A Guide to Braaing


Americans are not the only nationality that has mastered outdoor cooking for large gatherings. In fact, South African culture also holds a lot of value for outdoor cooking. They undoubtedly know a thing or two about cooking big feasts on fire.

If you are aware of the South African culture or have lived in the region, you have probably heard about braaing. Braai is a weekly tradition in South Africa, which has lately started gaining popularity across the globe. A braai is a feast cooked on a stainless steel braai grill.

This article explains everything you need to know about a braai and what it involves.

What Is Braaing?

In simple terms, a braai is a South African version of regular barbeque. It is a common practice and a huge part of South Asian culture. Braai includes a family and friends get-together around a wood fire grill. In fact, it is more like a celebration in which friends are welcomed as family.

A vital thing to note about braai is that it is not cooked on a gas grill. Traditionally, a braai is cooked on an open grill with a metal grill grate in a diamond pattern.

What Is Served in Braai?

Meat is the centre of attention in a braai feast. However, it may include other items like snacks and sides that go with the main dishes. Let us look at the foods that typically make up a braai.

Chicken: Beer-can chicken and chicken kebabs are popular braai food options. Braai involves cooking whole chicken over the grill. Not to mention, it should also have an open beer in the body cavity.

Lamb chops: Lamb chops are also among the popular braai. Typically, a braai feat involves seasoning lamb chops with rosemary, thyme, and garlic.

Boerewors: In Afrikaans, boerewors means “farmer’s sausage.” It is a fresh sausage made from a combination of pork and beef. Sometimes, boerewors may be entirely beef as well. They are usually in a large coil in the braai feast. The farmer’s sausage is cooked with abundant spices, including allspice, nutmeg, coriander, cloves, and black pepper.

Seafood: In braai, seafood usually includes yellowtail, tuna, and South African crayfish tails.

Steak: Braais typically include beef steak cuts, including sirloin, T-bone, rump, mignon, and ribeye.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still looking for more info? We have compiled a list of FAQs – Check them out.

1. Are Braaing and Grilling the Same?

Grilling typically involves cooking using direct heat at the bottom, while the lid is usually up. It does not have fire all around the source. On the other hand, a braai feast has to be cooked on a gas grill, or it does not qualify as a braai. Fire is the main difference between a barbeque and braai.

2. Is Braai Better than Babeque?

In South African culture, people take braai’s food quality very seriously. Meanwhile, traditional barbeque features much cheaper meat cuts.