“Throw some more shrimp on the barbie!” … is something you definitely shouldn’t say to a real Australian, unless the response you’re looking for is an icy stare. The time-honoured Australian tradition of setting meat on fire above a metal grill is about far more than just tiny sea-insects – and aside from anything else, if you were a real Australian, you’d know Aussies call shrimps “prawns”. Nevertheless, there’s nothing more emblematic of the Australian free spirit than cooking outside over an open fire – so if you’re looking to honour our Aussie brethren or you’re after a taste of that Australian laissez faire, read on! Here it is – the ultimate guide to throwing a barbeque, Oz style!

  1. Eating meat? You’re throwing a barbie!

In Australia, if you’re cooking meat, you’re cooking it on the barbeque. Every house has a barbeque and the oven is rarely used for cooking meat – even the Christmas turkey. Any excuse, eh guys?

  1. Barbecue in the winter

As all UK residents know, the Australians have that weird reverse season thing which we can’t quite get our head around – so if you’re after a true taste of the Aussie lifestyle, have your barbie in December! Who cares if it’s snowing outside – it’s sunny in your spiritual homeland. Australians are famously unperturbed by extreme weather – so get your woolly hat and gloves on, and get barbequing!

  1. Don’t be shy – chuck on a bit of emu or kanga!

Chicken? Meh. Fish? Hmm. Beef? So 2014. If you want a real Aussie experience, you’re going to need to widen your horizons – kangaroo meat is being championed in Oz as a healthier, more environmentally sustainable alternative to beef. Tender, lean and melt in your mouth, it might be time to take a taste of the Oz national emblem! Emu meat is another lean, tasty Aussie alternative – so swallow your objections and get gobbling.

  1. Select your sides

Sure, you can go the easy route and simply slap your meat between a couple slices of bread, but if you’re throwing a big barbeque, why not go all out? Fried onion rings, grilled potatoes, mustard slaw and garlic beans are classic Aussie sides – you can even wrap your grilled tatties in bacon for a particularly Australian twist.

  1. Sharing is caring

If you ignore every other entry on this list, heed this one – Australian barbecues are about so much more than charred meat and veg. The barbecue spirit is about bringing people together, sharing good food and fun times and having a friendly, relaxed get-together – so if you want a truly authentic experience, invite everyone you know, crack open a couple of cold ones, keep it relaxed and above all else, make sure your guests feel welcome. Easy, right?

Of course, try as we might, there’s nothing quite like a real Aussie get together in the sunshine. Why not hop on a cheeky flight from London to Melbourne to check it out?

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