Braai etiquette

You may have seen I refer to braai a few time in my blog. Yes, this is similar to what a Brit might call “barbeque” in that you cook outside, on charcoal. That’s about where the similarity ends.

As a Brit, only South African by marriage, I have had to learn the rules of the braai over more than a decade. Tricky as I did work as a grill-chef for several years, which does make me slightly more qualified than the average bloke with a can of beer!  How did I know I might be causing offence by innocently picking up the tongs…. (see rule #2)

  • always charcoal or, better still, kameel hout (exception being use of camping-gas in fire-risk areas, using a skottel)
  • women must not interfere with the braai – keep yourself busy making salad (1-2 is plenty) or arranging napkins and cutlery
  • only the braai master will turn meat or decide if more charcoal is to be added 
  • the braai master will need regular hydration; Hansa or Castle are suitable options
  • this is no land for burgers or bangers
  • no place for “veggie” kebabs either – there’s salad coming from somewhere

Dogma aside, what can you cook? What can’t you cook?!  My Oom Steve does the most AMAZING pork ribs. I also had a delicious T-bone steak that I hope, one day, to recreate. We’ve successfully cooked a chicken, a big hunk of beef and salmon fillets on our Weber. 

Latest experiment involved smoking a slab of brisket, on the low heat after cooking dinner. We threw on a handful of soaked hickory woodchips and left it to take on the awesome aroma for a couple for hours. This didn’t completely cook the joint so it went into a low oven the next evening for a couple of hours.

Result: subtly smoky, and super-tender beef. Nom nom nom 🙂