A South African Braai – Explained

The 24th of September was Heritage Day! Last month saw locals celebrating their heritage, culture and diversity and this nation-building tool definitely involved scrumptious traditions such as a good old “lekker braai.”

If you’re heading to South Africa on safari this is definitely something to add to your bucket list. As South Africans, we find any opportunity and occasion to get together as friends and family and have a braai (also known as a barbecue.). This is a social time when we sit back, relax and indulge in some of the country’s meat cooked to perfection on a hot flame. 

What is a braai?

A traditional method of cooking/roasting marinated meat or chicken over a grid on a wood fire. 

Wherever you go on safari in South Africa there will definitely be an outdoor boma and a safari braai. The boma symbolises an outdoor retreat, where guests gather to socialise, find warmth, eat good food and promises a really great time for all!

Whether it’s a mobile lunch or a sunset dinner, your camp will lead you to the bush braai site where they will prepare on display your magnificent flame-grilled meal. Enjoy a drink while your meat gets cooked to your satisfaction in front of you and bask in the fire’s warmth as you wait. Sit back, relax and listen for passing wildlife or to the rangers unmatched stories of their experiences in the bush. 

With a picturesque sunset in front of you, a G&T in hand, the calls of the wild surrounding you and a delicious African feast in front of you, … need we say more – there’s no place you’d rather be. 

How to make your own braai

If you’re sitting at home and aren’t able to visit us just yet you can still have a braai of your own! Here’s how:

Decide if you want to make a wood or charcoal fire, or braai on a gas griller. This will determine the taste of your meat. 

If you decide on a wood braai, the more wood, the better. The type of wood you choose will determine how long it will burn and adding/using coal will add a nice flavour. 

Use firelighter in between the logs to get the fire started. Make sure the smaller pieces of wood are at the bottom and the larger pieces on top. 

When you have decided that your fire is not too hot and will last you long enough to cook all of the meat, place the first meat onto the grid. 

Sausage (Boerewors) can be added on full heat and will cook quickly and is the perfect starter for those hungry guests who have been waiting.

Chicken is more difficult to braai as it takes the longest to cook properly and less heat is needed. 

Once the chicken is halfway done you can add your chops. This way, all the meat will be done at the same time and everyone can eat together. 

Don’t forget the garlic bread, salads and baked beans make the perfect side dishes. 

We hope you are looking forward to your next safari braai. 

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