Here are some more braai tips I found on Jason Bagley’s Blog:

“I just had a really awesome Sunday afternoon braai with my girlfriend’s family, and I was thinking I should share some of MY tips to getting a braai just right.

The Wood

I’ve found 2 types of wood that have a medium burning time but have very long coal heat time. (If that makes sense…). Kameeldooring (also known as camel thorn) and anything that comes from Namibia. Kameeldoring is more expensive than normal wood, but there is a reason for it – it is always dry and makes very good coals. If you can find those beaten up trucks on the side of the road that sell Namibian “hout”, you in luck. Ask the guy how the wood is and he will say “Dis soos yster!” (It’s like iron!).

The Meat

The meat is entirely up to you. Chicken, sosaties, chops, wors, snoek, you name it, everything goes. Anything from your local supermarket or even better, the butcher will do the job. Don’t skimp on the meat because not even a braai will fix that “ou skaap vleis”. Details

  • Abbraaiviation – A very short braai
  • abraaimowitz – a Jewish braai
  • Ag – This one of the most useful South African words. Pronounced like the “ach” in the German “achtung”, it can be used to start a reply when you are asked a tricky question, as in: “Ag, I don’t know.” Or a sense of resignation: “Ag OK, I’ll have some more mieliepap then.” It can stand alone too as a signal of irritation.
  • Barbie – Australian slang for Barbeque. What you learn to call a Braai when you immigrate here. Details

Any South African worth their (braai) salt will tell you that boerewors, rugby and sunny skies are the essentials of a proudly African braai. Add tangy potato salad, a couple of juicy steaks and a group of friends to share it with, and you’ve got a recipe for an irresistibly delicious, fun-filled feast!

Think you’ve got the perfect South African braai down pat? Before you slap the sausage on the skottel, make sure you’ve got all the right ingredients for a suiwer South African braai. Continue reading to discover top braai tips and advice for a delicious summertime spread, or wow your guests with inspired South African braai recipes.

Top 10 South African braai tips for perfectly prepared meat

Have you mastered the art of braaiing? For some, this traditional South African cooking method takes years to perfect – but thanks to the braai tips offered below, you’ll be able to hone your braaiing skills in no time at all, and impress your guests with a couple of nifty culinary tricks!

  • Buy the best quality meat you can find, and ensure that it is aged before being braaied. Ripen beef in your fridge for one week prior to braaiing, and lamb for five days. Ageing your meat not only tenderises it, but also greatly enhances its flavour.
  • For the tastiest, most tender fare, marinate your meat overnight. This will allow the meat to become infused with the rich flavour of the marinade. If you’re unable to marinate overnight, allow the meat to soak in the mixture for as long as possible prior to braaiing. Always store meat (marinated or not) in the fridge until you are ready to cook it.
  • If you’re braaiing with wood or coal, use fuel that produces long-lasting coals. Begin braaiing your meat only once the flames have died down and the embers are white-hot in colour. The grid, preferably non-stick or coated in non-stick spray, must be hot before the meat is placed onto it, and should be positioned roughly 10 centimetres above the coals.
  • Here’s an easy test to check whether the coals are ready for braaiing: Hold your hand above the embers for the count of 10. If you have to pull your hand away before you reach 10, the coals are still too hot. If you can comfortably hold your hand over the coals for much longer than the count of 10, the embers are too cool. In this case, lower the grid, or add more coal or fire to create fresh, hotter embers.
  • Make cooking chicken a cinch! For juicy, tender chicken, microwave or boil the meat (preferably marinated) for 10 to 20 minutes prior to braaiing. Once you place it on the fire, cover it with a lid and allow to simmer, turning occasionally so that the meat remains soft while the skin becomes crispy. Details

If you’ve ever been embarrassed while lighting a braai or starting a fire, here is some good advice I found on www.bbqmasala.com.

“Preparing the Grill or Braai

When sparking your grill don’t forget how you used to light a camp fire. Primitive man has passed this innate skill for generations and fires were always to be built in the pyramidal shape. It is this that most people do not do and thus will have issues when starting the fire.

Make sure you set up the coal like the Egyptians. OK, maybe I am being too forward…set up your coal in a pyramid. OK now here you have to use your math skills, insert three firelighters evenly, yes EVENLY! into the pyramid and light em up.

Leave for 20 to 30 full minutes, the flames should have died down at that point…and if you have followed these instructions- the charcoal should have turned white.

If you get this far you are almost done… now spread the charcoal more evenly around the barbecue rack using a barbecue tool (ok…a barbeque tool for this purpose is anything you can get your hands on to get the job done!).

The bbq is now ready…but wait! While we can give you some tips…here is where the bbq master inside you has to come out!

Our tips are this:
1. Wait for the flames to die down..(Else, you will get food that does not smell very nice.)
This is because they are soaked in kerosene.
2. Don’t cover all of the base of the rack with charcoal..(this baby need some air too..)
3. Get your beer ready..(Last thing you need is to have to decide whether to get a beer or let the food burn!)”

Give us your expert advice by adding your comments.

If you are a South African, you definitely know the answer to that question. So you probably don’t need to read this. If, as a South African citizen, you don’t know what a braai is, you should not have been given that citizenship in the first place. However, for those of you that don’t know what a braai is, here is Wikipedia’s description of it:

“The word braaivleis is Afrikaans for “roasted meat.”

The word braai (pronounced “bry”, rhyming with the word “cry”; plural braais) is Afrikaans for “barbecue” or “roast” and is a social custom in South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia. It originated with the Afrikaner people, but has since been adopted by South Africans of many ethnic backgrounds. The word vleis is Afrikaans for “meat”.

The word has been adopted by English-speaking South Africans and can be regarded as another word for barbecue, in that it serves as a verb when describing how food is cooked and a noun when describing the cooking equipment, such as a grill. The traditions around a braai can be considerably different from a barbecue, however, even if the method of food preparation is very similar.

While wood formerly was the most widely-used braai fuel, in modern times the use of charcoal has increased due to its convenience, as with barbecues elsewhere in the world. There has however been a renewed interest in the use of wood after the South African government started with its invasive plant species removal program. An important distinction between a braai and a barbecue is that it’s fairly uncommon for a braai to use gas rather than an open flame. Details