Listers, I find it hard to believe that some of you think that, as soon as summer packs its bags and leaves for another year, it’s time to put the BBQ into hibernation until the temperature next hits 27˚. Well, I’ve got news for you: Autumn BBQs are AWESOME. There’s nothing that beats rounding up a group of your nearest and dearest, cooking up a storm under the stars, and using the evening chill as an excuse to snuggle up to your other half/that mate you’ve had a crush on for the past year and a half (tried and tested, trust me, it works).
To help you get your Autumnal groove on, here’s the essentials you’ll need to throw the perfect BBQ this season:
Get your meat delivered by The Meat Society
Everyone knows that epic BBQs start with one key ingredient— great meat. Take the hassle out of finding delicious meat by ordering a box of grass fed meat from our favourite online butcher, The Meat Society. These guys choose only the best meat from local farms and deliver it to your doorstep. The Meat Society's handy mixed packs (which include everything from porterhouse steak, free-range pork and lamb chop boxes to a grass-fed megamix of sausages, steaks, and chicken breasts) mean you don’t have to go through the boring task of figuring out exactly what to order, plus you know you’ll be getting a great deal. Awesome.
Visit your local farmers’ market for fresh veggies
Farmers markets are great places to pick up a variety of delicious Autumnal veg that will make the perfect side to your meat. Root vegetables (pumpkin, sweet potato, carrots etc.) are at their prime in Autumn, so grab some of those, pre-roast them and then finish them on the BBQ, wrapped in foil, either with some herb butter (best baked potatoes ever), or all-out American style with marshmallows and cinnamon sugar. Also, BBQ’d paprika sweetcorn. YES.
For a full list of local markets, check out the Melbourne Farmers Markets website.
Grab some Autumn beers from Melbourne’s best craft breweries
One of the best pieces of life advice I’ve ever been given is to choose the beer I’m drinking by the seasons—light, fizzy beers for that summer heatwave; heartier, warming ales for the colder months. And there’s no better way to find the right Autumn BBQ beer than going to local breweries and checking out their latest seasonal releases.
There’s a ton of amazing craft breweries in Melbourne (Moon Dog in Abbotsford, Temple Brewing Co in East Brunswick, Mountain Goat in Richmond, 3 Ravens in Thornbury) so, once you’ve picked your meat, get out there, get talking to their in-house beer experts, and get tasting! That BBQ’d brisket is going to be SO much better washed down with a delicious amber ale than with your usual summer tinnie.
Hit up Melbourne’s top bakeries for fresh bread
Whether it’s sourdough, a French stick or a wholegrain bloomer, nothing beats biting into a slice of fresh bread. Autumn flavours are better matched with the richer recipes—rye, multigrain or pumpkin seed breads are best—so be sure to pick up a selection from Melbourne’s best bakeries: Rustica in Fitzroy, Dench in Fitzroy North, Sourdough Kitchen in Seddon, Baker D. Chirico’s various stores, Woodfrog Bakery in St Kilda and any of Phillippa’s bakeries.
Keep everyone warm, beginners level: Whisky
No, I don’t know how it works, but somehow sipping a good Scotch whisky magically warms you up, so have a bottle tucked away for that time of the night when the temperature begins to drop. For top-notch advice, drop into Whisky & Alement in the CBD and try a dram or two before picking up a bottle in a nearby bottle shop.
Keep everyone warm, intermediate level: Blankets
Having a few blankets on hand to give out to those who are feeling the night air chill/haven’t had as much whisky as others is a total pro-tip. If you’re looking for something cheap and cheerful, H&M’s homewares department is hard to beat. If you want something that’s less likely to ignite in a ball of polyester flames, Country Road keeps beautiful cotton and lambswool blankets. And if you want the deluxe model, head to Third Drawer Down to get your hands on an original Pendleton woollen blanket which you can hand down to your grandkids.
Keep everyone warm, expert level: A Chimenea
BBQs are great but, if you have the space (and the ability to supervise a fire without burning down the neighbourhood…), nothing beats a chiminea. The South American terracotta or metal open-fire stoves are great for keeping everyone warm as well as for toasting marshmallows and getting rid of that Ikea furniture you no longer want. Alternatively, go for the chiminea’s less sophisticated sibling, the fire pit.
You can pick these up from Bunnings as well as local plant nurseries and outdoor furniture stores. The best Autumn BBQ investment that will keep giving throughout winter and make you look like an ultimate pro.
Make everybody s’mores
Fact: You will become a local legend if you make s’mores at your Awesome Autumn BBQ. They are the easiest thing to add to your cooking repertoire and the benefits will pay off in dividends. All you need is cream crackers or biscuits, Nutella, marshmallows and a toasting fork. Voila! The most delicious thing you’ll make all season.
We’d love to see your awesome Autumn BBQs in action—get on Instagram and tag your BBQ pics with #urbanlisted
Image credit: Far Og Barn via Pintrest