How to BBQ in Autumn

Autumn in Australia offers a bounty of fresh produce perfect for the BBQ. As the heat of summer wanes, the cooler temperatures make grilling a delightful way to enjoy the season's harvest. This blog post explores the best seasonal foods to throw on your BBQ during the Australian autumn, ensuring every dish is packed with flavour and in harmony with the season's offerings.

Seasonal Vegetables

Autumn heralds the arrival of a variety of robust vegetables that are ideal for the BBQ. These veggies not only hold up well on the grill but also have the ability to absorb and enhance the smoky flavours that BBQ enthusiasts adore. Grilling brings out their natural sweetness and adds a delightful char that is both tasty and visually appealing.

  • Pumpkins and Squashes: Their sweet, nutty flavour intensifies when grilled. Slice them for quick grilling or roast whole for a smoky twist on traditional autumn dishes.
  • Mushrooms: Meaty and earthy, mushrooms like shiitake, portobello, and button are perfect for grilling. They absorb flavours well and can be used in burgers, skewers, or as a side.
  • Eggplants: With their creamy texture, eggplants are great for grilling. Slice them thick and marinate with a bit of olive oil, garlic, and herbs.
  • Capsicum: Available in several colours, adding a sweet, almost smoky flavour to any dish when grilled.
  • Sweet Potatoes: A healthier alternative to traditional potatoes, they develop a delicious caramelized crust when grilled.

Seasonal Fruits

The sweetness of fruits is enhanced when grilled, making them a wonderful addition to any autumn BBQ. These fruits not only provide a sweet contrast to savoury dishes but can also star as the main attraction in desserts.

  • Figs: Grill them until they are just soft. Serve with a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of goat cheese for a quick dessert or appetising starter.
  • Apples and Pears: Sliced and grilled, these fruits make for a warm, comforting addition to both savoury and sweet dishes.
  • Quinces: Often overlooked, quinces can be transformed into a delicious treat when grilled and glazed with honey.

Meats and Seafood

With the weather cooling down, it’s time to bring heartier meats and rich seafood to the grill. These protein options are perfect for autumn BBQs, providing the sustenance needed for the season.

  • Lamb: Autumn is a great time for lamb in Australia. Try lamb chops or a shoulder, marinated in rosemary and garlic, then slow-grilled to perfection.
  • Seafood: With the seasonal run of fish like snapper and mackerel, there’s plenty of opportunity to enjoy fresh seafood on the grill. Marinate lightly to preserve their natural flavours.
  • Beef and Pork: Ideal for heartier meals as the weather cools. Opt for cuts like brisket or pork shoulder, perfect for slow-cooking BBQ style.

Cooking Tips and Techniques

Enhance your BBQ experience this autumn with these essential cooking tips and techniques. Perfecting your approach to grilling can make all the difference in bringing out the best flavors of the season’s produce.

  • Using the Right Marinades: Autumn calls for richer marinades using ingredients like mustard, maple syrup, and balsamic vinegar.
  • Smoking: Incorporate woods like apple or cherry wood to add a subtle sweetness to your BBQ dishes, complementing the season’s produce.
  • Grilling Under Cover: As the weather can be unpredictable, consider using a grill cover to maintain consistent cooking temperatures.

Autumn's bounty offers a fresh perspective on BBQing, from smoky vegetables to sweet fruits and hearty meats. Embrace these seasonal offerings to make your BBQ gatherings both delicious and memorable. So, light up your grill, try these tips and recipes, and make the most of Australia’s vibrant autumn flavours!