No matter Paul Hogan’s efforts to educate Americans about Aussie barbecue culture, don’t expect to see shrimp being thrown and nary a Bunnings-style sausage sizzle. An American barbecue is a wholly difference beast, from the terms used to the food consumed.
Kiss farewell to lamb chops, T-bones, kebabs and reef fish. The basic social BBQ/barbecue experience replaces the ‘barbie’ with the ‘grill’ and a badly charcoaled sausage on white bread is replaced by a hot dog – literally a Weiner in a bread roll with mustard and ketchup (not tomato sauce). Hamburgers are the quarter of the size and called sliders, with no onion and salad not advancing beyond a leaf of iceberg lettuce and a slice of tomato. Forget fried eggs, beetroot (known as beets), pineapple or burnt bits of onion.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. American barbecue (not grilling) is a next level experience. This southern tradition introduces smoked meats, slow cooked until it falls off the bone. Beef brisket, pulled pork and even chicken benefit from hours of hickory smoking creating a heavenly, savory taste. The typical sides are smoky baked beans (not out of a Heinz can), rustic potato salads and slaw. It’s an easy adjustment and when the barbecue is good, it’s unforgettable.