The Australian BBQ is a huge tradition in our culture, we love them. We look forward to our weekend breaks and the great Aussie barbie is such a part of our leisure time.
We invite friends and family to our homes or we go to theirs and we share some chops, steaks or sausages over a beer, wine or a champagne every chance we get.
This way of eating for us dates back to early white settlement as our weather definitely lends itself to outside eating.
Our indigenous people have always cooked their food outside and that method has evolved to what it is today.
We certainly don't proclaim to be the only nation on earth to BBQ their meat or to be the first but we have made it a national past time and, of course, one of the biggest Australian advertising campaigns that became very successful and famous throughout the world was when Paul Hogan invited people to come on down and he would throw another shrimp on the Barbie.
It was a great campaign and I found it really good but funny because in Australia shrimps are called prawns, which really made the whole campaign a bit of a raw prawn deal!!! (if you understand that comment you are either Aussie or, at least, understand our slang a bit, if not you can come on down and get to know it)
Most Australian households have a BBQ of some sort, from the simple wood operated or gas type to the huge, top of the range outside oven styles like my husband and I have, and most new houses built these days include an outdoor area where the Australia BBQ has pride of place.
In our house we cook all of our meat, including our Christmas Turkey, on the Weber and never use our oven for any meat cooking.
We have portable BBQ's which we pack in the boot of our cars along with our picnic goodies and head out for a day or a weekend adventure.
Most of our public parks have BBQ facilities and a large majority of family picnics and outings include an Australian BBQ. Of course during our summer periods we are conscious of our bush fire warnings so most parks have the gas style barbies.
Australian BBQ habits can be pretty simple; we're happy to slap a bit of meat between two pieces of bread add a big dob of tomato sauce and eat it while we're throwing down a beer or a wine or if the barbie we're having on a partcular day involves preparing lots of salads, potato bake, fried onions and other dishes as well we're equally happy about that.
We can go the whole way with an Australian BBQ and throw on a gourmet meal with all the trimmings or just have a few chops and snags (sausages) with bread, whatever's happening on the day we'll go along and the same with the meat, it can be a bit charred, or a bit under-cooked depending on your preference. Throw in some beers and wines and enjoy the day with your mates.
A sausage sizzle is another great Aussie thing to do and is also a great fundraiser for local kids clubs and charities, quite often when you head out on Saturday or Sunday mornings to shop or pick something up from the hardware store there will be a group of dedicated people cooking and delivering delicious morsels to the shoppers and raising money for good causes.
We are always happy to put our hand in our pocket for worthy causes and the sausage sizzle is a great way for these worthy organisations to put some well needed funds into their coffers.
We are indeed lucky people and have a whole range of lovely cuts of meat to throw on the Australian BBQ.
Our range of meat eaten is quite large and varied but the main types are Lamb, Beef, Pork, Chicken, Emu and Kangaroo. Yes we eat our Coat of Arms!!
Australia is one of the largest exporter of red meat; over 100 countries worldwide are eating some of our finest cuts. Meat export means huge revenue for our country and we are proud to produce such fine quality food for the world to enjoy.
Having grown up in outback Australia I am a big eater of meat and remembering back to my childhood there were times when steak and eggs along with our favourite breakfast cereals were the main stay in our family diet. Fresh vegetables were never plentiful and tinned ones were the normal, along with Sunshine powdered milk to pour over the brekky cereals!
Some of my favourite cuts of meat to throw on our Aussie barbie or just cook in the Weber are:
Now our sausages are in a league of their own and, let's face it there is nothing like a snag on an Australian BBQ, in fact we have many awards going, both state and nation wide, for the best snag around.
So when you're talking sausages we have some excellent ones that are filled with all sorts of goodies; some gourmet and quite healthy ones and some not so healthy, I guess you get what you pay for.
As mentioned, we eat kangaroo and emu; roo meat is extremely lean and healthy and very good for you as it has little or no fat content. Emu meat is also a very healthy meat and low in fat content so both our native animals are healthy alternatives to other higher fat content meats. I personally don't really enjoy such dark red meat so I don't eat it now.
The really fantastic thing about our Australian BBQ habits is the meeting, greeting and partying with our mates and family over the good old Aussie barbie and whatever comes along with it.
It's the mateship and the sharing of good food and good times that is the priceless part of our Aussie lifestyle and what we all enjoy.
So throw something on the barbie and join us!