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The easy way to keeping your braai at its best

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Time well spent on a South African weekend normally involves a gathering around the braai. Without a braai, of some description; a house just isn’t a home. A good braai is usually quite an investment financially and thus it makes sense to do your part in ensuring that it is kept in great condition and provides pleasure for you, your family and friends for many years to come. Follow the below easy steps to keeping your braai at its best:

  1. A Firm Foundation:
    Before you start your braai, make sure that your floor is protected against greasy spatter. Place a foil container under your braai, which will catch any spillage, preventing the mess that nobody will be in the mood to clean up afterwards.

  2. Proper Placement:
    In How to: Care for your Grill Jean Nayar describes the ideal places to put your braai. Place your braai in an open, well ventilated, space that is at least three metres away from your house. Make sure that the braai is not near any flammable surfaces and that it is firmly placed and stable.

  3. Prepare the Kettle:
    To ease cleaning, place some foil in the kettle if your braai. Once done cooking braai, simply remove the foil and throw it away, no mess, no scrubbing.

  4. Keep the grill brushed and oiled:
    Light your fire and let it burn for about 10 minutes or until the temperature is between 260 and 290 degrees, take a long-handle brush with hard hair (or stainless steel hair) and brush your grill. After brushing the grill, dip a paper towel in cooking oil, clamp the paper towel with some tongs and wipe over the grill. It is important not to use too much cooking oil as this might lead to the fire reigniting.

  5. Clean grease and ash:
    After the braai when everyone’s feasted on all the delicious meat and side dishes, the last thing anyone wants to do is even think about cleaning the braai. Unfortunately, it is very important to clean your braai, especially to remove the ash. Removing the ash is very important because once it comes into contact with any moisture, a type of clay forms, this is almost impossible to clean and can also lead to premature rust. 

  6. Keep the outside clean:
    Even though the way your braai looks on the outside does not have an impact on your braai experience it is still important, in terms of aesthetics, to keep it in a good, clean condition. You only have to clean your braai every two weeks. Wipe the outside with a cloth and detergent. If you have a stainless steel braai, use a microfiber cloth and polish it with the grain. Never use strong chemicals or sanding pads as this will damage the steel.

  7. Keep the inside dirty:
    Except for the issue of ash, which has already been mentioned, it is advised that the inside of your braai should be kept relatively “dirty”. After a braai, a black layer sometimes forms on you grill, according to Joshua Bousel (in Guide to Grilling: Keeping a Grill Clean),it is advisable to leave the layer as is, this is because, in between braais, this layer protects the braai against the elements, it also serves as seasoning, which helps with temperature control.

  8. Storage:
    When the braai is not in use, it should be covered and placed somewhere where it cannot be damaged by rain or sunlight, preferably under cover.

Follow the above easy steps and you’ll have a braai that lasts a life time.

Enjoy your braai!