Unlike shopping for the perfect bbq gift idea, grilling is an art form mixed with a little bit of science and passion. And like any other art, it takes time and practice to master. But with a little bit of know-how, you can grill like a pro in no time.

One of the best things about grilling is that there are endless possibilities when it comes to food. You can grill anything from chicken and steak to vegetables and fruit. And each food has its own unique flavour that is enhanced by the grill. But before we get to the best bbq foods, let's cover some basics before you learn the art of the grill.

Gas Vs Charcoal Grills

There are two main types of grills: gas and charcoal. Both have their own pros and cons, so it's important to choose which cooking method you prefer based on your own style and flavours that you like.

Gas grills are more expensive than charcoal grills, but they're also much easier to use. If you're new to grilling, a gas grill is a good choice because it's less messy and easier to control the heat.

Charcoal grills require more work than gas grills, but many people believe that they can produce flavours that are more satisfying to the palate. If you like the smokey charcoal flavours to seep into your food this is the right choice for you. However, this type of BBQ'ing method will require time and patience to master.

Basic BBQ Accessories and Equipment

To have a pleasurable grilling experience it's recommended you get the essential bare minimum bbq accessories and equipment. Thongs, wire brush, scraper, aluminium foil and thermometer are the grilling tools you will need.

You will also need a good quality BBQ sauce, some seasoning and your favourite drinks to enjoy while you're cooking.

Now that we've got the basics down, let's move on to No matter what type of grill you have, you should know that having the correct equipment when grilling can make a huge difference in your cooking experience and the quality of the flavours in your cook. 

Without further ado, here are the 15 of the best bbq food ideas for Australia:

1. Chicken

Chicken is one of the best bbq food because it's a versatile protein that can be cooked in many ways. It also has a mild flavour that pairs well with many different BBQ sauces. Plus, chicken is relatively affordable meat, so it's perfect for those on a budget. There are many ways you can cook chicken and it all depends on the cut that you have.

  • Skewers -  Chicken skewers are easy to cook and they're perfect for feeding a large crowd. Plus you can pack them vegetables for more flavours.
  • Marinated - Chicken thighs or breasts are packed with flavour and they stay moist when cooked. They're great for BBQing but you'll need to properly marinate them overnight to infuse the flavours.

Cooking Tips For Chicken

Chicken can overcook quite easily which will then make the meat will dry. Cook the skin side first for about 5-6 minutes then flip it over and cook for an additional 5-8 minutes depending on the thickness. To ensure that your chicken is cooked perfectly, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken. The recommended internal temperature for chicken is around 74 degrees celsius. 

2. Steak

Another great meat with amazing flavours waiting to hit your palate is the steak. Steaks are usually best when cooked medium-rare to rare however this all depends on your personal preference.

  • Fillet / Tenderloin -  This cut is the most tender and it's also the most expensive. It's best cooked rare to medium-rare.
  • Sirloin - A little bit tougher than the fillet but still has a great taste. It's best cooked medium to well-done.
  • Ribeye / Scotch Fillet -  This is one of the best cuts for BBQing as it has a lot of flavours but can be costly for a decent size.
  • T-Bone -   This is a great all-around steak amazing for marinating.
  • Blade -   A cheaper option that's best cooked well-done.
  • Rump -   One of the most popular cheaper cuts but still has a lot of flavours. Great medium-rare or well done.

Best Ways To Cook Steak

Firstly you should apply seasoning to your steak which can be as simple as salt, pepper, and olive oil. You can also use off the shelf season that you buy at any supermarket or speciality store. Then you should cook your steak for about 2 minutes per side on high heat. After that, lower the heat to medium and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes per side depending on how well cooked you want it. Always check with a meat thermometer.

Cooing Temperatures For Steaks

  • Rare - 45ºC - 55ºC
  • Medium-Rare - 55ºC - 60ºC
  • Medium - 60ºC - 65ºC
  • Well-Done - 70ºC - 75ºC

3. Corn On The Cob

Another great food to cook on the BBQ is corn on the cob. This is a great summer dish that's perfect for feeding a large crowd. Plus, it's a healthy option that's low in calories and fat. Corn on the cob is best cooked with the husk still on as it helps to keep the corn moist. Simply soak the corn in water for about 30 minutes then place it on the BBQ grill. Cook for about 20-30 minutes, rotating every 5-10 minutes.

Butter & Aluminium Foil

Another great way to grill corn on the cob is by wrapping it in aluminium foil with some butter. This will help to keep the corn moist and add some extra flavour. You usually place them around the edges of the bbq and allow them to cook slowly while you cook other foods on the grill. Placing them in direct heat will cook them faster but will require better timing otherwise you'll end up with burnt corn.

4. Sausages

Who doesn't love a good sausage? Sausages are perfect for BBQs as they're easy to cook and they're always a hit with guests. Plus, there are so many different types of sausages to choose from so you can find the perfect one to suit your taste buds.

Gourmet Vs Thin Plain Sausages

Gourmet sausages are usually made with higher quality meat and have a more intense flavour. They also tend to be more expensive than regular sausages. We usually recommend buying them at your local butchers. Most sausages don't require any marinating which is why it's considered the easiest bbq food in Australia.

Thin plain sausages are your standard type of sausage that you can buy from any supermarket. They're usually made with pork or beef and sometimes contain fillers and preservatives.

5. Grilled Vegetables

Grilled vegetables are a great option for vegetarians or if you're looking for a healthy alternative to meat. They're also perfect for people who are on a low-carb diet. There are so many different types of vegetables that you can grill but some of our favourites include:

  • Zucchini / Courgette
  • Eggplant / Aubergine
  • Mushrooms
  • Capsicum / Bell Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Red Onion
  • Garlic
  • Sweet Potato
  • Corn on the Cob (already mentioned)

6. BBQ Salmon

If you're looking for a healthy alternative to red meat then grilled salmon is a great option. Salmon is packed with omega-3 fatty acids which are great for your heart health. It's also a lean protein source so it's perfect if you're watching your weight.

When buying salmon, we recommend going for wild-caught salmon as it's a more sustainable option.

BBQ Salmon Cooking Tips

When it comes to cooking salmon, you want to avoid overcooking it as it can become dry and tough. We recommend cooking it for about 2-3 minutes per side on a medium-heat grill. You can also wrap it in aluminium foil or place it in a grilling basket to prevent it from sticking to the grill.

To bring some life to your taste buds we recommend finding a salmon marinade recipe and trying that out on the grill. 

7. Grilled Prawns

Grilled prawns are another healthy seafood option that's another great bbq food. Prawns are a lean protein source that's low in calories and fat. It's also packed with nutrients like selenium, phosphorus, and vitamin B12. Plus, it's a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.

When buying prawns, we recommend going for wild-caught prawns as they're a more sustainable option.

Prawn BBQ Cooking Tips

Prawns are best cooked on a hot grill for about 2 minutes per side. We also recommend skewering them so they don't fall through the grill. You can also wrap them in aluminium foil to prevent them from sticking to the grill and you can also pre-marinade them.

8. BBQ Lamb Chops

Lamb chops are a great BBQ option if you're looking for something a little different. They're also perfect if you have guests that don't eat red meat as they're usually very well-received. Lamb is a rich source of protein and it's also packed with nutrients like zinc, iron, and vitamin B12.

When buying lamb chops, we recommend getting them from your local butcher as they usually have higher quality meat.

Lamb Chop BBQ Cooking Tips

Lamb chops are best cooked on a hot grill for about 3-4 minutes per side. We also recommend using a meat thermometer to ensure they're cooked to your liking. You can also pre-marinade them or brush them with a sauce while they're cooking.

Lamb Chops Cooking Temperatures

  • Rare - 49°C
  • Medium Rare - 52°C
  • Medium - 55°C
  • Well-Done - 63°C or higher

9. Pork Chops

If you are sick of all the other meats then pork chops are the perfect meat for your next bbq. Pork is a rich source of protein and it's also packed with nutrients like zinc, iron, and thiamin. 

Pork Chop BBQ Cooking Tips

Pork chops are another meat that cooks pretty quickly so you need to watch your timing and temperature so as to not overcook them. They are best cooked on a hot grill for about 5-15 minutes per side with the lid on. We also recommend using a meat thermometer to ensure they're cooked to your liking. You can also pre-mar

BBQ Pork Chop Temperatures

Pork is a little different to most meat and it's highly recommended that your internal temperature for safe consumption be around 70°C.

10. BBQ Ribs

Ribs are the perfect food for a BBQ as they're packed with flavour and they're also pretty messy to eat. Some consider ribs to have the best flavours for any bbq'ed meat and there are so many different ways to cook ribs from smoking to grilling. 

Smoking Vs Grilling Ribs

Smoking ribs is a slow cooking process that uses indirect heat to cook the meat. This method usually takes about 6 hours or more. Smoking also requires specific equipment which can be costly to set up. Grilling ribs is a quicker cooking method that uses direct heat to cook the meat. This method usually takes about 30-60 minutes. 

However, to achieve the ultimate flavour in BBQ ribs you must smoke them using the slow cooking process.

BBQ Ribs Temperatures

To safely eat pork it should be around 70°C however with ribs you need them to be between 88°C and 93°C.

11. Haloumi

Haloumi is not your typical bbq ingredient but it has gained popularity among vegetarians and is a great BBQ food full of flavour and nutrients. Haloumi is a good source of calcium and phosphorus. It's also low in fat and calories.

Haloumi BBQ Tips

Haloumi is best cooked on a moderate to hot grill for about 2-4 minutes per side. You want to cut them into strips that are not too thick or thin. You don't need any oil or butter on the grill plus they don't need to be seasoned.

12. BBQ Muscles

Muscles are a great seafood option for the BBQ and they're also pretty easy to cook. Muscles are a good source of protein, phosphorus, and potassium. They're also low in fat and calories. They are best marinated.

Tips On How To  BBQ Muscles

Muscles are best cooked on a hot grill for about 6-8 minutes. You should try to cook them in a pot with the lid on. You know when they are cooked when the shells open up. Once they're cooked, you can then remove them from the pot and put them on a plate to serve.

13. BBQ Grilled Fruits

Grilled fruit is something you don't see every day on the bbq but it's an awesome way to add some sweetness to your meal. Grilled fruit is also a good source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Plus, they're low in calories and fat.

What Types of Fruits Are Perfect For The Barbie

Some of the best fruits to grill are peaches, pineapple, melons, pears, tomatoes, bananas figs and avocado. They don't require any marinade and can be grilled to your liking. The longer the grill musher they get so it's a fun way to experiment with different types of fruit.

14. Grilled Tofu

Grilled tofu is a fantastic BBQ option for vegetarians and vegans. Tofu is a good source of protein, iron, calcium, and magnesium. It's also low in calories and fat.

Best Ways To Grill Tofu

Tofu can be grilled in many ways but the best way is to marinate it. You can use any type of marinade you like whether it's a BBQ sauce, Asian inspired, or Italian. Tofu can be grilled on a hot grill for about 3-5 minutes per side or until you can see they have a nice grilled look. There they can be4 eaten raw so how well they are cooked is entirely up to you.

15. Pizza

Pizza is not your typical BBQ food but it's a fantastic way to feed a large group of people and it's also something no one would expect to come off a barbie.

How To BBQ A Pizza

Get your pizza base ready with sauce then place all your ingredients on. If you have a pan or bbq grilling mat place it on the grill then place the pizza on top to avoid it sticking. If you have a lid for a pan use it if not close the bbq lid. On high heat, you can bbq a pizza in as little as 5 minutes. Keep watch over t to ensure its cooked properly if you use any raw meat.

Enjoy Your Next BBQ

One of the easiest meats to cook are steaks and sausages. Grill some vegetables and fruits alongside and you're ready for a BBQ. We've listed some of our favourites including grilled halloumi, tofu, lamb chops and pizza. All of these can be cooked on the BBQ easily and make for a delicious meal that everyone can enjoy. If you're looking for something different to add to your next BBQ, try one of these 15 best bbq foods for Australians. You won't be disappointed.