To marinate or not to marinate? That is the braai master’s question.
If you have a great cut of meat, keep it simple and opt not to marinade. Enhance the natural flavours of the meat with simple seasoning; salt, olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.
Marinades add flavour and tenderise tougher cuts of meat. Dairy-based marinades (using the likes of buttermilk and yoghurt) are a good match with chicken. Larger cuts of meat (including lamb and pork shoulders and ribs) will need longer to marinate – plan for at least eight hours or overnight.
Dry rubs add a stronger flavour and create that quintessential braai crust. They also tend to draw juices to the outer surface of the meat. Use dry rubs for bigger cuts such as steak, whole fillets and butterflied lamb.
Need a quick-and-easy marinade recipe? Food editor Abigail Donnelly has the solution with the only marinade recipe you’ll ever need.
VEG ON THE BRAAI
Cooking vegetables on the braai? Remember that fat is your friend. Generously coat your veg in oil for good colour and flavour.
Braaing a whole fish? Keep it succulent by basting with your marinade. Prefer a simpler flavour? Stick to melted butter.
CHICKEN ON THE BRAAI
Chicken tends to to take the longest time on the braai. If you can, choose a butterflied chicken rather than a whole chicken. Want to do it yourself? Follow these 5 steps to butterfly a chicken at home.
STEAKS ON THE BRAAI
Always rest your steak for at least 10 minutes after cooking. Slice against the grain to retain its tender texture. Find the 8 cardinal rules for cooking steak here.
TJOPS ON THE BRAAI
Rubbing salt along the marbling of chops will make for a excellent smoky crust once braaied to perfection.
It’s imperative that every braai ends off on a sweet note! If you’re not making smores, take inspiration from American barbecues and put your own twist on easy ice-cream pies. Watch the how to video here.