The Coopers Guide To The All-Time Greatest BBQ

The Coopers Guide To The All-Time Greatest BBQ

Written by
January 22, 2018

Barbecues are the definitive Australian event, and there’s no time like Australia Day to make it happen. And when those long, hot summer days hit, there’s nothing you can’t throw on the grill. A pile of prawns? Obviously. An entire leg of lamb? No problem. A classic pav? We’ll give it a damn good go. And we’ve got a drink for it all.

It wouldn’t be an Aussie BBQ without ice-cold brews in the esky, so we’ve partnered with the staple of Australian brewing - Coopers - to bring you the ultimate BBQ guide.

Maybe you’re about to throw your debut smoke-out in celebration of three glorious days off work. Maybe you’re a seasoned expert with 20 years of sweet, sweet grillin’ behind you. Either way, these BBQ hacks will help to make lighting up an extra delicious affair.

How in heck do I clean this thing?

Think those blackened grill plates make everything taste smokier? Like real BBQ? You’re wrong, friend. Cleaning the ol’ grill plates means they can actually reach the right temperature, which is pretty important when you’re cooking hunks of raw meat. Tackle burnt on meat juices in the smoke box with an old spatula first. Then, fire up the burners to loosen anything on the grates and plates, so you can scrape it off more easily.

I’m on a budget, what can I do to make my meat taste like I’ve spent more money than I actually have?

If there’s anything that’ll earn you a rep as a BBQ pro, it’s perfectly marinated meat. And that’s because a marinade is basically a chance to cheat your way to the melt-in-the-mouth goodness that comes with fancier cuts.

Step 1: Combine

160ml corn syrup
60ml Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp mustard powder
170g dark brown sugar
125ml Coopers Pale Ale
2 tbsp treacle
Few drops of Tabasco sauce

Step 2: Pour the mixture over meats like ribs, steaks, chicken, brisket or pork and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least two hours.

Step 3: Barbecue like you’ve never barbecued before.

When’s the right time to throw my prawns (or other form of meat) on the barbie?

Put simply – only after you’ve pre-heated your grilling machine, pal. Drop your wares on a lukewarm surface and you’re in for a mediocre meat experience.

Instead, allow gas barbecues to heat up for at least 10 minutes (with the lid closed) and give charcoal burners about 20. Then, you’re ready to roll.

Is it humanly possible to have all the meat ready at the same time?

BBQs = logistical nightmare. But here’s a quick fix guide to meat cooking times and temps. Do the maths and create a fool-proof (laminated) schedule.

  • Sausages – Cook the sausages on a high heat for a couple of minutes each side. Then turn the heat down to medium and move the sausages away from the heat source. Leave to cook like this for around 15-20 minutes.

  • Burgers – Cook a 120g patty for 5 minutes per side for medium rare (6 minutes per side for medium, 7 minutes per side for medium-well-done) on a medium heat.

  • Chicken thighs – Cook on a high heat for around 6 minutes each side.

  • Ribs – Cook on a medium-high heat for 4 to 5 minutes each side or until golden and cooked through.

  • Steak – For portions 2-3cm-thick, cook for 2-3 minutes each side if you like it rare, 4-5 minutes each side if you like it medium, or 5-6 each side if you like it well-done (STEAK SACRILEGE).

Leave plenty of space between each item so they can cook properly. Once they’re cooked to perfection, remove from the grill, foil ‘em up and leave them to rest while you plate up the next lot.

What drinks should I serve up?

Bar the meat, your choice of bevs is the most important consideration when it comes to throwing a solid Aussie BBQ. And for a drink that’s as Australian as it comes, grab a slab of Coopers Pale Ale. Sit each bottle in a vat of ice so that everyone can wash down their 16th meat sanga with an ice-cold beer and exclaim what a wonderful palate cleanser it is before diving into the next round.

Surely no-one will want a dessert?

All BBQs are the same. Everyone eats ‘til they get the meat sweats and declares repeatedly that they, “truly could not eat another thing probably ever”. But don’t let that fool you. Because the second stomach – reserved solely for sweet treats – ain’t no secret to any of us. For something no-one can refuse, throw some sliced bananas on the hot plate and serve up with a scoop of ice cream. Sounds weird – tastes good.

What can I do to nail that summer vibe?

Perfect that summer playlist. Insist on playing Katrina and the Waves on the hour, every hour. Downright refuse to play any requests that don’t have a saxxy beat. Encourage guests to use their cocktail umbrellas as tiny microphones. Done.