A BBQ chef’s guide to cooking all kinds of meat

Published on 22 November 2017

Let’s face it; any self-respecting BBQ chef knows how to nail a good steak or sausage (or at least they reckon they do). But when it comes to impressing the neighbours this Australia Day, you can’t always rely on the old classics.

Here are some simple rules to remember for cooking different kinds of meats, so you can craft a winning menu for the whole family.

Steaks and sausages

A great steak or sausage starts with selecting a quality piece of meat, so make sure to visit Select Meats for their advice on the best possible cuts.

• Make sure the BBQ is nice and hot before you throw on a steak. It’ll take around 15-20 minutes to heat up with the lid down
• Season your steaks with salt and pepper to help achieve that signature crust
• Depending on the thickness of the steak, you’ll only need a couple of minutes on each side to reach medium-rare
• Sausages will take longer, especially the fat ones. And never prick a sausage while it’s cooking! The juices inside the casing give the sausage its flavour, and dripping fat will encourage flare-ups that will burn your snag

Lamb chops

Lamb is popular on the Aussie BBQ thanks to its intense flavours, and thicker rib chops and loin chops are the cuts of choice.

• Internal fat gives lamb its flavour, but you can avoid chewiness by cutting away any hard fat around the edges
• Salt the chops around 30-40 minutes before you start cooking
• Achieve medium-rare goodness by raising the heat gently on a cooler part of the grill, then searing over high heat to finish

Kangaroo


Only in Australia would we look up at our national coat of arms and think, “Mmm, that animal looks tasty.” As far as BBQ challenges go, it doesn’t get much tougher than roo – but it’s definitely worth a try.

• Only cook kangaroo on a very hot plate, to ensure the meat cooks quickly and doesn’t dry out
• Place steaks and fillets in oil before cooking, and allow them to soak for 15 minutes
• Sear the meat quickly on all sides to prevent moisture from escaping
• Three minutes on each side will be enough to reach rare or medium rare. Avoid further cooking, as the low fat content means kangaroo meat is liable to dry out

Prawns


Yeah, yeah, Aussies are all about “throwing a shrimp on the barbie”. That is, if you pay attention to the stereotypes. Who even calls them shrimp, anyway? Still, prawns are a Christmas favourite, and they’re even better on the BBQ:

• Barbecued prawns are best cooked in the shell, as the direct heat can damage unprotected flesh
• To prep, slice through the back of the prawn to remove the intestinal tract, then roll the prawn in salt and rest it in the fridge for 15 minutes so the flavours mix
• Grill over high heat until the shell is crunchy, then turn and repeat

Crocodile


If you’re game enough to cook up some crocodile, your Christmas BBQ will be the talk of the family for years to come. Just remember:

• Tail is often the tastiest part of the crocodile
• Crocodile has the texture of fish but the taste of chicken
• Cooking from frozen is beneficial, because it prevents moisture escaping during the thawing process. Cook for two minutes on each side and remove excess fat after cooking.

To make sure you’re not caught out this Australia Day, visit Select Meats or Coles for all your BBQ meat needs. And drop by David Jones for BBQs, tools and extra advice.