Food. Barbeques

barbeque      a method of outdoor cooking

exchange      to swap, to replace one thing for another

informal         casual, easy, relaxed

chops            a cut of meat from the animals ribs, usually with bones in

beach            seaside, by the sea or ocean

tongs            long handled kitchen utensil for holding food



In Australia because the weather is usually warm, cooking and eating barbeques, known as BBQ for short, is very popular.

Most barbeques use gas in bottles for heating, but some use coal or special barbeque coals as the heat. The coals can be bought from the local supermarkets and the local petrol stations have gas bottles where you can exchange your empty one for a full one.

The men cooking the meat usually have long tongs to turn the meat. This means their hands don’t have to get too close to the hot cooking surface.


Long handled tongs for holding and turning the food as it cooks

Most homes have an outdoor area set up with table and chairs for eating.

For entertaining the car would be moved out and the table and chairs spread around

BBQ’s are popular for many reasons.  Firstly, it is outdoor eating, so it is usually cooler in the summer. It is easy and quick to cook on a BBQ. In Australia, it is part of our culture that the men cook on the BBQ, where indoor cooking is done mostly by the women. BBQ’s are also a relaxing and informal way to entertain guests. Having children at a BBQ is fine. They can play outdoors within sight of the parents. Often we will use paper or plastic plates, so it makes for easy cleaning up afterwards.

Usually bread or bread rolls would be on the table.


Bread rolls


Another favourite food is garlic bread. It is easy to make. Slice a large loaf of bread into slices about 1 or 2 cm thick. Soften some butter or margarine. Don’t make it runny, but soft so it can be spread easily with a knife. Crush some garlic into the butter. Add some parsley if you have it. Dried parsley from the supermarket is ok too. Mix it together. Spread one or both sides of the bread with the soft butter. Wrap the whole thing in aluminium foil. Put into a moderate oven for about 20 minutes. Open the tin foil to make sure the butter has melted through. You can cook this on the barbeque too, just be sure it doesnt burn.

Loaf of garlic bread. Note the aluminium foil it has been cooked in, and the plastic plates at the top.




Many homes in Australia also have their own swimming pools so barbeques are often cooked and eaten around the pool area where the family or guests can swim whenever they want to. It also means that children can play in the pool while the adults keep an eye on them.


Swimming pool close to the outdoor area

Drinks can be anything from water, to soft drinks like coca cola, red or white wine or beer.

The main part of the BBQ is the meat. We would eat sausages, (called snags in Aussie) steak, meat patties, fish or prawns or chicken. Most shops also sell chops especially for barbeques. Below is a picture of a smaller home made barbeque.


Small home made barbeque with sausages and meat patties cooking. You can see part of the metal gas bottle underneath the barbeque.

Barbeques can be made in many sizes, some are very large, but most homes would have one similar to the one below.


Larger barbeque with meat cooking.

To go with the meat, we would make salads, usually a lettuce salad, but also others like rice salad or potato salad.

Lettuce salad. Contains lettuce leaves, tomatoes, boiled eggs, red capsicum, green capsicum, grapes, celery, red onion.

Any kinds of fruit or vegetables can be added to the meal. There are no set rules.

The larger barbeques can be used to cook whole chickens on a spit, or large pieces of meat.

Many of the beaches around Australia have free barbeque areas. These are built and caref for by each town or city council. They are provided free for the people to use. In the summer time many families go to the beach and use these barbeques.


Barbeque area on beach


Most people would have something like this. A bun, sausage, salad,a piece of garlic bread, mayonaise on the salad and tomato sauce on the meat.

In most cultures food is very important. It is a way of showing hospitality. It is also a way of showing our family or guests that we respect them, regard them highly and want to share food with them. Having a barbeque means we can entertain a large group of people in a relaxed way.


Questions for review.


  1. What kind of food is eaten at a barbeque?
  2. What are tongs?
  3. Why are barbeques good?
  4. What kind of fuel is used on a barbeque?
  5. What are salads?
  6. Do you eat salads often?
  7. How do you make garlic bread?
  8. Have you eaten barbeque food?
  9. How is a Chinese barbeque different from an Australian one?


Lana Kerr                                                           

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