Australian Barbeque - Cooking On the Grill the Aussie Way
Australian Barbeque Grilling
Everybody barbecues in Australia. There are thousands of beaches, parks, and campgrounds throughout Australia, and many have free or coin-operated gas or electric barbecues. Many of these recreational spots have covered shelters with picnic tables and running water. Yes, the Austalian barbie is very popular these days.
Australian barbeque has evolved in recent years. In the past, Aussies would throw any old meat on the barbie, grill it beyond recognition, then serve it for some fast backyard food. The real test was how much beer you could drink before and after eating the charred meat.
There's still plenty of meat and shrimp on the barbie, but today, Australians grill with a little more thought going into the food. The Australian grill chef of today experiments with different sauces and flavors. They even like to throw some vegetables on the grill on occasion.
Quick cooking is still what Australian barbeque is all about. Australians generally prefer flatop, or open-pit barbeque grills. Trolly barbies, which are portable grills on wheels, have become the most popular outdoor cooking appliances in Australia.
Like in many places around the world, Aussies love to grill steaks, pork, seafood, sausages, chicken, turkey, lamb, and veal. But because it is Australia, a few native "extras" might be thrown on the barbie.
You will find plenty of emu and ostrich, which are red meats that actually look like steaks when on the grill. Crocodile, which is a white meat with a firm texture, is also popular. They also love to cook wallaby and kangaroo, which look and taste like quality beef steaks.
A lesser known Aussie barbeque fare is the witchetty grub. This is a 4-5 inch gray-white worms about as thick as your thumb. It is normally grilled and has the look of a sausage link. Many think it has a slight peanut butter taste after it is cooked. Eating a witchetty grub is a rite of passage at any Australian barbeque.
Probably the most popular of all grilled meats in Australia are the "snags", or "mystery bags", which are sausages with any number of meats filled inside the casings. These should never be poked or pricked with a knife or fork, as the skin keeps the meat juicy throughout the cooking process. Australians always use tongs when cooking "snags". A broken skin is a sign that the grill cook is an amateur.
Aussies have discovered that bbq can be more than just getting your belly full of meat and beer. There can be some thought and planning involved in the cookout. Although Australian Barbecue is still about having some backyard fun with friends (and drinking beer), there is a sense that Aussies now "get it" with their grilling. And maybe this is why grilling is such a popular past-time in Australia today.
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