How to Aussie BBQ like a pro

A barbecue, barbeque or BBQ is a quintessential part of Australian culture. It’s not uncommon to see thousands lining the banks of the Yarra River throughout Melbourne’s summer, grilling, frying or roasting an assortment of meats and vegetables, enjoying the company of friends and family and playing music or cricket, all while enjoying a few cold drinks.

The BBQ itself though appears to have its origins in Central America. It was not until 1903 where the first use of the term was mentioned at the Waverley Bowls Club’s Leg o’ Mutton Barbecue. In the 1970s, public park BBQs rose to prominence throughout Australia and have become part of the very fabric of Australian culture.

Australia’s BBQ culture can be a little overwhelming to the uninitiated, but in actual fact a BBQ is a fun and enjoyable part of living here. Here’s seven tips to make the most of your BBQ experience this Australian summer.

Know the lingo

Aussies are known to use a lot of slang when they speak; an Aussie BBQ is no exception. Here’s a few examples of some common phrases used at a BBQ:

Barbie means BBQ.

Stubbie or tinny means a can of beer.

Throw snags on a barbie means cook sausages on a BBQ.

Spuds means potatoes

Dead horse is rhyming slang, which means tomato sauce.

Marinate ahead of time – Marinate your meat overnight for optimum flavour, but remember to drain the excess before cooking.

Be patient

One of the most important rules of an Aussie BBQ is to never undercook your meats. Make sure the grill is hot before you begin, it’s better to have your meat a little overcooked than not cooked at all!

Pick a good location

At a house, local park or the beach are all ideal places to have a BBQ. There are many free BBQs, which are available for public use.

Slip slop slap

As temperatures sizzle this summer, be sure to put on your sunscreen and wear a hat while you’re having your BBQ. This is a great way to avoid the painful sunburn you can experience the next day. You don’t want to end up gosong like your sausages.

Watch out for fire bans

All BBQs which use solid fuel such as wood, or charcoal are banned on days of total fire ban. This includes closed oven or kettle-type appliances. Some electric barbecues may still be accessible, if you’re not sure follow the instructions of your local fire authorities.

“Bring a plate”

If someone invites you along to a BBQ and they say, “bring a plate”, they don’t mean an empty plate, they mean bring a plate of food. Check what they would like you to bring e.g. a salad or dessert. Something from your own culture might go down well. Most importantly, relax and enjoy yourself, BBQs are a fun activity for the entire family!

Are you planning to enjoy an Aussie BBQ this summer? Send us photos with your family and friends ([email protected]) to post in next month’s edition of OZIP magazine!

Text and photos: Tim Flicker


Text and photos: Tim Flicker