Over Charcoal

With Australia day tomorrow, I thought I’d pay homage to the great Aussie tradition of BBQing with three courses of my favourite multicultural recipes to cook over the coals.

Getting started

I much prefer cooking over coals for that authentic, smokey taste. So if you get the opportunity to use a charcoal BBQ, then I’d definitely recommend that option over gas or electric for these recipe ideas.

Apart from the rich flavour, using BBQ Briquettes like Heat Beads® means that you get a consistent heat so not only can you sear (BBQ lid off) and slow cook (BBQ lid on), you can also essentially create oven conditions in your BBQ… and then your cooking possibilities really do become endless. Plus, these briquettes burn for much longer, which means the BBQ will keep burning for you from starters to dessert.


Satay chicken skewers – soak the bamboo skewers in water so they don’t burn. Then marinate chicken thigh fillets overnight in a mix of lemongrass, garlic, chillies, peanuts, olive oil, salt, soy and honey (alternatively, a store bought Malaysian satay marinate will do just fine). Set some of this mix aside to serve as a dipping sauce.

They only need a few minutes on each side to cook through and get a deliciously caramelised crisp on the outside. Serve with sliced red onion and cucumber.

An ode to the BBQ: Australia day entertaining ideas on the BBQ - satay chicken

Smokey pumpkin with labneh, dukkah and Pita – Brush wedges of pumpkin with olive oil, salt and smokey paprika and BBQ for 15 minutes. Serve with labneh which is a thick Middle Eastern strained yogurt and if you can’t find it at your grocery store, it’s super easy to make yourself. Add some Dukkhah spice mix, olive oil and toasted pinenuts and serve with Pita bread which you can toast over the coals for a few minutes before serving.

An ode to the BBQ: Australia day entertaining ideas on the BBQ - roast pumpkin with labne, dukkah and pita


Pork roast with crackling – get a heavy based casserole dish and put veggies like leeks, celery and carrot at the base. Add stock to cover the vegetables and then place your pork roast on top.

Cut the skin diagonally and pat the dry with a paper towel till to remove the moisture (the dryer the better for crispier crackling). Rub a generous amount of coarsely grounded rock salt all over the skin and cook in the casserole dish over coals for an hour and a twenty minutes with the dish covered and the BBQ covered. For the last 10 minutes, remove the lid to crisp up the skin.

The liquid at the base of the casserole dish will be flavoured intensely with the pork drippings, vegetable and stock. All you need to do is add some cornflour to thicken it and strain to serve as gravy.

An ode to the BBQ: Australia day entertaining ideas on the BBQ - pork roast with crackling and sage butter potatoes

Sage butter roast vegetables – cut deep lines on both sides of peeled potatoes and then rub a mix of butter, sage leaves, salt and garlic. The sliced potato tops will soak in all the flavour and crisp up perfectly. The same mix can be used to rub onto the carrot before BBQing.


Watermelon rose cake – Follow this recipe and simply substitute the oven baking of the Hazelnut Dacquoise (Meringue) for baking in the BBQ. Baking in the BBQ adds a lovely, chewy, smokey dimension to the meringue and makes one of my most favourite desserts even better.

An ode to the BBQ: Australia day entertaining ideas on the BBQ. Watermelon and strawberry rose cake

Cake credits go to my sister Indi on this occasion.

Chocolate Croissants – roll your favourite chocolate in puff pastry and bake in the BBQ for around 15 minutes until the pastry gets golden. Dust with icing sugar and cocoa powder and serve with your favourite ice cream. The chocolate filling will be melted and gooey if served warm.

An ode to the BBQ: Australia day entertaining ideas on the BBQ - chocolate croissant

Toasted Marshmallows – no recipe or instructions needed… you know what to do.


We hope your BBQ gets a work out tomorrow and your day ends in a food coma. Ours will!

– The Cloud9 Project xx

One thought on “Over Charcoal

  1. Pingback: Backyard Brunching | The Cloud9 Project


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