Today’s state-of-the-art barbecues are too good to pack away for six months. Barbecue expert, Andrea Mead, tells us how to get the most out of your barbecue year round – no matter the weather
With the temperature dropping, it might be too cold to eat outside, but that doesn’t mean you can’t cook outside. Warm up with some good-quality steaks cooked on the barbie served with roast potatoes and veg, perhaps followed by a delicious sticky date pudding cooked in the barbecue’s roaster. A hearty lasagne also works really well in the roaster.
Breakfast on the barbecue is another winter favourite in our house — we often whip up pancakes or bacon and eggs on the stainless steel plate — particularly when we have a house full of teenagers. And if you’re determined to dine alfresco despite the dropping mercury, consider investing in an outdoor heater or brazier — they can turn the chilliest patio into a warm, inviting space.
When it comes to the barbecue itself, keep it under cover. Not only will this create a user-friendly environment for the cook, it will extend your barbecue’s life and ensure it’s in tip-top condition for years to come. Likewise, regular maintenance, such as cleaning the cooking surface after each use and removing the fat tray or container, will ensure your barbecue is ready for action come rain or shine. Be sure to clean underneath the barbecue — built-up dirt can reduce the burning capacity and make the flame less hot, while bugs can build nests in the burners.
Of course, if you’re lucky enough to have an outdoor kitchen, a barbecue will work well at any time of year. Make it a year-round entertaining area by installing lighting and heating for the cooler months as well.
Andrea Mead owns and manages Heatlie — producers of quality, Australian-made barbecues. She is an avid barbecue cook and outdoor entertainer, and fires up her Island Gourmet Elite most weekends for family and friends
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