“Earlier today a journalist asked me for my top 10 braai tips. Considering that I did not have such a list of tips, I sucked them out of my thumb. Here they are:

  1. Nothing beats a real wood fire.
  2. Gas is Afrikaans for a guest at your braai, not something you braai with.
  3. Braaing is the only fat-negative way of cooking food. Even when you steam it, the fat in the food stays behind. When you braai, the fat drips out.
  4. Never braai with indigenous wood. Alien vegetation like Rooikrantz and Blackwattle drink lots of ground water and besides, it’s good burning Australian rubbish.
  5. Braaing is a direct form of energy use, from the coals, to your meat. With conventional electricity there is a lot spillage between the power plant, power lines, electricity box, wires, stove and pan. If you love the earth, braai.
  6. Have enough ice at your braai. To put in Klipdrift & Coke, to keep Castles cold, and to treat burn wounds with.
  7. Smoke flies to pretty people, so send them to the kitchen to go and make salad.
  8. Animals eat grass, leaves and vegetables all their lives and convert it to meat. Eating meat is like eating vitamin pills.
  9. A cow must only be killed once. Do not braai you steak until the flavour is dead.
  10. A braaibroodjie is your chance in life to have you bread buttered on both sides.”

Source: Jan Braai – www.braai4heritage.co.za

As a South African, I feel every man should know how to get a great Braai going, from starting the fire to creating great African meals.

As we all know a great braai comes from how you pack your coals, we all have a personal preference, Charcoal, Briquettes, or Wood.
I am not a follower of gas braai’s the meat is just not the same, so I am a briquettes man, I always try and create 2 or so great pyramids and light the fire lighter at the bottom which works for me giving me a great roaring fire. Details

• Steaks aren’t just a summertime meal idea.  Try marinating a round sirloin or blade steak and pop on the grill or in the broiler or frying pan for a tender and tasty meal.  For portion control slice before placing on platter on the table.

• Making stews is a great way to manage time effectively by cooking more than one meal at a time and freezing extra for a later dinner.   Just add your vegetables when you reheat and then you can vary the types of vegetables to offer your family more choices.

• Try marinating in a re-sealable plastic bag with ingredients as simple as a bottle of beer.   Or get creative with the beer and add balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, cornstarch, Dijon mustard, chilli powder, ketchup and garlic. Details

FIREWOOD AND COALS

Charcoal is very popular but any wood that produces long-lasting coals is suitable.

Rooikrans, Camelthorn, Umbrella-thorn, Sickle-bush, even vine stumps are ideal.

Use fire lighters, but never petrol to light a fire.

HINTS WHEN BRAAING

Beef must be thawed before it is grilled.  Remove the meat from the freezer at least a day before use and leave it to thaw in the refrigerator in its wrapping.

Meat should be taken from the fridge at least 30 minutes before grilling.

If preferred, brush either the meat or the grill with a little cooking oil to prevent the meat from sticking to the grill.

Beef cut 2 cm thick should be placed about 10 cm from the coals.

Grill steaks as quickly as possible without scorching the meat.  Sausages, kebabs and sosaties on the other hand, have to be grilled slowly. Details