A survey of over 1,200 Australian families has shown that Aussie Dads get the thumbs up from their partners with 55 per cent saying they have ‘good barbecue technique’ and more than 50 per cent are experimenting with adventurous gourmet style meals.
The survey showed that tasty marinades and creative recipes are taking over from traditional ‘snags and steaks’ on the barbie.
“Every spring, we conduct a consumer survey to keep up-to-date with barbecue cooking trends and we have seen an ongoing increase in the number of people who are experimenting with creative BBQ food, including delicious sauces, rubs, innovative menus and delicious accompaniments,” said Ms Michelle Rossier, marketing manager, BeefEater® Barbecues.
When it comes to plating up, 38 per cent said their partners can cook the perfect steak but seafood it seems is the hardest to cook, with just 7 per cent getting it right. Eleven per cent can pull off a yummy roast and interestingly, 15 per cent are putting together delicious salads and sides.
“There is an increasing trend for creative salads and sides, influenced by the popularity of Mediterranean and Asian cuisine – move over coleslaw, hello chargrilled veggies and wilted Asian greens!” said Michelle.
Steak tops the list of favourite BBQ food at 42 per cent, followed by lamb (20 per cent), chicken (9 per cent) and seafood (8 per cent). Interestingly, only 3 per cent said fish was their favourite food and least popular was pizza at just 2.4 per cent.
“We found the lack of popularity of pizza to be interesting because we always receive great feedback about our pizza ovens – it’s incredibly quick and easy to cook a pizza on a BBQ and they taste amazingly authentic!” said Michelle.
When it comes to equality of the sexes, the barbecue it seems continues to divide and conquer with almost half of men taking control of the tongs and just 15 per cent of women surveyed said they share the BBQ cooking with their partner.
“Every year we continue to see that the barbecue is still a ‘man’s domain’ with a resounding 89 per cent of men gathering around the BBQ to cook and share a drink and conversation with their mates at barbecue parties,” said Michelle.
Interestingly though, the BBQ purchase is a joint one, with 54 per cent of women having their say on which BBQ is best.
“Many women are involved in the decision because they want to enjoy the best tasting BBQ food on a stylish barbecue that looks good in the backyard,” said Michelle.
Style and performance are important considerations when choosing a barbecue with 77 per cent of those surveyed saying that their partner had suffered ‘BBQ envy’ over a friend’s new BBQ or top-of-the-range new model.
“These days, barbecues, like cars and mobile phones are state-of-the-art appliances that are a result of a high level of careful design and technology processes that make them aspirational purchases for the home. The humble Aussie Barbecue has come of age,” said Michelle.
This is reflected in the survey results conducted by BeefEater Barbecues and Kids Magazine – when asked what they would most like to do to improve their backyard, the majority said they would like to upgrade their existing barbecue to a new one.
“Upgrading to the latest model is now very much accepted as a consumer purchasing trend which has spilled over from technology products into home appliances,” said Michelle.
“Renovation TV shows have turned dreams into reality by showing how easy it is to extend your living space by building an outdoor room and clearly it is becoming increasingly desirable to do so by many Aussie families. This was borne out by our survey which showed that almost half said they cook outdoors more than they used to because they are more set up for it now,” says Michelle.
In the height of summer, almost half of all Australian families fire up the barbie once or twice a week, with 30 per cent enjoying delicious home-cooked barbecue food two to three times per week.
“The survey showed what we already know – Aussies are a nation of barbecue lovers,” said Michelle.
And when asked why, the resounding answer is ‘taste’ with 37 per cent agreeing that they love barbecuing because BBQ food is really tasty. 27 per cent said it’s a fun way to get together with family and friends and 25 per cent saying it’s part of the Aussie way of life.
Most people own a gas BBQ (70 per cent) and just 5 per cent own a solid fuel BBQ.
“This result is interesting as these findings would be reversed in many other countries. In Europe and South America for example, solid fuel barbecuing is very popular. We are finding though that many Aussies are now purchasing a solid fuel BBQ as a second option because of the unique smokey taste that cooking with solid fuel gives – it’s very popular currently,” said Michelle.
And finally – when asked how they will spend Father’s Day, only 5 per cent of dads will be treated to breakfast in bed with 14 per cent of dads cooking a BBQ meal for their family. The majority, 51 per cent will enjoy a family day and 11 per cent will do nothing special at all.
“Whatever you decide to do, we wish all dads a happy father’s day!” said Michelle.