You know that scene in Crocodile Dundee when thugs threaten our hero?
- - 'Mick, give him your wallet'
- - 'Why?'
- - 'He's got a knife'
- - 'That's not a knife.' (Pulls out massive Bowie knife) 'This is a knife.'
I feel the same about barbecues. What we call a barbie would be laughed out of the garden in Australia. If you think the Aussie barbie is a bit of cliche - they couldn't possibly barbie all the time - you're wrong. They do! But not as we know it.
In most public parks, seafronts leisure areas, roadside rest areas (I mean pull-ins here, not service stations) and picnic spots you'll find these fab municipal barbies. We were a bit scared of them at first - they tend to be the domain of men and we weren't sure what the rules were or how they worked. But then we bit the bullet and never looked back!The picture above is me slaving over a hot one in 1770, and we found the one on the right at a look-out point near the Glasshouse Mountains, both in Queensland (click on that link for a pic of the scenery - ours were shite!)
These beauties are stainless steel and coin-operated - pop in a dollar and the gas goes on under the plate for ten minutes. Sometimes there's a metal spatula on a chain (or one of those wall=paper-removing tools), sometimes you bring your own. Because it isn't on a grill but a hot (really hot) plate you can cook almost anything. Etiquette says you clean them thoroughly afterwards and most people do.
Most people stick to steak, chicken, burgers, kangaroo fricasse etc, but it's also great for a stir-fry, full English brekkie or pancakes. On our outback camping trip we even made spag bol on one (oh, alright, the spaghetti was boiled first!). Didn't try soup though.
Have a great Bank Holiday weekend, whatever you do! And if you do get near a grill, here's a little song to sing: