Father’s Day BBQ feast

Light the barbie and invite the family over to indulge in a delicious spread in honour of Dad.

Bunnings magazine, August 2019

Flex your barbecuing skills this Father’s Day

Celebrate Father’s Day with a few of Dad’s favourite things: family, good food and a barbecue with all burners blazing! We’ve catered for a crowd, with recipes to impress your guests (kids included), all cooked on an outdoor grill.

It’s a great opportunity to explore the versatility of the backyard barbecue, which can lend a distinctive smoky favour to an enormous range of ingredients. Barbecues are not just for summer, and certainly not just for steaks and snags!


You can barbecue the Portuguese snapper without the smoker box and chips, but they help to impart a lovely woody flavour to the fish.

Smoked Portuguese snapper

Serves 4–6

  • 1kg whole snapper, cleaned
  • 1 lemon, sliced, plus extra wedges to serve
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • Coriander sprigs, finely sliced red onion and spring onion, for garnish
  • 100g smoking chips, for grilling
  • 1 smoker box

Portuguese marinade

  • 3 long red chillies, seeded and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 1½ tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar 

1. Soak the smoker chips in a bowl of water for 30 minutes. To make the marinade, place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Reserve ¼ cup of the marinade. Place the snapper on a tray and cut four slashes across the top. Spread the remaining marinade over both sides and inside the snapper; cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

2. Drain the smoking chips. Heat the barbecue to a medium-high heat. Spread the chips in the smoker box and sit the smoker box on the hot plate. Lower the barbecue lid and allow the chips to heat and smoke for about 20 minutes.

3. Place three lemon slices down the centre of the snapper and the remaining slices inside the cavity. Place the snapper in a fish griller or on a non-stick barbecue mat and spray with olive oil. Place the griller or mat on the barbecue hotplate. Cook with the lid down for 30-35 minutes, turning halfway, until charred and cooked through (the flesh will be white).

4. Transfer to a serving platter. Garnish with the coriander and finely sliced red onion and spring onion. Serve with lemon wedges. Use the reserved marinade to drizzle over the flesh once removed from the bones.

Tip: You can use the marinade for thick fish fillets, green prawns, butterflied chicken, chicken fillets and chicken wings. To increase the heat, add some chilli seeds or ¼ tsp cayenne pepper.


Grilled corn cobs with coriander avocado sauce

Serves 6

  • 6 cobs of corn with husks
  • 75g soft butter
  • 1½ tsp finely grated lime zest
  • 1½ tsp garlic salt
  • 1½ tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • Cracked black pepper
  • Dried chilli flakes and chopped coriander, to serve

Coriander avocado sauce

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ¼ cup Greek yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander
  • ½ tsp sriracha chilli sauce

1. Bring a stockpot of water to the boil. Peel back the corn husks, discarding the few dry outer husks and leaving the remaining husks intact and attached to the cob. Remove and discard the silks. Tie the husks together on each cob with string or with strips of discarded corn husk. Trim the dry ends with scissors. Lower the cobs into boiling water, leaving the husks out of the water. Boil for 5 minutes, then lift out of the water and allow to cool.

2. Combine the butter, lime zest, garlic salt, onion powder and paprika, and season with pepper. Spread over the cooled cobs.

3. Heat the barbecue to a medium-high heat. Add the corn with the husks hanging over the edge of the barbecue. Cook with the lid down, resting on top of the husks, for 12-15 minutes, turning occasionally, until charred.

4. To make the coriander avocado sauce, blend all the ingredients with ¼ cup of water in a blender or food processor until smooth. Spread some sauce on a serving board. Place the corn cobs on top and spread with more sauce. Sprinkle with the chilli flakes and coriander. Serve with the remaining sauce on the side.

mediterranean vegetables

Barbecued Mediterranean vegetables with garlic and hummus

Serves 4–6

  • 1 large eggplant, cut into 2.5cm cubes
  • 2 large zucchini, cut into 1.5cm cubes
  • 350g cauliflower, cut into 4cm florets
  • 1 large red capsicum, seeded and cut into 1cm strips
  • 1 large red onion, halved and cut into 1cm wedges
  • 1 cup olive oil, plus extra for the pita and serving
  • 1 tbsp chopped rosemary
  • 2 tsp chopped lemon thyme leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp ground sea salt
  • 640g bag Greek pita bread (see Tip)
  • 250g tub hummus
  • 200g tub garlic dip (see Tip)
  • 80g baby rocket leaves, rinsed and drained
  • Sumac, for sprinkling (optional)
  • 1 cup pomegranate arils (optional)
  • Caramelised balsamic vinegar, to serve

1. Heat the barbecue to medium. Place the eggplant, zucchini, cauliflower, capsicum and onion in a large heavy-based roasting dish that will fit in your barbecue with the lid down. (You can also cook the vegetables on a lower heat on the flat hotplate in batches.)

2. Combine the oil, rosemary, lemon thyme, garlic and salt in a jug. Pour over the vegetables and toss until coated. Place the dish on the barbecue hotplate. Close the lid and cook for 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden. Remove the pan and set aside to cool.

3. Brush the pita lightly with oil and barbecue for 1-2 minutes each side or until puffed and charred. Transfer to a plate, cut into wedges and cover with foil to keep warm.

4. Spread the hummus on a platter then spread the garlic dip on top. Add the rocket to the vegetables and toss to combine. Arrange the vegies on top of the hummus and garlic, sprinkle with the sumac and pomegranate, drizzle with the balsamic and oil, and serve with the pita wedges.

Tip: You can buy Greek pita bread and garlic dip from greengrocers and delis.
texas kebabs

Texas blackjack barbecue beef kebabs

Makes 20 kebabs; serves 6

  • 1 cup dark beer or ale
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 2 tbsp dark coconut syrup or molasses
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tsp ground chipotle or chipotle hot sauce
  • 700g skirt steak (see Tip)
  • Olive oil, for grilling
  • Thinly sliced green chilli and herbs, to garnish

1. Combine the beer, barbecue sauce, syrup, vinegar, lime juice, sugar, garlic and chipotle in a pan over a medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Boil for 12 minutes or until thickened slightly. Pour into a heatproof jug; allow to cool.

2. Cut the steak, against the grain, into 5mm slices. Add 2  cups of the marinade to the steak and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

3. Soak 40 x 16cm wooden skewers in cold water for 10 minutes. Thread the meat onto a skewer, then thread another skewer at an angle to secure any loose pieces. Repeat with the remaining meat. (You can use single skewers if preferred.)

4. Heat an oiled barbecue to medium-high. Cook the skewers for 5 minutes with the lid down, turning halfway and brushing with more oil until charred and just cooked through. Remove and transfer to a clean plate.

5. Drizzle with some of the remaining marinade and turn until coated. Arrange on a serving platter. Sprinkle with the chilli and herbs and serve with the rest of the marinade on the side.

Tip: With minimal cooking on a hot barbecue, skirt steak produces a tender kebab, but you can also use rump, sirloin, porterhouse or eye fillet to make the skewers. Unused marinade can be stored in a jar in the fridge for up to one month.

greek chick kebabs

Greek chicken souvlaki kebabs

Makes 14 kebabs; serves 6

  • 1kg chicken breast fillets, trimmed
  • Olive oil, for barbecuing
  • Lemon wedges and tzatziki, to serve

Greek souvlaki marinade

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 tsp chopped thyme, plus extra for serving
  • 1 tsp chopped dried mint
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Ground sea salt and black pepper

1. Combine all the marinade ingredients, then slice the chicken into 3cm cubes. Add to the marinade and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Avoid marinating for too long as the lemon juice will begin to cook the chicken.

2. Soak 14 x 25cm flat wooden skewers in water for 10 minutes. Thread the chicken onto the skewers. Heat an oiled barbecue plate to medium. (Try using a mesh grill mat on top of the barbecue plate to avoid sticking, see Tip.)

3. Cook the kebabs for 10-12 minutes with the lid down, turning halfway and brushing with more oil, until cooked through. Transfer to a serving platter, sprinkle with extra thyme sprigs and serve with the lemon wedges and tzatziki.

Tip: The marinade is also suitable for pork and lamb leg kebabs, cutlets, butterflied leg or shoulder.

roasted sweet potato

Roasted baby sweet potatoes with dill ranch dressing

Serves 6

  • 1kg small sweet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes
  • Crunchy chickpea snacks (see Tip)
  • Dill ranch dressing
  • ½ cup buttermilk or Greek yoghurt
  • ⅓ cup whole egg mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp chopped dill
  • 1 tbsp chopped chives, plus extra to serve
  • Habanero hot sauce or sriracha, to taste

1. Scrub the sweet potatoes under cold water and pat dry. Cut in half lengthways then cut again lengthways into 3cm wedges. Put in a large bowl with the oil, garlic and salt and toss to combine.

2. Heat the barbecue to medium-low. Place the wedges on the hotplate and cook for 15-20 minutes with the lid down until tender and charred, brushing with oil and turning halfway.

3. To make the dill ranch dressing, combine the buttermilk, mayonnaise, lime juice, dill and chives in a blender and blend until smooth. Add the hot sauce to taste and blend.

4. Arrange the potatoes on a serving platter and drizzle with some of the dressing. Sprinkle with the chives and chickpeas and serve with the remaining dressing on the side.

Tip: Crunchy chickpea snacks are available in the health food section in some supermarkets.


Photo credit: Brigid Arnott.

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