Wood vs Gas on the braai
Right, let’s put the cat amongst the
Gas barbeques are not braaing. Grilling maybe, but not braaing.
BBQ’s are toys bought by the ‘nouveau riche’ who cannot go through a weekend
without buying something. They are the
very same people that have the biggest TV in the street and think that owning a
BMW defines them as a person.
Gas may be faster, cleaner and better for
the environment, but cannot compare to the flavour of the meat you get from
Two years ago I did a cook-off and a blind tasting with exactly the same meat, marked by three judges. The result was
unanimous, 3-0 to wood.
And hey, let’s be honest, who wants to stand around a
gas barbie and have a chat? It’s just not right.
Patio braai losers
Mind you, another real braai that I hate
are those built in patio braais that you find in some suburban homes.
All you do is stare at the cooks bum-crack while they braai, which is OK if it belongs
to Chad Le Clos, but not if it’s your mate who needs to lose a few.
The perfect braai
perfect braai is one where I can stand around and have a jabber and a cackle, the fire is
made with wood/charcoal, and there’s a decent pair of tongs on hand.
Tip: If you can get Kameeldoring (camel thorn), it makes brilliant
coals and gives the meat great flavour.
My braai tips
Now here are some braaing tips for National
Braai Day. If you are a gas braai owner I cannot help you, just go to the Spur.
Never ever wrap fish in
tin foil. You want to braai the fish not boil it in butter and its own juices. If you ever serve me boiled yellowtail
with apricot jam I will feed it to the dog in front of you.
What you need to do: rub a generous about of oil on the outside of the fish and brush the grill with
oil and it won’t stick. Remove the fish from the grid when it is 90% cooked
to your liking, the other 10% will take care of itself.
If you are serving meat with fat, then make sure
the fat is cooked too. If you are serving blue to medium rare then it is wise
to cook the fat first.
Tip: You can jam the tongs in to the grill which will hold the steaks ‘fat
down’. Or you could use a kebab stick to skewer the chops or steaks so that you
can cook the fat before you lie the meat down on their sides
eggplant, asparagus, turnips, potatoes etc all taste amazing done on the braai.
What you need to do: Slice
the veggies, rub with olive oil and season. You can experiment with all kinds
of vegetables. Mielies need to be boiled for 10 minutes first, then melt
butter, salt and pepper over them.
Why not braai the mielies raw? They take a very
long time to cook, the corn is pretty hard and they end up getting burnt.
Over cooked boerie is appalling! It’s dry and you
need a large glug of wine to wash it down.
What you need to do: Cook your boerie until it’s slightly
rare in the centre. By the time you serve it, it will be cooked through and juicy.
the boerie juices to dribble down your chin when you take a bite. A nice
touch is to squeeze on a little fresh lemon juice before serving.
Braai hard peeps!
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