The Ultimate South African Braai Guide

A braai is so much more than a barbeque. A true South African braai is a way of life where this authentic tradition focuses on bringing family and friends together, sharing unforgettable moments while enjoying food perfected on the open fire.

This guide will take you through everything you need to know about a braai; from the perfect time to start, what type of food can be prepared on it and the various methods of braaing.

Heritage day is around the corner, host the perfect braai experience with only this guide.

Get Fire'd Up!

A braai is nothing without the fire! Hard woods, such as Kameeldoring- or Sekelbos braai wood, are the finest sorts to use for a braai. These braai wood is a South- African favourite since it gives your braai meat more flavour and aroma where you can taste the fire in your food. Very important: never touch the braai master’s braai!

The Braai Master is the one person that takes care of the meat and who’s in charge of maintaining the fire to guarantee that everything is cooked to perfection. It's a tradition to keep the fire blazing late into the evening after all the food has been prepared while everyone get together to enjoy a cool beverage. Nothing brings family and friends together than a fire after a braai.

people sitting by the fire

Braai Time!

Rain, wind or shine, whether its breakfast, lunch or supper- we braai! To a South African, there’s never a wrong time to braai. Braais are more common at big events and getaways, such as weddings, birthdays or on the family camping trip.

From waking up at your campsite and making your freshly brewed coffee on the braai, to preparing a quick drunken midnights snack after a night out, it is always the perfect time to have a braai!

At LK’s, we strive to deliver quality braais and braai accessories where you can pack your braai along for any road trip. Wide or narrow, big or compact, we’ve got the braai for you.

Braai Place!

The fact that the earliest evidence of man and fire was found in South Africa, it is no secret that South Africa is the braai-nation! South Africans will always find a place to light their fires, no matter where they are.

We have the freedom of experiencing a braai with a view, at parks and picnic spots or in the comfort of our homes. Although there are many different locations to enjoy a braai, most beaches forbid cooking food on an open fire. Always remember to braai responsibly.

open fire by the waterfall

Lekker Braai Food!

There’s just nothing like a delicious food made on the braai! There’s no limit as South Africans will braai anything and everything while leaving it packed with all kinds of traditional flavours. You’ll always leave a braai with a full stomach and a few leftover dishes for the next day.

Here are the most popular and most-enjoyed food you’ll expect to eat at a braai:

  • Sosaties - very similar to kebabs, where meat is marinated in a sauce and cubed on the skewer with various other ingredients, such as peppers, onions and pineapple. These sosaties are then cooked on a braai and can be served as a side dish or mostly enjoyed as a braai snack. You can experiment and use any meat on your sosatie, but most popular meats are lamb, beef or chicken.

LK’s Kebab Grill Set-  makes braaing sosaties easier.

You need to try this delicious kebab recipe at your next braai: Sticky Pineapple and Chicken Kebab.

  • Boerewors - A braai is not a braai without a boerewors. This South African-born sausage is pronounced "boo-ruh-vors". A proper boerewors must consist of 90% meat, made from mainly beef and a mixture of lamb and pork. One thing that makes boerewors different than a normal sausage, is that it greatly consists out of meat with a significant use of spices that South Africans truly enjoy. It’s a very versatile dish as it can be enjoyed on its own, on a bun (boerewors roll), as a complement to another dish (chakalaka, pap en wors) or dried out (droëwors).

Make braaing boerewors a breeze with LK’s Boerewors Grid (available in Stainless Steel, Mild Steel and Chrome).

  • Marinated meats – Whether it’s chicken, pork or lamb that’s prepared in a delicious marinade and topped off with a homemade mushroom- or cheese sauce, these meats are an all-time-favourite braai dish.
  • Steaks – South Africans know what cut of steak they like- fillet for the tenderness, rump for the taste, and rib-eye for a great all-rounder. A steak is a great addition to any braai, just bring along your favourite steak cut and trust the braai master to do the rest.
  • Kreef & Snoek – A perfectly smoked or braaid snoek where you can taste the South African coast will be on the menu at a braai close to the beach. A kreef (a spiny lobster), snoek (mackerel) and paella are popular choices.

Got the snoek, but looking for a grid? View our various snoek grids (available in Stainless Steel, mild steel and chrome).

Prepare this Cape famous Masala Snoek Recipe on the braai.

  • Biltong – When you think about the ultimate South African snack, biltong will be at the top of the list for many. Similar to beef jerky, biltong is made from a variety of dried meat, such as beef, ostrich, kudu, springbok, and others. Additionally, biltong is produced differently from beef jerky, which leaves it with a softer and fluffier texture.

Have you ever attempted to make your own biltong or droëwors? Use LK’s Biltong Maker.

  • Pap – In South Africa, pap is also called mieliepap, which is maize porridge that’s traditionally enjoyed with marinated meats or as a side dish at a braai.
  • Braaibroodijie – You’ll never find a braai without a braaibroodjie. To make one of these, you simply take two slices of bread, add a few strings of sliced onion, sliced tomato, grated cheese and chutney sauce; and let it toast for 5 min per side.

close-up of kebabs on the open fire

Get Braaing!

The biggest tradition in South Africa is the braai, so much so that we have a day designated as braai day, every year—Heritage Day! Although we as the rainbow nation may have very varied racial, cultural, and religious backgrounds, a traditional South African braai unifies us all.

This guide should give you everything you need to host a "lekker" (wonderful) braai if you ever find yourself in South Africa or want to try braaing over open flames.

close-up of kebabs on the open fire

Ultimate South African Braai Guide

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