Aussie BBQ Sauce

January 28, 2013
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It’s funny you know, the differences you find in an activity as simple as cooking food over an open flame. For starters what do you call said activity – barbeque, barbecue, BBQ, grilling or something else – and what do the terms mean? Then there’s the question of what to cook, and even what equipment to use. Let me paint the smoky picture in very broad brushstrokes…

In America-land, grilling is what happens on a charcoal or gas grill, usually with chicken legs and hamburgers and maybe a steak – in suburban backyards. Barbequing is a tradition. It involves an enormous slab of meat being cooked for hours – or days – in a beast of a contraption until it falls off the bone.


In Australia, grilling is what you do in the top section of an oven [broiling for all you Northern Hemisphereians]. Barbecuing takes place in backyards in the same charcoal or gas grill – but it’s called a barbecue or a barbie, has a flat hotplate alongside the grates, and generally turns out sausages and fried onions. Slow cooked fall-off-the-bone roasting is a thing of TV shows and the occasional theme restaurant.

Similarly, barbeque sauce is an item seen in both locations but used very differently.

In America-land it is a marinade, slopped and brushed over items as they cook adding layers of flavour and magic. Recipes are fiercely guarded and defined by regions, states and even families. While in Australia it’s a condiment, used to squeeze over sausages or steaks once the meat is firmly ensconced in a white bread roll. It comes from a plastic bottle and a vat in a factory somewhere.


Here in the land of the long-weekend, today is the Australia Day public holiday, so whether you barbeque, barbecue, BBQ or grill this is my offering to bridge the gap.

A proper bbq sauce, made with a few quintessential Aussie ingredients, perfect for slathering on as a marinade for chicken or ribs, squeezing over a sausage wrapped in a slice of bread, or even topping a hearty Vegan Mushroom and Lentil Burger. So what are you waiting for? Light up the Webber and crack a cold one, it’s time for a BBQ.



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17 Responses to Aussie BBQ Sauce

  1. Priscilla @ on January 28, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Oh I love your version of BBQ sauce. So much more healthier and looks great on those drumsticks.
    Looking forward to your cashew aioli recipe.

    And you’re right. BBQ is quite the phenomena in the US! I personally prefer the American version.

    • JJ on January 29, 2013 at 2:45 pm

      Cheers Priscilla! Still playing around with that aioli but getting close ;D

  2. Claire @ Claire K Creations on January 28, 2013 at 11:52 am

    Thanks for the introduction JJ! I’m rather anti the plastic version!

  3. Tania on January 28, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    Thanks for the very clear explanation of the differences between barbeques JJ. It is great to see it all spelt out in one place. A very helpful post. Now I’m off to make me some sauce.

  4. Anna @The Littlest Anchovy on January 28, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    I got to experience American BBQ when I was in North Carolina last year…oh the memories.
    I have always wanted to make BBQ sauce and I just love the mango and Vegemite you have used in this recipe. I have bookmarked it for my next sausage sizzle!

    • JJ on January 29, 2013 at 2:47 pm

      It is one of those things you simply can’t reproduce without meat – but at least I can have the sauce ;)

  5. Laura (Tutti Dolci) on January 29, 2013 at 8:21 am

    Your Aussie BBQ sauce sounds so tasty, I love the flavors!

  6. Tina @ bitemeshowme on January 29, 2013 at 9:01 am

    Wow, I’ve never known what’s in the making of bbq sauce and I have to say I’m quite impressed. The flavours you’ve used are interesting but I don’t doubt that they work superbly together.

    • JJ on January 29, 2013 at 2:47 pm

      Cheers Tina! It’s quite a simple thing to make and so much better than processed!

  7. Adrian (What the Heck is Filipino Food) on January 29, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    Woah. I’d love to try this out. I’ve been BBQ’ing like crazy this summer and am always looking for a good sauce. Love how you added Vegemite and mango

  8. Sara @bellyrumbles on January 30, 2013 at 12:24 am

    It’s funny I never use the store bought bottled BBQ sauce with anything that is BBQ’d, it is only for hamburgers, steak sandwiches or egg and bacon rolls. Love an American BBQ but also love the simplicity of and Aussie one. Sauce sounds great.

  9. K-bobo @ Gormandize with A-dizzle & K-bobo on January 30, 2013 at 8:48 am

    Haha, what a bizarre coincidence that I just posted a very similar post with a recipe for BBQ sauce :) Yours looks delicious, I like the idea of using mango for sweetness – makes it a bit healthier! Personally I think the word ‘broiling’ sounds awful! It sounds a bot too much like “boiling” to me, so makes me think of wet soggy boiled meat/tofu (or whatever it is you are ‘broiling’).

  10. Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul on January 30, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Oh yes! I’m def making this JJ! The mango and Vegemite have me Intrigued and drooling at the same time. As for bbq’s (and all their spelling) I love ‘em all!

  11. Sarah on February 1, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    Oh man, this sauce sounds incredible! Tangy, sweet, even a little sour and bitter from the vegemite! Yum!

  12. Mel @ The cook's notebook on February 2, 2013 at 10:01 am

    this looks FAB JJ! Will be making it for our next BBQ. Actually we BBQ about 4 times a week, so I guess I’ll be making it today :)

  13. [...] Homemade BBQ Sauce. Dad’s and BBQ go together like wheatgrass and coconut water. That means he’ll love it. [...]

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