But you don’t have to give up barbecueing just because the warm balmy nights are leaving us… Autumn and winter lend themselves perfectly for BBQ Roasts, hot salads and soul-warming breads, and our BBQ loving nation is jumping on board with gusto.
We chat to Peter Woodland, CEO and founder of BeefEater Barbecues about why it’s time to rug up, grab a few cushions and enjoy an outdoor kitchen this winter.
Why do you think that outdoor kitchens have become such a trend recently?
Quick, easy BBQ meals are always in fashion and the outdoor kitchen allows Australians to extend that year-round. Barbecuing is so much more versatile than cooking in the kitchen and the results more flavorsome. Any mess, vapour of smoke is also confined to the outdoors. Outdoor kitchens also offer the ultimate in cooking flexibility, with all options available – from a 6-burner BBQ built into a protected enclosure in the backyard through to a full kitchen with a sink, storage and extra features such as a wok burner which allows for more creative meals. Australians are so used to barbecuing throughout spring and summer and we find that outdoor kitchens become popular this time of year as less Australians are willing to give up barbecuing just because the weather starts to turn cold.
What do you love so much about cooking outdoors in winter?
It’s really easy to create a cosy space – it’s not about one person standing outside cooking steak while everyone else is huddled in the nice warm kitchen. We’re seeing consumers create enclosed, protected spaces that can be used even when it is windy or cold. Candles, throw rugs, cushions and even landscaping of the garden can all be used to create the perfect space where friends and family want to hang out, no matter what the weather is doing.
What is your favourite meal to cook in your outdoor kitchen during winter?
Rack of lamb roast is my favourite. It’s easy to do with the baked potatoes in the barbecue, then the vegetables on the side burner. The rack can be readily removed from the baking dish then placed on the grill section to caramelise and create a crisp surface before sitting for five minutes and serving. A roast of any kind warms the cockles and is hard to beat during those cooler winter months.
For someone who is thinking of setting up an outdoor kitchen, what advice would you give them?
Think about how you would like to use the space – is it central to your existing kitchen and therefore can just be used for cooking, and cleaning to be done inside, or do you need to incorporate a sink or even a dishwasher drawer? Will you need an extractor and if so where would it be installed? Can the outdoor kitchen be used comfortably year-round or do you need to install an awning, or a heater? Straight drop awnings can provide protection in both summer and winter while also stopping those pesky flies in the warmer months. Comfortable seating is also a must. It is also important to use quality fittings throughout – an outdoor kitchen that intuitively fits the space and flows on from the rest of the home can add value when it comes sale time. The BeefEater Signature Outdoor Kitchen is a modular system that allows you to select exactly what you need, creating the perfect space for you.
What other meals, apart from barbeques, are good to make in an outdoor kitchen?
Almost anything you can make inside the home, you can make in an outdoor kitchen, as long as you have the right tools and accessories. Probably the easiest thing you can whip up in your outdoor kitchen is a healthy pizza. Roasts and sautéed vegetables are also easy – and can be much easier to clean up afterwards, compared to cooking in a traditional oven.
For more information on BeefEater Barbecues and great recipes, head to www.beefeaterbbq.com