Barbecue Etiquette: The Do’s and Don’ts of the Great Australian BBQ
Australians are a pretty relaxed bunch. We like our sunshine and our no-hassle way of life but there are a few things we hold sacred. The great Australian barbeque is one of those sacred past times. For many Australians, attending a backyard barbie is second nature but some it can be a new or daunting experience either hosting or attending.
So we’ve put together some tips to ensure that your BBQ is a success:
- Seating: Ensure that there is enough comfortable seating for everyone attending, indoors and out. Make the seating conducive to conversations amongst your guests.
- Food: Count up your RSVPs to ensure you have enough food and drink for everyone attending. Most people cook hamburgers and hotdogs at cookouts, so be sure to have a vegetarian option for any guests that are not meat-eaters.
- Drink: Provide plenty of water and juice. Alcoholic beverages, especially beer, are popular, so be careful about offering too much. Ensure that any guests that have overindulged have safe rides home.
- BBQ: Make sure the grill plate is clean well before guests arrive. Also make sure you have enough fuel (propane or charcoal) to cook all of the food you plan to barbeque.
- Utensils: Refrain from using any rusty or dirty barbeque utensils. Also, to keep food safe, use two sets of utensils and platters, one for raw and the other for cooked foods. Make sure not to mix them up!
- Timing: Arrive early only if your host is aware and you plan on helping to set up and prep food. Arriving a bit after the scheduled time is perfectly fine. Also, avoid overstaying your welcome late in the evening, unless you plan on helping to clean up.
- What to bring: Even if host says to bring nothing, bring something. Side dishes are great idea. Be sure to bring enough of your dish to feed everyone. Also, if you bring it, leave it. It’s cumbersome for you and the host to gather up your half-eaten container and half-full bottle of wine at the end of your visit.
- What to wear: Casual, tasteful outfits are appropriate. If it is a work-related cookout, then go with business casual.
- BBQ: Avoid touching or taking over the grill unless the host asks for help.
- Drink: It’s easy to get dehydrated on warm days. Drink plenty of fluids, and be careful with alcoholic beverages. These will dehydrate you further and can be even more potent when you’re sitting in the sun. Avoid embarrassing yourself or your host by overindulging.
- Clean up: Even if your host declines, it’s a customary kindness to offer help in cleaning up here and there throughout your stay.