Time to chuck another Aussie tradition on the barbie


If you follow the safety instructions about children and drunks, who’s going to bring daddy his red wine?

Here’s a question for everyone who is getting their teeshirts in a twist over flammable cladding:  Would you give up having barbecues on your balconies if it meant you didn’t have to pay tens of thousands of dollars to replace the nasty stuff on your apartment block walls?

If our state governments say all they want is for everyone to be safe, banning sources of fire, like smoking and barbecues on balconies (both causes of recent cladding fires) would be a smart move, right?

And let’s be honest, having a barbecue on your balcony – especially the way we Australians use them – is one of the most selfish and stupid things apartment residents do.

 All burnt meat carries cancer-creating chemicals

Many barbecue owners delight in the idea that they don’t have to clean their grills – you just burn off last week’s rancid fat.  Easy!  And who cares where the smoke and smell goes?  As long as you have your windows closed, your flat will be OK.

As if the stink of sausages, bacon and cheap cuts of meat weren’t bad enough, let’s throw another prawn on the barbie – and some juicy tuna steaks too. Mmmm.  Can’t you just taste it?

Your upstairs neighbours can – they foolishly left their balcony doors open to allow a breeze through while they were out.  Now their upholstery will carry that unique stink of Sydney in Summer right through to your EOFY parties.

The safety instructions for barbecues are hilarious. Don’t let children or drunk people near the barbecue while it is being operated, they say.  Hey, if you don’t let kids near, who’s going to bring Daddy his steady supply of beer and wine? Stoopid!

And as for that thing about getting the gas hoses checked regularly.  Come on!  Who actually does that?

It’s one of the ironies of planning regulations in most states that if you want to build a barbecue pit in your garden it has to be a long way from the main house. However,  you can have a balcony barbecue effectively inside the building.

Title Online, the apartment living online magazine has some hilarious (but scary) videos showing why you should break your barbie addiction in apartments. And here are a few more reasons:

  1. The smoke and smell has to go somewhere. If it’s not a problem, why don’t you leave your sliding door open?
  2. If you can’t be bothered to clean the barbie with a wire brush and soapy water, it’s not that important to you.
  3. Barbecueing food the way we do is, generally speaking, bad for your health. All burnt meat carries cancer-creating substances in the carbonised parts.
  4. Ditto barbecue smoke. Even in Texas, where they are serious about ‘cook-outs’, the advise people not to stand in the smoke.
  5. If you object to people at the next table smoking in a restaurant, think what you are doing to the people upstairs and on either side of your flat.

Jimmy Thomson edits the apartment living advice website flat-chat.com.au

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