It doesn't matter that the human race has been cooking over flames since the beginning of time, it's still an impressive way to entertain friends and family.
Sarah Glover, author of WILD: Adventure Cookbook and Traeger Grills Australia ambassador, shares her hot tops for grilling and entertaining.
Cheesy confit garlic and mushroom pizza
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Prep time: 1 hour
Feeds: 5-6 people
2 cups oyster mushrooms
Brie cheese, sliced
5 cloves confit garlic
3 heads of garlic, cloves peeled
1 1/2 cups (or more) grapeseed oil
2 1/2 cups warm water (600ml)
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp active dry yeast
7 cups all-purpose flour (875g), plus more for dusting
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup semolina flour (30g)
1. Preheat the barbecue grill to 250 degrees. Place garlic and oil in a small saucepan (add more oil if cloves aren't submerged). Cover and bake until cloves are golden and tender, about two hours. Let cool; transfer garlic and oil to an airtight container and chill use as needed.
2. "Bloom" the yeast by sprinkling the sugar and yeast in the warm water. Let sit for 10 minutes, until bubbles form on the surface.
3. In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Make a well in the middle and add the olive oil and bloomed yeast mixture. Using a spoon, mix until a shaggy dough begins to form.
4. Once the flour is mostly hydrated, turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead for 10-15 minutes. The dough should be soft, smooth, and bouncy. Form the dough into a taut round.
5. Grease a clean, large bowl with olive oil and place the dough inside, turning to coat with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for at least an hour, or up to 24 hours.
6. Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead for another minute or so, then cut into four equal portions and shape into rounds.
7. Lightly flour the dough, then cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for another 30 minutes to an hour while you prepare the sauce and any other ingredients.
8. Preheat your barbecue grill and pizza stone to between 230 and 260 degrees.
9. In a pan add the chopped mushrooms and 1/4 cup of the garlic oil and cook until softened. Remove and allow to cool.
10. Stretch and press the dough into a thin round. Make it thinner than you think it should be, as it will slightly shrink and puff up during baking.
11. Sprinkle semolina onto an upside down baking sheet and place the stretched crust onto it. Add the sauce and ingredients of your choice.
12. Slide the pizza onto the preheated pizza stone or pan, top with mushrooms, garlic and cheese. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the crust and cheese are golden brown.
Aussie beef pie
Cooking time: 1.5 hours
Prep time: 45 minutes
Feeds: 5 people
1.25kg beef chuck, diced and cut into 3cm cubes sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to season
3 tbsp plain flour
80ml extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely diced
2 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
200ml red wine
200ml veal or chicken stock
1-2 sheets frozen puff pastry
1 egg yolk, lightly whisked with 1 tbsp water
1. Preheat your barbecue grill to 160 degrees.
2. Season the beef with salt and pepper and toss with 2 tbsp flour until evenly coated.
3. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof heavy-based pan over a high heat.
4. Add beef in batches and cook for about five minutes per batch, until well browned, then remove. Add more oil if the pan dries out.
5. Add the onion with a pinch of salt and cook over low heat for about five minutes, until softened.
6. Add the tomato paste and 1 tbsp flour and cook out for a minute or so. Add the red wine and stock, and stir until the mixture boils.
7. Return the beef to the pan, cover the pan with foil, place in your barbecue grill and cook for two hours, or until tender, then stir through the peas and mint. Allow to cool, then chill in the fridge until cold (warm filling will ruin the pastry).
8. When the beef filling is ready, heat your barbecue grill to 180 degrees.
9. Divide the pie filling among four 300ml ramekins or pie dishes. Top each with a piece of pastry large enough to hang over the edge of each dish (it is important to remove the pastry from the freezer only 5-10 minutes before you need it, so it thaws but stays chilled).
10. Press the pastry down firmly around the edges of the dishes and brush evenly with the egg yolk. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 40 minutes, until puffed and golden.
Vegetable salad with salsa verde
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Prep time: 15
Feeds: 4 people
2 sweet potatoes cut into round circles
1 cup halloumi sliced (alternative: tofu)
1 1/2 to 2 cloves garlic
2 big handfuls of fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 bunch of fresh basil
1 handful of fresh mint
1 small handful of capers
1 small handful of gherkins, in sweet vinegar
1 tablespoon mustard
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
8 tablespoons really good extra virgin olive oil
1. Peel the sweet potato and cut into thick slices. Prepare and slice the rest of your vegetables to your liking.
2. Peel the garlic and pick the herb leaves, then finely chop on a large board with the capers and gherkins.
3. Place in a bowl, add the mustard and vinegar, then slowly stir in the oil until you achieve the right consistency.
4. Balance the flavours with black pepper, a bit of sea salt and maybe a little more vinegar.
5. Heat your barbecue grill to 180 degrees, toss all of the vegetables in the extra virgin olive oil and barbecue the vegetables for 30 minutes or till golden soft and ready.
6. Whilst the vegetables are cooking, pop your haloumi or tofu onto the grill and cook until golden brown.
7. Layer the ingredients onto a share plate and drizzle with the salsa verde.
Mango with lime and coconut
4 mangos sliced down either side of the mango (disarmed)
Coconut shredded (handful)
1 tub of coconut yogurt
1. Set the grill to 240 degrees.
2. Grill the mango cheeks on the grill (skin up) till golden in colour. Toast the coconut flakes in a frying pan on the grill till lightly golden down.
3. Cut the mango flesh from the skin (cubed or stips).
4. Place the coconut yogurt in a bowl with grilled mango cheeks and serve with chilli, a drizzle of maple and lime juice.