How to host the ultimate Heritage Day braai

By DRUM Digital
24 September 2017
PHOTO: Supplied

PHOTO: Supplied

Dust off the tongs and get the grid ready. Heritage Day is here – a traditional time for South Africans to unite around a fire and put some food on it!

But hold up. Before you light the coals, here are a few tips on how to host the perfect braai:

The braai master

The saying, ‘too many chefs spoil the broth’? It applies to braais too. There can be only one braai master. That person also needs to be a master delegator because they know braaing is really a team effort.

The braai master controls the cooking, while making sure others take care of the garlic bread and salads. If your group doesn’t have a designated braai master, well, hopefully a suitable leader will step forth and ‘steak’ their claim. A helpful suggestion: DO NOT attempt to teach the braai master new tricks.

A taste of whatever is cooking is reserved for the braai master, or whomever they deem worthy.

Ready, set, braai

There are different types and makes of braais on the market. There’s the traditional wood-burning braai. Some people take the ritual of stacking the firewood very seriously. They have their own technique of building the pile. Do. Not. Mess. With. Their. Pile.

Then there’s the kettle braai, perfect if you live in a flat and your balcony counts as your outdoor area.

The third type is the gas braai, a fancy way of doing it. Now, purists might turn up their noses at this one but gas grills are easy to control and there’s no waiting around for the grid to heat up – it’s ready the second you turn on the switch. Rent-to-own one (interest-free) from Teljoy. Let’s see then who turns up their noses at your perfectly grilled steaks!

What’s on the flames?

Preparing your braai meat is vital if you want to ensure a tasty outcome. Buy the best quality cuts you can find and marinate overnight. This will ensure the meat becomes infused with the flavour of the marinade.

If you’re having a big party and everyone’s bringing a contribution, make sure you know who’s bringing what or you could end up with one T-bone steak and eight chickens. Also, ask each person to bring a non-meat dish. And no, a can of beans does not count as a ‘dish’.

Get the vibe right

Make sure there’s plenty of seating for guests around the braai so the person in charge of the fire is not left out of the banter and festivities. Because the braai master will be cooking most of the time, make sure there’s a few cold drinks nearby. Put a bar fridge outside or get an ice bucket and keep it topped up with ice from your icemaker.

Also, get some music going with at least a few tracks that are to everyone’s tastes. A good braai is usually a day or a half-day’s event so make sure that there are plenty of snacks and refreshments available for your guests to munch on and keep the hunger-jitters at bay, while they wait for the main meal.

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