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Steven Lamb, founder tutor at River Cottage –
I really like the Tawi – it looks a bit industrial but I’m sure in terms of manufacturing it is easy to produce! The hardest thing I have found is managing the burn line. With a bit of practise but quite a lot of attention, making sure the sticks are burning evenly can be attained however it’s not that easy to physically see. I felt that most of my focus was on keeping the fire going well than actually cooking initially. Once the fire is going it really burns hard and fast and without the functionality to control the rate you really have to be prepared with the food and the extra bundle of twigs! That’s where I think the Tawi does come into its own because the range of different temperature plates helps slow down some of the process. I found the toasting grill the least effective in terms of cooking but really useful for holding and keeping the food from over cooking. The flue pot grate is good and sturdy – I’ve got the Tawi sat on top of my Esse garden Stove so it is safe and stable but quite a high cooking position. I cooked steak directly on the boiling plate as I would the hotplate on my cooker which produced a good steak but I’m not sure if that is normally recommended I fried, warmed, cooked direct and cooked low & slow and loved the different options. The surprising thing is how much space there is on a relatively small oven. It was easy to assemble and came nicely packaged. The amount of biochar has differed according to how dry my twigs are but they have all gone on the veg patch or food compost which is a big bonus. In short, I found the Tawi to not be immediately intuitive but I am more than happy to put that down to user error!! Subsequently, I have used it in conjunction with my Esse garden Stove and cooked for family and friends which works really well.
I intend to use the Tawi throughout the coming months and can clearly see the appeal particularly with all the news regarding fuel prices.
Steven Lamb, founder tutor at River Cottage