BBQ Cooking School

The Oxford dictionary describes barbecue as "A meal or gathering at which meat, fish, or other food is cooked out of doors on a rack over an open fire or on a special appliance"; and dates it back to the mid 17th century.

While the orgin and date of the first bbq is debatible, one thing hasn't changed in 400 years - bbq is one of the best ways to gather with the people you love and celebrate. We sat down with chef and founder of BBQ School, Ben Farley to talk all things bbq.

Tell us about BBQ School

BBQ School is a fun and engaging cooking school that was created by internationally trained Michelin starred Chef, Ben Farley in September 2004. This was in response to rapidly growing interest from the public to be able to cook and entertain with a lot more flair and style the next time they fire up the BBQ or get creative when they next have a dinner party. Today we operate from five venues around the country and are very proud that more than 100'000 people that have enjoyed and experienced our schools.

Where did your love of BBQ cooking come from?

There is not much better than having your friends and family around for a get-together and in our climate, we benefit from the ability to entertain outdoors. So many times I have witnessed the arduous task of some hosts who generally get in a pickle or try "Too Hard" and over complicate things and end up burning or serving food that might be deemed underwhelming. From my love of cooking and entertaining, I saw a niche in the market to help people get the most out of cooking more confidently on their BBQs and hopefully get bathed in glory when they next fire up the BBQ.

What can someone expect from a BBQ School cooking class?

One of the best days they have had. Learning to cook gourmet BBQ with a Beer in hand! Can't get much better than that! Our main objective is to get you full of confidence with a range of tips and tricks and have you cooking in style in no time. These might range from cooking times and temperatures, seasoning and flavour partners plus specific points about menu selection, prep, what to do in advance and on the day, what is the best beverage to match and how you can make it fun and not a chore

BBQ School founder, Ben Farley teaching a bbq cooking class

When most people think of BBQ’s they immediately think of meat. For any non-meat eaters out there, what would you recommend they try on a BBQ?

Seafood on a BBQ is amazing! Whilst meat is great grilled - Seafood is light, delicate and especially good as we come into the warmer months!

What is your favourite food to cook on a BBQ?

I love to Steam Roast a Whole Snapper! We have such amazing seafood on the East Coast of Australia and a Snapper never disappoints. We have a spice crusted Snapper with wilted Asian Green that is a winner and more often less than an hour to cook!

What is your most popular BBQ cooking class?

Currently, it is the American Smoking BBQ Class. All being about the Low and Slow. It has taken the world by storm and it seems that people cannot get enough of smoking and cooking with solid fuels. Brisket, Pulled Pork, Ribs - All too yummy at the moment and we love teaching it!  

American Smoking BBQ Cooking Class

What tip can you give any aspiring BBQ cooks?

Don't try to confuse your flavours. Quality ingredients need less marinating or additional ingredients. They are already pretty close to perfect. Take a great ingredient, combine it with its hero flavour partner and get cooking!  

What are the must have utensils you need when cooking on a BBQ?

Tongs, A Fish Slice (Lifter), A resting tray and a very cold beer!

Tell us the best dessert you can cook on a BBQ

The best dessert? There is no competition - A Chocolate Molton Lava Pudding! 

What tips can you give for cleaning the BBQ after a cooking session?

We swear by the cleaning products supplied by Selleys. Be sure to spray the surfaces of your BBQ with a BBQ cleaner when it is hot - but not on. Close the hood and go and have lunch/dinner. The de-greaser and the heat will ensure that the cleaning process has started, then, when you return, some hot soapy water will finish the job. I always like to spray the cooking surface, after cleaning, with a canola oil to avoid corrosion. 

Can you give us a BBQ recipe for Father’s Day?

Check out our BBQ Whole Roasted Spiced Snapper with Wilted Sesame Greens.

Share an experience this Fathers Day | RedBalloon #mydad