Backyard barbie culture set to continue – on the balcony!
The backyard ‘barbie’ is an integral part of our Australian culture and always has been as indigenous Australians will tell you. We’ve now been throwing snags (and more recently shrimp!) on the BBQ for decades and this great tradition is set to continue for centuries to come!
We fire up or switch on our barbeques at every possible opportunity. It’s always been part of the Aussie way of bringing people together. Usually with a beverage in one hand, tongs in the other and sharing stories with family and friends. You can’t even go to the hardware store these days without being tempted by the wafting aroma of a sausage sizzle and tomato sauce!
What we throw on the barbie has certainly changed over the years. The ubiquitous sausage still rules but you’re now just as likely to see a thick, juicy eye fillet with marinated aubergine and caramelised onions as seen last night on a reality cooking show.
Also changing is where we put our BBQs. More Australians than ever are taking up apartment living, whether out of preference, convenience, or for other reasons. The 2016 Census of Population and Housing found that 10% of our population spent Census night in an apartment. There is now around one occupied apartment for every five occupied separate houses in Australia – compared with one to every seven, back in 1991. The growth in apartment living is primarily an urban phenomenon, concentrated within Australia’s major capital cities.
Over the past 25 years, the number of occupied apartments in Australia has increased by 78% to 1,214,372 dwellings at the 2016 Census. There has been a steady increase in the number of apartments since 1991. Most notably, the number of occupied apartments increased by 20% between 1991 and 1996, then by almost 17% between 2001 and 2006.
How will we ensure that our BBQ culture is not lost as more people opt for apartment living? A BBQ on the balcony is the answer! Sausages and steak – and marinated veggies – just as tasty on the 20th floor as in the backyard or on the electric BBQ in the park! Balcony barbies are a great way to ensure we maintain the great Aussie barbie tradition but do come with some potential risks. High-rise balcony fires are becoming more common and poorly maintained gas barbeques are a major contributing factor.
As reported recently, “MFB firefighters have responded to 19 balcony fires, including two last weekend.
In one incident in Port Melbourne on Saturday, three people were injured when a loose connection to a barbeque gas cylinder sparked a blaze on the first-floor balcony, resulting in an estimated damage bill of around $40,000″ Since 2016, poorly maintained gas barbeques has been among the most common causes of balcony fires.
A great solution to eliminate the risks around open flame (gas or charcoal) BBQs on high-rise balconies is to consider installing electric barbies. Low fire risk, easy to install or retro-fit and modern technology delivering a superior cooking result – including grilling your 180 day, dry-aged, marble-score 10 Kobe beef fillet to a perfect medium-rare. With some electric BBQs now including smart controllers and smarter safety features (think child locks, surge protection, self-diagnostics and auto-off functions) and simple ‘plug & play’ functionality, smarter commercial quality electric BBQs are within the reach of apartment dwellers.
If you love the idea of a safer and smarter BBQ alternative for your balcony (or backyard!) give one of our Business Development Managers a call on 1300 552 102. Don’t forget to ask about our ‘Gypsy Portable Electric BBQ’ – a great portable commercial quality electric BBQ unit that’s perfect for use on high-rise balconies. It’s the latest innovative product from Grillex Smarter BBQs – a division of Unisite Group.