Unlock the Joy of Braai: Master South African Braai Without Accidentally Hosting a BBQ

Picture of a Braai with a well lit fire.

Discover the Magic of Braai

Have you ever stood by a grill and thought, “This could be better?” Well, that’s precisely because you haven’t yet discovered Braai. Now, imagine this scenario: the warmth of a fire, friends gathered all around, and a feast fit for kings. Unlike your average cookout, this is Braai—South Africa’s ultimate social cooking event.

Braai vs. BBQ: Unraveling the Truth

To begin with, let’s settle some confusion. If you’re thinking that Braai is just a South African BBQ, then you’re about as off the mark as a penguin in a hot tub. Yes, it’s true that both involve outdoor cooking. However, comparing them is like comparing a Landcruiser and a Ford Ranger! Braai is more than mere cooking. Furthermore, it’s a magical gathering around fire-cooked feasts and is certainly not vegan-friendly. And remember: for an authentic Braai, you specifically need wood, charcoal, or briquettes. Are you using gas? Well, that’s just a BBQ. Therefore, save gas for those fire ban days when you’re desperate not to cook indoors.

Embracing the Flame

Envision wood crackling, smoke swirling, and, yes, those singed eyebrows. It’s all part of the charm. This process uniquely gives food its soul and stories. And yes, you certainly can’t get that smoky taste from a gas grill. Lighting a fire seems easy, right? However, forget firelighters, and you’re off to a comedic start. For example, cans filled with sand and paraffin, or worse, someone suggesting petrol! Absolutely never use petrol, folks. For instance, wet wood could smoke out your neighbours. Similarly, cheap briquettes might die before your first sip. Yet, when it all clicks, unmistakably, you’re in for a real Braai.

What Can You Cook?

Additionally, what can’t you, Braai? From boerewors to T-bone steaks and even adventurous marshmallows, it’s your canvas. Have you ever tried a full rack of lamb? Although it’s not quick, it certainly gives you time for drinks and tales around the fire. Here are some ideas from our Recipe Section.

Gas: The”Just in Case” Gear

Here’s the thing about gas: it’s the understudy in the play of Braai. It’s there, prepared, knowing its lines, but it only gets on stage when the lead, our beloved fire, can’t perform due to total fire bans. However, if you’re one of the guys who prefers using gas, don’t worry; we’ll add you to our Mother’s Day email list!

Embarking on Your Adventure

Furthermore, joining the Braai fellowship is about more than just food. It encompasses laughter, stories, and, occasionally, the odd burnt eyebrow. 

Here’s how to get started:

Gather Your Tribe: Firstly, Braai is communal. Invite friends and neighbours. Just warn them: dinner won’t be at 7 pm. Also, tell them to bring snacks if they’re early birds.

Choosing Your Braai Equipment: Secondly, having a Braai sounds obvious, but you need the right gear. From old drums to fancy setups, OZ Braai has you covered.

Selecting Your Fuel: Crafting the Perfect Flame Next, pick your fuel. Wood, charcoal, or briquettes shape your flavour. Remember, gas is for fire ban days only. If using gas, stick to simple foods. Snags, bread, and onions will suffice because you don’t want to waste good meat over gas.

Lighting Your Fire: Then, wait for your first guest to start the fire. Otherwise, it’s considered rude. Latecomers? They’ve missed their chance to take part in the ritual or to critique.

Mastering the Coals: Finally, wood is great for friends, and charcoal is for quick fixes. Can’t find good wood? Mix in some charcoal.

Responsibilities: The most important part of the Braai is the tongs. Never, I mean NEVER, touch the tongs unless they’re personally given to you while the host attends to other responsibilities! There’s a pretty good chance you will not get invited again if you touch the tongs and mess about with the food without permission.

Side Dishes and Social Etiquette: Completing the Braai Experience. The Braai is not complete if there are not at least 100,000 calories worth of side dishes on the table. Braai Broodjies, Potato Salad with Condense Milk, Pap en Sous and maybe a green salad to pretend you’re also worried about your health. Here are some ideas for your next braai: 6 Must-Try Braai Sides and Salads: The Perfect Addition to Your Next Cookout

Moreover, “Bring en Braai” is the motto. Everyone brings their own meat, drinks and a side. Watch out for cheap chuck bringers eyeing your wagyu!


In conclusion, Braai is more than a method; it’s a lifestyle. It’s about flames, great stories, and unmatched food. With OZ Braai by your side, you’re not just cooking; you’re creating memories. So, light up the wood, and remember: if you’re using gas, you’re not really Braai-ing; you’re just BBQing. 

Happy Braaiing!

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