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What are the different types of braai materials available, and in what situation would you use each?
The options are gas, wood, charcoal (carbonised wood) and briquettes (charcoal residue that’s been compressed into shapes). What sort of materials can be used to start the fire, and what situation would each be best for?
If you don’t do this, you could smother the flames.
For a wood fire, light the firelighters and build a square stack of wood around them (place two logs parallel to each other, then place another two perpendicular to these on top, and so on).
You can braai almost anything – chicken, prawns, crayfish, even apples – but if you’re just starting out, three foolproof options are boerewors, steak and lamb chops.
Note: If you’re a pescetarian, rather try out this tasty, proudly Capetonian snoek braai recipe.
An avid barbecuer since he was a wee one, this proud South African took on a dare in April 2009 to braai every single day for a full year and simply never stopped.
Today, the meat guru, who believes that braaing is in every SA citizen’s blood, has checked out of his day job to take up the position of tong master full-time (“I like to think I’m retired, but my wife says I’m unemployed,” he jokes).
How do you know when your meat is cooked to your liking and ready to come off the braai?
There are many options for getting a fire going (below), but the secret is to find something that’s going to light easily and stay lit for a while.
Any tips for building a really brilliant wood, charcoal or briquette-based fire? So, for a charcoal or briquette braai, light the firelighter first and let it burn for a good 20 seconds before throwing some, not all, of the pieces on.
Chicken is generally ready when the juices run clear, and boerewors is done when you can snap it easily with the tongs.
Also bear in mind that different meats have different cooking times, and you ideally want everything ready at the same time.
You could also pack the wood in a tepee form, but the risk is, if one log burns through, the whole stack could collapse.