One of my personal favourites is the famous "construction site shovel BBQ". No this isn't an urban legend. As with a lot of things in life it has fell foul of political correctness, occupational health and safety regulations on building sites and plain stupidity. Actually I haven't enjoyed a shovel BBQ since I quit constructing buildings in 1975. Back then I owned the sites so I had a great deal of say in what was or wasn't acceptable. Shovel BBQ's were in, usually reserved for Friday lunchtime. Then you can also build the very portable plough share or hub cap BBQ.


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BBQ or COOK OUT

WHAT IS A BBQ?

Assuming you haven't been living under a rock all your life you should know what an Aussie BBQ is all about.

However, not all BBQ's are the same, no sir. BBQ's range from the all purpose three or four burner shop-bought variety down to the BBQ of more humble origins.

One of my personal favourites is the famous "construction site shovel BBQ". No this isn't an urban legend. As with a lot of things in life it has fell foul of political correctness, occupational health and safety regulations on building sites and plain stupidity.

Actually I haven't enjoyed a shovel BBQ since I quit constructing buildings in 1975. Back then I owned the sites so I had a great deal of say in what was or wasn't acceptable. Shovel BBQ's were most certainly in, usually reserved for Friday lunchtime. It is ideal as a one or two person BBQ. Bigger numbers? Add more shovels and stage a competition!

SHOVEL BBQ'S

A construction site shovel BBQ is elegant in its simplicity. Your requirements are:

GETTING YOUR SHOVEL BBQ TOGETHER

OK you've cleaned up your shovel as best as your can, even removed the odd dag of concrete adhering to the shovel. You now rest the shovel horizontally on two house bricks which are lain "on edge" and sufficiently spaced apart to support the shovel. You will also need a "stick" of timber to support the handle of the shovel so that the business end remains horizontal. Note that Australian construction workers never refer to a piece of timber, it's always a "stick" of timber.

I'd personally recommend, based solely on extensive experience in the name of pure scientific research, that you don't open the carton of beer until you have actually got the shovel and fire all set up. Drinking beer first, then setting up the shovel BBQ can often produce unpredictable - if often hilarious - results.

Now you need to select the right wood species for burning. In Australia the "smarties" always kept a ready supply of old "hardwood" suitably cut to size. Softwoods burn too quick and produce very little heat. Definitely keep right away from treated timber, that's future death staring you in the face. All those rotten chemicals giving your meats the wrong smokey flavour and you're inhaling the rubbish as well, give it a miss.

If all else fails I suppose you could use those new fangled "heat beads" but that's not very orthodox and certainly not in keeping with the spirit of things.

FIRES AND BBQ'S

Once the fire is going then feel free to open your carton of beer.

Let the fire die down to burning coals which produce a more or less constant heat. Never BBQ over open flames. It ruins otherwise perfectly good meat and your mates will laugh and sneer at you behind your back. Have another beer while you're waiting.

The shovel's now at the right temperature. Whack on whatever you have decided to cremate. I believe only fools and heretics over cook meat, pork excepted. For these occasions we would usually have lamb chops, sausages and onions. When it cools down a bit you can even do a few fried eggs. In Australia the term "sausage" is not the same as its european or US equivalent. I mean what you call link sausages, which in Australia come in a variety of thicknesses, lengths and recipes.

Just cook whatever you personally enjoy. I guarantee a "shovel BBQ" will make a new person of you, add much needed variety to your jaded life and be fulfilling. Any beer left?

PLOUGH SHARE OR HUB CAP BBQ

No I'm not joking. This is a variant on the shovel BBQ and very portable. What you need to carry in the boot [trunk] of your vehicle are:

BUILDING THE PLOUGH SHARE OR HUB CAP BBQ

If your not particularly handy then you need to find a friend who can fashion one end of each of your three rods, about one metre [yard] long into interlocking bends so that they support each other at the top. The other ends usually are ground down to being on the pointy side.

The whole idea is that your whole tripod stands with the legs roughly 120o apart. From the top centre you have three chains dangling down.

Now here's the real hard part. You need to find a suitable steel concave dish of about 450 mm [18"] diameter. Old plough shares are near impossible to find now and I expect collectors would find this as being the ultimate heresy. I've seen old hub caps from earlier days used to good effect.

Whatever you find needs to have three holes drilled around the perimeter about 120o apart, you also need a drain hole drilled mid centre. The holes around the perimeter need some means of connect / disconnecting the chains from above. Durable key rings work but I've seen numerous other ingenious methods.

Now if you've done all this right you should have a unit which is fairly compact when folded and easily stored out of the way in your vehicle.

Voila, portable and instant BBQ. Absolutely ideal for those impromptu, on the spur of the moment BBQ's. Be adventurous! Don't forget the beer though.

Check out my Anzac Biscuits and Baby Octopus pages.

Let me know how you go

SPECTACULAR BBQ'S

George Goble's site, you'll have to scroll down a bit but definitely worth a look.

 

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This is a mutual help group with a very professional air about it. I've learn't things. It is an excellent learning resource for lurkers as well as active contributors.

RELATED TOPICS TO BBQ's

Anzac Biscuits

Baby Octopus


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Created 20th January, 2002

Updated 23rd January, 2002

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