• Butterflied chicken with rosemary oil (Smith Street Books)Source: Smith Street Books
Fire up the barbie any night of the week for a dinner that celebrates the season.
21 Oct 2021 - 9:31 AM  UPDATED 21 Oct 2021 - 9:31 AM

For many of us, the barbecue is something we put into action when friends come around. It's the weekend, eating al fresco is nice and barbecuing makes entertaining easy.

It's so nice out there, isn't it? Eating simple food fresh from the barbie as dusk gently reveals the stars. You tend to linger over the meal, sharing stories and lapping up some outdoor time like a starving housebound kitten.

Life feels good when you're eating barbecue.

This is why it's perplexing that we don't do it more often. I mean, all that plus you get to use the hose to do part of the washing up? Bring on the everyday barbie, we say!

Here is a stack of options to encourage you to fire up the grill more regularly and bring a little weekend joy to your weeknight dinners.

Chuck a prawn

Barbecue shrimp with dashi butter and nori will take you 15 minutes to make.

Call them prawns or call them shrimp, it's the flavour that matters. Prawns (okay, we're calling them prawns) go so well on the barbie that you'll want to throw them on as often as you can. Start with this Japanese-inspired recipe and swim on from there.

Grilled prawns with oregano and lime

Opening the prawns and adding the seasonings before cooking gives them more flavour and allows them to cook faster.

Mango habanero grilled prawns

Tropical and punchy, this is summer on the grill!

Chilli BBQ prawns with pickled cucumber and aioli

The tang of the pickled cucumber is a great counterpart to the spice of the prawns.

Well marinaded

Another great thing about everyday barbecuing is you can marinade your meat to your heart's content. Not only does it make it tender and interesting as in this Lao-style barbecue chicken dish, but it's also a fact that cleaning cooked-on flavour off a barbecue is far less daunting than trying to resurrect your frypan. We've all been there.

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Chick on

Let's stay with barbecued chicken for a moment, just so we can share this satay chicken recipe from Lizzy Hoo. Her dad used to cook this chicken at school fetes and it would sell out by midday. It's a really good reminder of how unbelievably tasty chicken from the barbecue can be (and also how unreal dads are). 

Butterflied chicken with rosemary oil

This herby chicken is cooked until it has a crisp-skinned exterior and tender, juicy interior. In other words, it's the perfect barbecue chicken.


Do you know what else makes for a really good barbecue? The whole world will tell you: kebabs. We could basically dedicate this entire round-up to tasty kebabs/skewers/gyros/sosatie (you get the idea) recipes.

Adana kebabs with onion salad

Adana kebabs are long, thin skewers of lamb mince barbecued with spices and served with grilled veggies and fresh lemon.

Lamb kebabs with bush tomato tahini

Blending Middle Eastern with Australian flavours, Adam shares his recipe for these juicy lamb skewers, coated in a wattle seed and bush tomato tahini.

Grilled cinnamon toast fruit kebabs

Bananas, strawberry, cinnamon toast, a little bit of a char on the barbeque, and then drizzled in white and dark chocolate: these are delicious and fun to make, too. Great for kids - or your inner child!

Bomb sticker

Bombette Pugliesi is exactly why skewering your barbecue makes sense. Pork wrapped around cheese, dipped in herbs and squeezed onto sticks barbecues like a dream.

Thai dunk

Of course, the Thais know how to work thread a tasty skewer as well, as these grilled pork skewers prove. There's a nahm jim jaew sauce for stick-dunking. The sauce is such an important part of any barbecue, so branch out and try something new.

90s seafoodies

For a few years in the '90s, you couldn't eat out at a restaurant without someone trying to sell you on the chargrilled octopus salad. It's definitely time to bring back the 90s.

Spanish potato salad with grilled octopus

“Kiwifruit contains a natural enzyme that helps tenderise the octopus, so no cement mixers required here. With such simple ingredients, it’s important to use good quality Spanish sherry vinegar and olive oil because the warm potatoes will suck up all the flavours of the dressing.” Shane Delia, Shane Delia’s Moorish Spice Journey

Braised and chargrilled octopus with oregano

I like to braise big octopus so it’s tender and sweet and delicious. You can eat it just like that, but I also like to give it a bit of a grill afterwards, simply to add a little smoky aroma and a slightly crunchy texture to the outside.

Chargrilled octopus with Asian slaw

We were lucky enough to catch a really large octopus with the legendary Occy Rose on our journey. Here, I’ve just tried to harness the flavour of the seafood, add a smoky hint from the chargrill and cut the richness with a lively slaw.

Taco to go

Spiced fish tacos with chipotle sauce

Fish tacos are many a family favourite, and you can barbecue those too. It works best that way: tacos being the kind of dish that somehow tastes better when you eat it outside.

Fish frenzy

Once you start barbecuing your fish, you'll want to eat it every night. This fragrant Vietnamese fishy dish is a case in point. So quick to pull together and you can serve it with an even quicker leafy green salad for a completely delightful weekday meal.


When you think barbecue, you think steak, right? So let's give you some steak. With a little added teriyaki marinade because it's us.

T-bone with smoked beef fat vinaigrette

Smoke the beef fat in a barbecue to create a rich vinaigrette where the smoky notes are balanced with shallot and lemon.  

Florentine t-bone steak (bistecca alla Fiorentina)

“Bistecca alla Fiorentina is considered the epitome of Tuscan steaks. It is usually made with the revered Chianina breed of cattle. Weighing in at over one kilogram, the steak is prepared and cooked simply over hot coals to showcase the quality of the beef.” Poh Ling Yeow, Poh & Co. 2


Sticking with the classics and you can't go wrong with ribs on the barbecue. Many rib recipes require hours of marinading and basting, but not this one. All the flavour, none of the fuss.

Smoky chipotle barbecued pork ribs

These ribs are marinated in spicy chipotle and sticky maple syrup for a finger-licking finish.

Richo’s barbecued pork ribs

Pork ribs are one of those dishes you can always make room for. These are marinated in chilli, ginger, garlic and ras el hanout, and caramelised on a hot barbecue.

Barbecued beef ribs (galbi)

Literally meaning ‘rib’ in Korean, galbi refers to a type of barbecued rib dish, usually beef or pork. Galbi barbecue restaurants are found all over Korea, as well as parts of the United States, where there are large Korean communities.

Avo good dinner

Proof that you can barbecue anything for dinner, any time. This is barbecued avocado, served with a herb and labneh salad or you can add your own salad spin.

Cob out

Corn on the cob (elote)

Perhaps corn on the barbie is a more familiar meal to start? You can throw whole corn on the grill to steam in its husk, or get a bit more sophisticated as Mexican elote requires. Husk your corn, grill it, then slather it in sour cream and herbs.

Barbecued baked potatoes with three toppings

Sure, baked potatoes are great just with butter, but this bonanza line-up of toppings elevates the humble spud to glorious new heights.

Grilled peaches with mascarpone and caramel

With just a handful of ingredients and a short amount of time, you can create this juicy, creamy, entirely luscious dessert. 

Grilled chilli and cinnamon pineapple

Barbecued fruit is a fabulously fresh and easy entertaining idea.

Get buns

Edamame burgers with red onion jam

A barbecue burger makes a welcome any-night dinner. This healthy vegetarian version uses cashew and edamame to make a delicious bean patty. A happy way to eat a good meal in anyone's book.

Mega beetroot burgers

Bring the healthfood cafe to your kitchen with this big beetroot patty filled with veggies, chickpeas and oats served on a sourdough bun with sliced avo and hummus. 

Haloumi burgers with peperonata

Salty haloumi and caramelised capsicum is a dream combination in any situation, but especially in burger form.

Classic ending

But to really round out your barbecue dinner experience, go the classic Aussie burger by Bill Granger. Wrap your laughing gear around it any night of the week and enjoy getting into the great outdoors more often.

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Grilled herb potatoes and honey carrots

Simple marinades add lots of flavour to these easy barbecue sides. 

Grilled lobster tails with soft herbs and finger lime

How best to flavour Aussie lobster tails than with Aussie herbs and citrus? Bring lemon myrtle, saltbush and finger lime to the fresh seafood for amazing results.

Barbecued squid and macadamia tarator

Whole, local BBQ calamari served atop finger lime pearls and a creamy tarator puré of macadamia, sourdough and chardonnay vinegar.

Spicy barbecued pork (daeji bulgogi)

For this dish, it is best to use pork that is a little bit fatty, such as pork belly or shoulder, as the fat will render and caramelise, turning into delicious smoky crispy bits.

Grilled barbecued pork belly

This dish is perfect for a Korean BBQ dinner party – just set everything up at the dining table and ask everyone to cook the meat on the grill themselves.

Grilled chicken (gai yang)

For Thais, no gai yang is complete without dipping sauces, with the clear favourite being this tangy sauce made with toasted rice powder and tamarind juice.

Laotian grilled rice skewers (khao jee)

Skewers of pork or chicken mince might be more widely known, but these skewers wrapped with freshly cooked rice are just as soft and smoky-flavoured.

Barbecued short ribs with tomato salsa

Ribs are delicious on their own, but if you want to prepare a condiment, you can't go wrong with a tasty tomato salsa.

Barbecued mushrooms with chimichurri

Chimichurri is a popular sauce made of parsley and olive oil, used here to beautifully tenderise the mushrooms.