SUMMER is heating up and there's no better time to cook outside, says Robert Murphy.
The Texas cowboy and My Kitchen Rules favourite hopes to inspire more Aussies to cook breakfast, lunch, dinner and even dessert on the barbie in the new show Aussie Barbecue Heroes.
"With the weather here you can barbecue pretty much all the time," Murphy tells APN
"I think you'll be surprised what you can cook outside, and when you've got your friends and family there it just can't be wrong.
"I haven't had too many bad experiences on a barbecue.
"Everybody's seen other cooking shows, but they haven't seen what you can do on the barbecue."
Murphy has gone from reality food show contestant to judge for the series, which sees him taste test everything from steaks to brisket and prawns alongside Brisbane-based chef Ben O'Donoghue and barbecue expert Jess Pryles.
"It's just a matter of putting a different set of boots on," he says.
"I hate to hurt people's feelings about their food; people take that real serious. But you've got to be frank and honest about what they're doing and they shouldn't take it personally because you're judging their food not them."
The show sees nine teams of barbecue enthusiasts cook in a variety of styles, from grilling to smoking to slow cooking, as they compete for $100,000 in prizes.
The results were often finger-licking good, but not always.
"My eyebrows went up a few times when they set something in front of me, with me saying anything from 'What happened?' to 'Wow this looks great'," Murphy says.
Aussie Barbecue Heroes is O'Donoghue's first TV judging role after fronting shows like Surfing the Menu and The Best in Australia.
"What I loved about it most was I got to throw to a prize pack. Look out Grant Denyer I'm coming for your job," he laughs.
"It was an experience. You had to be encouraging but critical in a constructive way.
"There were a few accidents and a bit of mayhem but the contestants all did so well."
O'Donoghue hopes viewers find inspiration to spice up their typical summer dishes.
"I think for a long time Australian barbecues have been fairly two-dimensional, you know, steaks or snags with some burnt or (hopefully) caramelised onions," he says.
"The global barbecue scene is very varied. There are all these regions of the world that are known for their barbecue."
The show has even left its mark on O'Donoghue's new West End restaurant Billy Kart.
"I definitely got some ideas for my menu," he says. "And Jess is a wealth of information. She knows all of her meat cuts, even more than me."
Aussie Barbecue Heroes airs Wednesdays on Seven.
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