Top 7 tips for a fuss-free braai

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One of the best things about a braai is how fuss-free it can be. Unfortunately, not many people know the secrets to saving time and effort on a fireside feast. Well, you’re in luck today. The secrets are out. Read on to discover seven tips to hassle-less braai hosting.

1. Start with a plan

The biggest secret to stress-free braais is a plan. It keeps you organised and in control, so you can confidently enjoy the day. It can also help you keep things simple. For example, you can narrow down your guest list to non-fussy friends and plan a no-prep-needed, ready-to-braai menu.

2. Delegate the duties

Braais are meant to be social and all about sharing. Take advantage of this and share the responsibilities too. With enough notice, each person invited can be given a task – which means there’s less for you to do. Get the best cook to man the grill, ask your health-conscious cousins to make the salad, and tell everyone to bring their own drinks.

3. Host it all outside

There are multiple benefits to having an outdoor braai. For one, you don’t have to decorate as much. Let the sights and sounds of spring – and your delicious dishes – do that for you. Secondly, you have much less to clean. On your patio, spills are soaked up by the sun; and on the lawn, mess is manure for the grass. And thirdly, there’s more space for kids to run around and play without bumping into people or breakables.

4. Serve simple snacks and starters

At restaurants and formal parties, appetisers are time-consuming mini meals. At your braai, they just have to keep your guests happy – not hungry – until your mains are served. So why not keep them simple? Think finger food platters you can order online, bite-sized snacks you can buy in-store or easy DIY dishes, like a cheeseboard or braaibroodjies you can make in minutes.

5. Pre-prepare your mains

When it comes to mains – and you’re not going the ready-to-braai route – the more you do before the braai begins, the better. This means marinating your meat a day in advance and choosing simple meals for your menu. Have you heard about the affordable range endorsed by the SA Chef’s Association?

6. Cater for more

Beware the lure of delicious braaivleis. It makes people eat more than usual and may even earn you a few unexpected guests. Avoid the worry of ‘not enough’ by preparing ‘more than enough’.

7. Just relax

People rarely remember what went wrong at friend or family gatherings. Instead, they think about the mouth-watering food, the final score of the game they saw or when they can get together again. So just do your best and let the magic of a braai do the rest.

- Checkers

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