taking off. However, a surprising number of standard, everyday sounds also cross the ‘safe’ threshold of 85 decibels. Using a lawn mower or leaf blower, the noise of heavy traffic, and even the sounds of a busy office can all be potentially harmful to hearing, for example. As a result, hearing protection – such as ear plugs or ear muffs – should ideally be used more frequently than most people expect.

Final thoughts 

We hope the above has helped to overcome some of the myths that surround the topic of hearing loss.

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These Are The Grilling Tips You Need To Know

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If you are new to using a grill, there are a lot of different things you will want to think about. Grilling food is always fun and often you’ll be able to gain some unique flavours that you couldn’t attain with other cooking methods. Today we are going to take a look and share some handy grilling tips you should know as a beginner.

 

Manage the heat

 

When grilling food for the first time, by far one of the hardest things to manage is heat. Fire can be unpredictable at time and it is important to use helpful techniques for efficient cooking. Whether you use a lighter or a looftligther (read this looftlighter review) for your grill, controlling cooking temperature is key to great food. Always preheat the grill for at least 10 minutes before cooking to gain an even heat, and only use high heat for searing. When cooking food that is thicker than an inch, close the lid of the grill to allow the inside to cook evenly.

 

Browning

 

The classic sign of a great grilled food is the sear lines that show. These sear lines are characteristic of the grill and they add a wonderful characterised flavour to the dish. To achieve the perfect brown and sear you can add oil or flour to the surface of your meat. Make sure to cook on medium to high heat so that the outside doesn’t totally burn while the inside cooks. Always give food ample space on the grill for cooking.

 

Smoking

 

If you are looking to smoke some meat on your grill, you will need to buy yourself some hardwood pellets. This will give any food cooked on the grill a smoky, woody flavour. You can either sprinkle hardwood pellets directly onto the grill box, or place some in tin foil, wrap the tin foil around, and add a few air holes for smoke to escape. When smoking food always leave the lid on so that the meat takes on that rich flavour.

 

Temperature essentials

 

If you want to ensure that every piece of meat you cook on the grill is perfect, it is important to think about the internal temperature. Here is a list of the temperatures you should look for when cooking different meats.

 

Fish  –  62.8°C (145° F)

Ground meat  –  71°C (160° F)

Poultry  – 74°C (165° F)

Beef Temperatures:

Rare –  49-59°C (120-130° F)

Medium-rare – 59-64°C (130-135° F)

Medium –  64-74 °C (135-145° F)

Medium-well  – 74-84°C  (145-155° F)

Well-done – 84°C  (155° F)

 

 

Cleaning

 

The most important thing to make sure of when using a grill is that you clean it properly afterwards. A grill is a device that will be stored outside, and it will come into contact with a lot of meat and other foods. To ensure that your grill can be used for years to come you need to clean it right. Always clean before you cook with a lightly soapy grill brush. After cooking, clean thoroughly with a brush and also think about placing a sprig of rosemary in the grill to make it smell great as it cools.