South Africa is a diverse country which exhibits the spirit of a rainbow nation in various spheres of life. One significant food related activity which is close to the hearts of many people is the braai. Braais are enjoyed across different cultural and social groups, making the braai the heart of the country’s rich traditions and culture.
Preparing and hosting a braai involves more than just buying meat and throwing it on open flames. Here’s what you need to have an impressive braai:
Braai area set up
Create a safe and hygienic storage space for cutlery, crockery and utensils. Place some wood or charcoal by the side to add some aesthetic appeal to your braai area. Strategically place some comfortable chairs and tables in your braai area so that nobody eats from their laps.
To give the braai area a lively boost, you can mix styles and designs. Install some lights for late night braaiing and one or two garden umbrellas for a beautiful outdoor haven. Choose designated areas to place recycling bins for used plastic cups and plates as well as bottles and any other waste.
There is no braai without fire. Take time to clean the braai stand and then chuck in the charcoal or wood. Light it up and allow it to burn for a good 25 minutes in order for the flames to die down. Then you can evenly spread the charcoal. For aroma, add fresh herbs like sage, rosemary or thyme into your fire.
When it comes to meat, preparation is everything and the earlier the better. Dry and tasteless meat can mess up a good time. To achieve tasty and fresh meat, simply put the meat in a sizeable bowl, perforate it on both sides with a knife or fork, and sprinkle some pineapple or lemon juice for softening purposes. You can then sufficiently season the meat with spices, garlic salt, BBQ, add the marinate, rub it on with clean hands and put it in the fridge the night before braai day. If you have chicken on the menu, you need to make sure you use chicken spice for it.
Braaiing the meat
Before you place the meat on the grill, sprinkle it with drops of olive oil. This is done to ignite flames up to temperatures of 150°C and helps to sear the meat and seal the juices and flavour inside the meat. Turn the meat only when you see a lot of juice collect on top. Once you notice that the meat is evenly done, get it off the braai stand and serve it with snacks or salads on the side.
Entertainment, Dessert and drinks
A good braai is about good vibes and this can only be done with good food and entertainment. Music will set the mood and scene of the braai, so make sure you create a playlist and place speakers near the braai area. If you are hosting a braai during a sporting weekend, a television screen mounted by the wall will keep the entertainment level elevated.
While the focus of the braai is often placed on meat, some dessert makes it even more enjoyable. You can opt for commonly known and acceptable standard cheese, tomato, onions and chutney or go for some sweetener with chocolate spread, sliced banana and marshmallows. You can bet that children will enjoy this even more than adults. For drinks, try to find out before braai day what the person or people you are hosting prefer to drink, this will make your task a little easier.
When it comes to children’s entertainment, you can create space for a children’s play area where you can put age-appropriate games and toys. Adults can also join in with some board games.
If well implemented, the five tips provided above will assist you with hosting an impressive braai.