How to Deal with Backseat Barbecuers

We have all heard of backseat drivers – you know those people who lean over your shoulder as you drive, telling you which lane to be in, when to overtake and which orange lights to run. Well just as annoying are backseat barbecuers.

Backseat Barbecuer

While you’re trying to relax and cook up a feast, they’re in your ear about the BBQ’s temperature, when to flip the steaks and whether to use the grill plate or the hot plate. Backseat barbecuers take the fun out of barbecuing faster than a torrential downpour with golf ball-sized hailstones.

So how do you deal with them? Well there are actually three options, depending on how persistent your backseat barbecuer is. These options require patience, tenacity, and just a little bit of cunning.

1.    Placate Them: Put your backseat barbecuer in the most comfortable outdoor chair you have (preferably in a location where they can’t see the food being cooked). Slap a beer in their hand and let them bore you with stories about their day, their partner, their footy team, their boss, whatever. Just make sure they’re happy where they are, so that the last thing they want to do is get up and offer unwanted advice on your cooking techniques.

2.    Distract Them: This option works well when dealing with the most hyperactive of backseat barbecuers – those who just can’t stop moving and feel like they just need to be doing something. Anything. Keep them busy with menial chores, thus leaving you to undertake the real work of cooking the food. Ask them to retrieve condiments from the kitchen, fix you a drink, set the table, run the dog – whatever you need to keep them distracted and their attention off the BBQ.

3.    Ban Them: This option is only required for the most persistent backseat barbecuer – that annoying summer mozzie that just won’t take a hint, even if it’s as subtle as a can of Mortein. Ban them from coming anywhere near the BBQ or touching any BBQ utensils. Don’t be afraid to threaten them with a grilling of their own should they disobey. Just to be safe, make sure that they can’t get a hold of any utensils by only having one set of tongs and one scraper available and keeping it on you at all times (for this, a BBQ utility belt is very handy).

This option requires the most patience from you, as it only stops the backseat barbecuer from leaning in and flipping your food; it doesn’t stop them from talking your ear off with instructions. If it all becomes too much, you may need to go with Option 4: duct tape.

We’d love to hear your tips on how you deal with Backseat Barbecuers. Please leave your comments below.

Marian O'Neill

Marian O'Neill

Managing Director at
My name is Marian O’Neill and I am the owner of All BBQs. My working life commenced as a primary school teacher, however the majority of my career has been in business with my husband. I love BBQ cooking and decided to follow my interest and open an online BBQ superstore after much research revealed how difficult it was to find good quality, australian made BBQs. At we specialise in Australian made BBQs, wood fired pizza ovens and outdoor kitchens. We strive wherever possible to provide high quality Australian made products.

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