The TASTE team’s top braai tips

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The TASTE team’s top braai tips

In SA, there are no rules when you cook over an open fire, but there are tricks passed on from generation to generation. The TASTE team share their top tips – plus some music picks – to try at your next braai.

Starting the fire

“If you’re using wood, make sure it’s well seasoned and dry.” – Lynda Ingham-Brown, chief copy editor

“Namibian hardwood, mopane or sekelbos only for the coals. Sekelbos is great – it’s similar to acacia hardwoods from Namibia but it’s an invasive species.” – Jacqui Burgess, contributor

“The hand-over-coals endurance test: 2–4 seconds and the heat is high, 5–7 and the heat is medium, and 8–10 seconds means the heat is low.” – Michelle Coburn, senior content editor

 Braaing meat to perfection

“No direct heat after searing the meat. Keep it low and slow. And always keep a smaller fire going on the side for extra smoke and more coals if needed later on.” – Jacqui Burgess, contributor

“Resist the urge to keep turning the meat – it will lose its juices. Let red meat such as steak, lamb and pork rest for at least 10 minutes after it comes off the heat.” – Hannah Lewry, contributing food editor

“My fave is slashed chicken pieces marinated in roast chicken seasoning, Worcestershire sauce and crushed fresh garlic and ginger.” – Keletso Motau, contributing food stylist


“We like the South American braai technique, asado, for lots of people. We only use wood, and had a stand made for lamb ribs and beef. Or we cook air-dried steaks slathered in duck fat on a cast-iron slab that’s heated up in the fire. We use the indirect method.” – Abigail Donnelly, food director

Having a fish braai?

“Fish on a salt slab smokes really well without breaking up the flesh. Or wrap in foil and cook on one side of the grid. Yellowtail is the best for flavour and texture.” – Jacqui Burgess, contributor

“Snoek or yellowtail with garlic bread or bread baked in a potjie. Baste fish in a mixture of melted butter, apricot jam and lemon juice.” – Alistair Fester, group art director

Sensational sides

“I always do a green sauce with red meat – chimichurri with lamb, or a hot salsa verde with rare steak.” – Kate Wilson, editor-in-chief

“Your mielies need bacon butter. Fry 200 g chopped streaky bacon until crisp, then add three thinly sliced garlic cloves and fry until crisp. Throw in 2 t smoked chilli flakes and 30 g chopped fresh coriander, then stir all this into 250 g softened butter. Refrigerate until ready to use.” – Khanya Mzongwana, contributing food editor

“Kara orange sweet potatoes with sea salt and olive oil, cooked in the coals. Top with a dollop of plain yoghurt and atchar.” – Yvette Samaai, business manager

“I love a good s’more after a braai. A Marie biscuit on the grid, a block of chocolate to melt, a braaied marshmallow and another Marie biscuit makes an amazing dessert.” – Rugshaana Abrahams, multimedia designer

Spotify your braai

These are our team’s top tunes to play at a braai:

TASTE Article by: TASTE

The TASTE team is a happy bunch of keen cooks and writers, always on the look out for the next food trend or the next piece of cake.

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