It’s almost the weekend and your friends are sending you messages, asking “What are we doing this weekend, braai at your place?” Before you commit to being the braai host, consider what kind of braai you’d like to throw, and make sure that everyone has a great time – even you!
1. The Deluxe Braai
This is a very rare kind of event indeed, where the host provides and caters for all food and drink requirements. The deluxe braai occurs sometimes if you’re celebrating something big (anniversary or a new job) or if you actually have won the lottery this week.
Pro: you can set the menu, and entertain your friends in style
Con: it takes time to plan and buy all the supplies. It will also cost you a small fortune.Gatecrashers are a real threat.
Great for: if you like to be in charge, and can afford to drop some serious cash
Hot tip: Keep an eye out for The picky eater or The hostile takeover
2. The BYOB
This is the OG of braais, the one that started it all. The host commits to supply her guests with snacks, the meal, and possibly even dessert. Each guest must bring their own beverages – that way, everyone gets to drink their favourite beer or wine, in line with his or her preference and budget. As a guest, be sure to bring enough drinks to match your thirst.
Pro: You can still control the menu, and show off some of your braai master tricks and recipes
Con: It can still be quite expensive.
Great for: if you want to throw an epic braai without breaking the bank
Hot tip: watch out for the Inconsiderate Drinker
3. The Communal Braai
This braai format is the ultimate compromise between cost and overall satisfaction. One person is nominated as the “shopper”, who purchases all the food and other supplies required for the braai. Later, all the slips are tallied, and each guest puts in their fair share to reimburse the “shopper”
Pro: the menu has some direction, with the shopper taking control of the purchasing.
Con: requires a fair amount of trust between friends, beware of the Cheapskate.
Great for: a weekend away at a self-catering cottage.
Hot tip: keep an eye on the Cheapskate, who will hope that no one noticed that he didn’t pay.
4. The Themed Menu
This is a variation on the BYOB braai where the host sets a theme for all the food, Theme ideas include: an all chicken braai, only sausages, a vegetarian braai or sosaties only. Everyone contributes, but the cooking process is streamlined considerably.
Pro: Being the braai master is easier, resulting in a better tasting meal for everyone.
Con: Without some great marinades, sauces and sides, this braai can get very boring very fast.
Great for: the beginner braai master
Hot tip: Check first if there are any Picky eaters in your group
5. The free for all
For the host, this format seems to offer the ultimate in ease – everyone just shows up at your place, you have some drinks, eat some food and then everyone goes home, right? Wrong! Without clear instructions to your guests, this braai can very quickly turn into a disaster.
Pro: As the host, you probably won’t be too much out of pocket, and in theory, everyone eats exactly what they want
Con: The menu is very hard to control. There is a strong chance that you end up with 9 packs of boerewors, and only one sad packet of steaks. Basics like bread rolls and chips can get forgotten, and other things can be doubled up by accident.
Hot tip: This kind of braai can attract all of the 6 worst characters. We warned you.
Great for: when you are a student, and never again.
ALSO READ: 15 of the very best braai side dishes