30 Braai Tips

In a previous post I told you about Michael Mentz’s quest to braai every day for a month, and when I agreed to help him make it happen, what I also agreed to was come up with a couple braai tips & tricks or just general pearls of wisdom to make his journey a little easier.

In a previous post I shared with you what I thought were “ingredients for a successful braai”. Check out that post here: Braai Essentials, but the other question I get asked a lot is “Do you have any braai tips for us?”. So for both Michael and your benefit, check out the following braai tips & tricks. some of them will be really obvious, but I’ve actually met a few people before that have never braaied before unless it was on gas – so bear with me if some of them seem lame.

30 Braai Tips

Without further ado, these are the 30 braai tips I came up with:

#ThemeBraai Tip
1Quality over Quantity: Don’t be afraid of spending a little more at a quality butcher. Cheap booze can do the trick when you can’t find the good stuff, but the same can’t be said for meat.
2If you’re hosting a bring-and-braai: Have a couple spare beers in the fridge, someone will always run out.
3equipment/generalClean your grid before each braai, instead of after (leaving the previous fat on will protect it from the elements) – Use a stainless steel grid if possible
4equipment/generalInvest in a quality steel brush, even consider one of those welding brushes.
5equipment/generalLots of ice, if you think you’ve got to much, get another pack, just in case.
6equipment/generalUse a new plate for the cooked food… don’t use the same plate you brought the meat out in
7equipment/generalDon’t rest your beer on the side extensions of a portable braai. These tend to get hot and warm beer just sucks.
8equipment/generalDon’t use the same plate for the raw meat and cooked meat, use a new dish when taking meat off the braai.
9equipment/generalDo not interrupt or hurry the BraaiMaster, the longer the food takes, the more you can enjoy your friends’ company.
10MeatDon’t freeze your meat (ice crystals stab holes into the muscle and your meat will be less juicy when cooked). Not everyone has luxury of getting meat every day, so if you must defrost, then put meat in bag and bag in warm water.
11MeatTake your meat out for the fridge for 1/2hr to an hour before braaing.
12MeatAllow time to rest after braaing, especially steaks – Less juices end up on your plate and more in the meat.
13MeatDon’t cut your meat up until just before you’re ready to actually serve it. Similar reasoning to yesterday’s tip
14MeatWhen doing chicken wings, “snap” wing at the joint… makes for easier turning
15MeatDip wors in water before braaing – reduces risk of breaking … if your fire is too hot, turning more frequently will also reduce the risk of bursting
16MeatDon’t prod or poke boerewors … you lose a lot of the juices by doing that
17Side Dishes/OtherIf we weren’t meant to eat animals, they wouldn’t have been made from meat… however that doesn’t mean you cant have some great veggie side dishes. Tip #17 = Throw your veggies on the braai, they will definitely taste better
18Side Dishes/OtherUse an oil-based seasoning/dressing when doing veggies on the braai. Veggies can taste amazing, especially when braaied, so don’t be scared.
19Side Dishes/OtherFresh Basil, torn, not chopped and add to braaibroodjie, and if possible use mozarella cheese.
20Side Dishes/OtherMelt some butter with Marmite and pour that over your mielies instead of the traditional butter & Salt/Aromat
21Side Dishes/OtherIf you want to know if your potatoes in foil are ready, use a toothpick and prod the potato. If it slides in smoothly and easily, they’re good to go.
22Side Dishes/OtherIf you’re buying mielies with the leaves still on it, then throw them in the microwave for 3-4 min per large mielie before removing the leaves and silk, and they’ll clean a lot quicker and more easily.
23Side Dishes/OtherWhen trying out the Braai Pie recipe for the first time, don’t over stuff with filling. The pastry will squeeze through the grid and your pie will disintegrate.
24Random “Tricks”Don’t drink beer when braaing in Mozzie area, some research indicates that beer drinkers are bitten more often than others … try some G&T
25Random “Tricks”Check if you’ve still got gas in your tank: Boil water, tilt gas bottle… slowly pour hot water over it until warmed. Stand upright. Where there is gas will be cooler again
26Random “Tricks”To quickly cool your beers: Put into a tub, cover with ice and add salt
27Random “Tricks”When braaing fish, throw some of the Rosemary into the coals themselves, will add a lekker flavour to the smoke
28Random “Tricks”If you’re making your own sosaties, try find some “flattened” (as apposed to regular rounded) skewers – helps prevent the meat from “spinning” when turning
29Random “Tricks”Have a spray bottle nearby in case you have flare-ups… it saves you from wasting precious beer to douse any flames
30Top Braai TipBring Good Friends: You can ignore all the previous tricks and tips, but if you’re enjoying a braai with your buddies, then even the worst braai will be great.

If you think I missed anything, or have any favourite tricks & tips of your own: I’d love to hear your comments below, or you can always give me a shout on twitter or facebook… otherwise I’ll catch you around the braai!

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