The beautiful climate and one-of-a-kind landscape of our sunburnt country is what makes it so unique. And what a better way to celebrate Australia Day than with your family and friends in the great outdoors? An Australia Day barbeque is an ideal way to experience the best of the summer climate, complete with the smell of a sizzling barbecue and surrounded by your favourite people. This year, why not step up the tradition with more than the standard slab and snags affair? With the right food, company and setting, along with our guide to Australia Day fun, you can make January 26 – the anniversary of the first fleet landing – memorable for all the right reasons.
Bring on the new barbecue
What better excuse to upgrade your barbecue than hosting an Australia Day get-together?
There are a few things to consider if you need to get a new barbecue. The main factors include its location, construction, the type of heat source, and the foods you are planning to cook.
Measure it up
The size and space of your outdoor setting will have a big impact on the size and type of barbecue you’re after – whether it’s a mini-cue, weber or four or six burner. It’s a good idea to measure your existing barbecue, and the space it occupies, before going out to make a purchase. If you’re looking for a portable option, to take along to a holiday house or camping trip, it’s necessary to measure your car boot as well!
For those who live near the coast, it’s best to opt for a barbecue made from rust-resistant materials such as stainless steel.
How hot do you like it?
Prepare yourself, for you’re about to enter into the great barbeque debate: do you want to buy a charcoal, gas or electric barbecue? Gas barbecues are easily the most popular, as they heat up quickly and can be easily maintained. Charcoal barbecues can serve up food that tastes amazing, but they can take up to three times longer than to heat up compared to their gas counterparts. Finally, electric barbecues are the latest contenders in the barbecue game, and they’re becoming increasingly common since they are so easy to use and transport. They may be convenient, but do they meet the taste test?
When choosing between the three options, you need to consider cleaning requirements, time for heating and the type of food you’re looking to cook. If you want to make your own smoked ribs to feed a large group of people who are happy to sit outside around the coals all day, then a charcoal barbecue will give you unmatched flavour at a leisurely pace. Alternatively, if you’re in favour of a quick sear and ready-to-eat meal, a small gas barbie should do the trick.
There are so many makes and models on the barbecue market out there, it’s no easy feat to find the best one for you. But when you do, you’ll wonder how you ever got along without it! In both summer and winter time, getting out of the house and cooking outside can be a real joy, especially while entertaining.
Have your menu sorted
There’s a great possibility that your Australia Day party will last the entire day, so it’s important to ensure there are enough snacks available to keep stomachs quiet until the barbeque has worked its magic.
To make sure everyone enjoys themselves and no one feels uncomfortable, it’s a good idea to have an inclusive menu that caters to several different dietary requirements. A large variety of salads, breads and dips, as well as a selection of meat and seafood for the barbecue, can usually keep everyone happy. Remember, a plentiful table stacked with lots of dishes to share is the sign of a successful event – when in doubt, suggest for everyone to bring a side plate!
How’s your backyard looking?
Be sure to banish the bugs and get your yard looking beautiful before entertaining this Australia Day. Ideally, you should start your mowing and maintenance schedule a few weeks before the main event to reduce your bug population a little. If you want to get things looking a little greener you can also start a sprinkler schedule. For best results, it’s a good idea to water early in the morning or late in the evening.
Another way to spruce things up is to prune and trim any shrubs or trees that are getting out of control. For a little more colour, you can try adding some potted plants and summery flowers. And, finally, parties that go into the night will need ambient light and a plan B for mosquitos. Fairy lights, citronella candles and mosquito coils are a must-have for the ideal Australia Day barbecue.