With outdoor gatherings more prevalent than ever, there’s no better time to embrace your inner pitmaster by throwing a good ol’ fashioned Aussie BBQ for your mates. Whether it’s on an apartment balcony, by the backyard pool, or in the park, a BBQ is the perfect setting to take in the warmer weather with some good company, vibin’ tunes, and a mouth-watering feed.
It may look laidback at times, but there’s more to BBQing than haphazardly slapping meat on a hotplate. It won’t take much for your MasterChef aspirations to go up in smoke – literally. So, with that in mind, we’ve cooked up this go-to guide to add some sauce to your BBQ chops.
Weapon of Choice
Choosing a BBQ can be an intimidating task, with options ranging from $100 all the way up to $10,000. That said, for most recreational users, you’ll be able to grab a killer set-up for under $1500, with various portable options coming in under the $500 mark.
Budget aside, the other important thing you’ll want to consider is how many people you’ll be cooking for – and where. If portability and ease-of-use is what you’re after, then a two-burner BBQ will be perfect for cooking up a storm for anywhere between two to 10 people. Most portable two-burners (think Weber or Ziggy) are also light enough to transport to just about any outdoor setting, making them the most convenient choice – especially if you’re not looking to break the bank.
That said, if you really want to flex your grill mastery, it’s worth considering a four-burner set-up. These offer increased cooking space, more versatility, and often improved tech. Not only will the extra burners allow you to cater for a serious crowd, the added space also means you can cook up Insta-worthy roasts and pizzas at your next gathering.
Additionally, be sure to consider the type of fuel your BBQ will be running on. For convenience, it’s hard to go past electric, LPG or natural gas. However, if you really want to take your guests to Flavour Town, charcoal can provide that extra special touch.
More Than Meats the Eye
We all love a tasty snag and a juicy burger, but adding a few different options to your menu can be the difference between a good BBQ and a truly next-level one.
When it comes to steaks, you might opt for the affordable rump when you’ve got a big crowd. It’s not quite as tender, but it still packs plenty of flavour, especially if you have time to give ‘em a little marinade beforehand – a quick mix of balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, mustard, and garlic works a treat! Other bone-in cuts such as ribeye and T-bone can be a great option when high-heat is involved.
For chicken, make sure you stick with pieces that are easy to eat with hands, such as drumsticks, wings and thighs. Same goes for fish, with swordfish and skin-on snapper ideal for grilling, as they won’t fall apart due to high heat. For both chicken and fish, you may benefit from cooking them on the cooler parts of your hotplate. The lower heat will ensure they cook through more thoroughly, because you never want to take the char too far!
Of course, a truly memorable BBQ wouldn’t be complete without quality vegetarian options and some tasty side salads. Be sure to find yourself some quality veggie patties, while grilled vegetables are also an all-round crowd pleaser. There are plenty of choices here, with mushrooms, buttered corn, veggie skewers, and haloumi among the popular selections. On the salad side, whipping up a quick green salad and taking it to another level with a falafel, feta and rice salad, will have your guests wanting more!
At the end of the day, remember to plan your menu ahead. While we all want to channel our inner Gordon Ramsay, adding too much to your plate could have you looking more like an ‘idiot sandwich’. Creating a fresh and easy menu will ensure you stay stress-free behind the grill, which gives you more time with your crew. After all, that’s what summer is all about!
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