The Ultimate Grand Final BBQ Guide

Man flipping sausages at a grand final BBQ with friends sitting in the background.

When grand final day rolls around, it’s like a national holiday for us Aussies. And unless you’re one of the lucky ones sitting at the MCG on game day, it wouldn’t be a true-blue Aussie celebration without a sizzling grand final BBQ.

With the AFL and NRL grand finals fast-approaching, I’ve dived into the world of mouthwatering recipe ideas that’ll make your AFL grand final BBQ an absolute ripper. Whether you’re a seasoned BBQ pro or just getting started, this blog will help make sure you’re kicking goals with your game day catering choices. So, grab your tongs, fire up the barbeque, and let’s get cooking!

Grand Final BBQ Ideas

Last year, we got some great barbequing weather and I’m definitely hoping we can look forward to the same this year.

Whether you’re looking to host a big bash or just have a few fellow footy tragics over, these recipes are sure to draw the crowds.

Check out my list of top recommendations below:

Sausages (Snags)

Sausage sizzle is an Australian classic that requires very little effort to prepare and always pleases the crowds. All you need for these are some bread rolls, snags, onion, and some condiments – as well as a barbeque, obviously. However, if you’re feeling lazy or have left your planning too late you can always pop over to Bunnings for a few cheapies.

The essential condiments for a sausage sizzle include:

  • Tomato sauce
  • BBQ sauce
  • Mustard

Personally, I think the ideal sausage sizzle has grilled onion, tomato sauce, and mustard, but to each their own.

Sausage sizzle on a barbeque with tongs hovering over.


These are a great option if you’re looking for something to just slap on the barbeque that is more substantial than a sausage sizzle. The best part about making a burger is that you can customise them with various toppings, such as lettuce, tomato, onions, cheese, and sauces like BBQ sauce or mayonnaise. The list goes on!

For some mouthwatering recipe inspiration, check out our smash burgers with special sauce, brisket burgers, or smoked beef burgers with loaded burger seasoning. I can highly recommend.


This is another great option if you’re looking for something more substantial than a sausage sizzle without requiring any extra effort – or if some of your friends are afraid of carbs.

Pro tip: I recommend seasoning your steaks with a salt, pepper, and garlic rub before chucking them on the BBQ. For a medium-rare middle, flip after 3 or so minutes and leave on for only a couple more minutes before serving.

For something really special, try our reverse-seared ribeye recipe!

Chicken Skewers

Chicken skewers or kebabs are a tasty option. Marinate the chicken pieces in your favourite sauce, such as satay or lemon herb, before grilling them.

Check out our recommended marinade below:

  • 125ml (1/2 cup) olive oil
  • 30ml white wine vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 50g Big Tex rub

Whisk all ingredients together and use to marinate meat for 8-12 hours.

This is my personal favourite marinade and it is great with chicken.

Lamb Chops

Lamb chops are another popular choice, often seasoned with garlic, rosemary, and olive oil. However, if you’re looking for something even more mouth watering while still being easy to prepare, I can highly recommend our Nonna’s Spices rub.

If you’re looking to really impress, check out our delicious smoked rack of lamb recipe. A beautiful rack of lamb has never failed to get the crowds going.


For a more seafood-savvy crowd, BBQ-friendly classics include prawns, fish fillets, and calamari.

I am a big fan of BBQ prawns, personally. To learn how to prepare these like a pro, check out our guide on how to cook prawns on a barbeque.

Barbeque prawns on a grill

Vegetable Skewers

For a vegetarian option, consider grilling vegetable skewers with a mix of bell peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, and onions.

If you’re looking for something with a bit more kick, adding a bit of our Double Chipotle rub can’t go wrong.

Corn on the Cob

Corn on the cob is the tenth most popular vegetable in Australia, and a simple and tasty addition to any BBQ.

This is typically grilled with butter and salt, but if you’re feeling brave and want to really spice things up, try adding some of our Hot & Nashty rub. It’s sure to get the room buzzing.

Potato Salad

This is one of the most popular grand final BBQ side dishes for a reason.

Check out a quick and easy recipe below:

  • 4 cups of potatoes
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Optional additions: hard-boiled eggs, chopped dill pickles, diced cooked bacon, and our Nonna’s Spices rub for added flavour and texture.


Coleslaw is another common side dish that compliments BBQ foods brilliantly, providing a refreshing contrast to the grilled meats.

I’ve put together a quick and easy coleslaw recipe below:

  • 1 small cabbage, finely shredded
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Optional additions: chopped green onions, celery seeds, or a squeeze of lemon juice for extra flavour.

Snack Foods

It’s always a good idea to provide a selection of bread and dips like hummus, tzatziki, or guacamole for guests to enjoy while waiting for the main BBQ dishes.

Don’t forget to include some snack foods like chips, crackers, and nuts for guests to nibble on throughout the game.

Learn to Cook with Spices


Other Things to Not Forget

To avoid having to rush around on game day, it’s smart to get all your shopping and preparation done at least a day before.

And remember, don’t forget the essentials. After all, the last thing you want is for a lack of serviettes to ruin the party.

Often-overlooked essentials include:

  • Ice for the esky
  • Serviettes
  • Seating
  • Plates
  • Cups
  • Cutlery
  • Salt and pepper

So, there you have it! Follow these tips, and your grand final BBQ is sure to be a smash hit – even if the game is as disappointing as last year.

Learn to Cook with Spices

Spice up your cooking game with our free Beginner's Guide to Cooking with Spices