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The Aussie BBQ: From Summertime Snags to Year-Round Haute-Cuisine

How the Aussie BBQ Came to Represent a Nation

 

Many countries claim to be the birthplace of the BBQ, but although the technique has been perfected in America for centuries, the strongest cultural connection undoubtedly remains the Aussie BBQ: when tourists think of Australia, they still picture the 80s image of Paul Hogan offering to throw “a shrimp on the barbie”.

 

The birth of the BBQ

Basic Neanderthal BBQs consisted of digging a hole, building a fire in the pit and roasting that day’s hunt over the flames; the slow-cooking process made even the toughest meats tender. BBQs as we know them today developed after the Second World War when families moved out to the ’burbs and found themselves with outdoor space to spare. From small flimsy grills, things vastly improved with mass-market home BBQs in the 1950s, boasting vents to control airflow and adjustable grills. And so started a sociable pastime where barbecuing meant both a style of cooking and a relaxed gathering of friends.


Old style bush BBQ we still use todayAussies will barbecue anywhere

 

It was a man’s world

Women traditionally did all the housework and cooking, but this new contraption was a macho piece of kit and definitely the man’s domain. Let’s be honest though, all blokes did was turn a few snags while holding a tinnie, meanwhile the sheilas prepared all the side dishes and brought the meat out for grilling. Although synonymous with a good arvo, barbies stagnated like this for decades and all you could expect was sanger sandwiches, chops or steaks, washed down with lashings of beer.

 

Any excuse

It might not have been the height of sophistication, but the humble barbie soon became a traditional way of celebrating most events from Australia Day to Christmas; communities adopted the phenomena as sausage sizzles were popularised for fundraisers; and local authorities jumped on the bandwagon by providing free BBQs for the public to use at parks, playgrounds, beaches and camp sites. With barbecuing officially embedded in the country’s culture, the last two decades have seen huge improvements to the experience.

 

Fuelling the fire

While wood is still considered by some as the purest energy source, the availability of charcoal made it an easy alternate until the carcinogenic scare slightly put people off. Initially dismissed as “cheating”, convenient and controllable gas BBQs have soared as the first fuel choice in recent years, while those with small or enclosed spaces favour electric options. The love of a barbie has also led to a wide range of portable options which can be taken camping, or attached to the caravan or boat.


Gas and Electric BBQsPortable BBQ with Rotisserie

 

It’s all changed

Recent BBQ developments include a lid, smoker grill, wood chip burner, solid plates and an add-on rotisserie. These fashionable features have helped BBQs evolve from standalone summertime gimmicks to must-have year-round cooking options. Menus are increasingly elaborate now, featuring exotic meats such as emu and kangaroo, and sheilas are even muscling in on the act.

 

Modern living

Today a garden without a BBQ is considered unfinished, while a home with a whole outdoor kitchen is highly desirable. BBQs have transformed into robust, multi-functioning pieces of kit and we offer the full range with all the optional extras in high grade stainless steel to give you a grilling machine to last. Better still, our BBQs are Australian designed, so you know you are getting the best!


Outdoor Kitchens and Pizza OvensZesti Wood Fired Pizza Oven on trolley

 

 
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