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 Post subject: Re: Braai?
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:39 am 
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These photo's are not mine, but Sarabi's.
They were taken at Punda Maria, at the fence, accompanied by the noise of hundreds of buffalo.

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 Post subject: Re: Braai?
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:21 am 
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Location: Lausanne (Switzerland)
Here is "my" Grootkolk fire....
In the tin there is potatos and in the other bacon and onions
It's was excellent
but you have to wait until the flames become embers... I was in a hurry, a storm threatens...

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 Post subject: Re: Braai?
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 3:58 pm 
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Location: Washington, DC, USA
Thanks guys--this really helps! I keep hearing about the trick where you hold your hand 6 inches above the grill to test out the heat. If you can hold your hand for 5 seconds, would that qualify as low, medium or hot? I'm slowly getting it!

I think we will start off with a combination of charcoal and wood and once we build some confidence, we might attempt a wood only braai. I imagine once our neighbors see us pulling out the charcoal bag, :shock: they will be horrified and offer to help us!

If you don't want your chicken to be burnt on the outside and raw on the inside, you would want the coals to be medium-low, correct? Keep cooking until the juices run clear? I'm getting the hang of it! :thumbs_up:

One more 'dumb' question. If the bungalow comes with utensils, does that include braai tongs and can openers? Or do we need to supply our own? I have a funny story [not so funny at the time] about a large group camping trip where no one remembered the can opener and our dinner for the first night was supposed to be cans of chili.

@Meandering Mouse-- We will definitely try the potatoes and veggies in a foil packet technique. The easier, the better!

@Anne-Marie-- Speaking of Swiss food, I was invited to a raclette party recently and I think that would be the perfect thing to do in a hut in Kruger, assuming you could haul your raclette pans down to Africa! [The Swiss guy who hosted the party insisted that raclette was NOT fondue, but is a close cousin of fondue. It's a type of cheese that you melt in special little pans. You then pour the melted cheese out of the pans over potatoes or veggies. Yummy :) ]

@Nyala-- I'd love it if you could post photos from your braai this weekend. I think it would be very helpful to me and other braai newbies!

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Satara, Olifants and Orpen November 2009


Last edited by Sakoro on Sat Jan 17, 2009 4:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Braai?
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 4:03 pm 
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One little note about chicken....I'm always so concerned about proper cooking of chicken that I par boil it before it goes on the grill....doing that also cuts down on the flare-ups because it has less fat left in it... ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Braai?
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 4:36 pm 
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Location: Lausanne (Switzerland)
I don't know if I can pass cheese for raclette at the custom :shock:
but it's a very good idea :dance: thanks
right raclette = with potatos, fork and knife and fire
fondue = with bread, only fork, and pan
and not the same cheese at all :naughty:

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 Post subject: Re: Braai?
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:01 pm 
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Most fully equipped cottages do have braai tongs. It's worth checking when you check in though as, if not, you can always buy some at the camp shop (or borrow from the neighbours) :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Braai?
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 6:58 am 
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Location: Bellville, RSA
Here are some pics of how I stack the wood for a braai.

Start off with a 2x2 grid with the firelighter (in this case a parrafin - kerosene - soaked brick) in the middle
Image

Fill up with thinner pieces of wood, sticks or kindling.
Image

Next layer, thicker pieces
Image

Next layer
Image

and so on. Till you have enough for the braai.
Image

When the wood pieces are odd sizes, just try to stack them in this fashion. Once the fire is burning nicely, you can lay on more wood.

Happy braai-ing :thumbs_up:

James

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Satara 24 - 27 Aug 2014
Tsenze 28 - 31 Aug 2014
Satara 1 - 4 Sep 2014
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 Post subject: Re: Braai?
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 2:48 pm 
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@Nyala/ James: Wow, thank you so much! :D These pictures really are worth 1000 words. I'm sure a lot of other international visitors will find them helpful. :clap: :clap: :clap: :wink:

It's interesting to see the wood that you used. I'm not sure we can even find wood cut that short in the U.S.-- the only times I've done a wood fire, it's been big pieces in a fire ring or campfire pit, and that's more for keeping warm and toasting marshmallows than cooking meat. And most of us barbeque in the spherical kettle drum grills rather than something rectangular and flat. It's a lot harder to stack wood in a sphere. Finally being able to visualize what you all are talking about explains a lot!!!

@Meandering Mouse: Our current plan is to pick up supplies at the new Hoedspruit Pic 'N Pay and then stop by one of the butcher shops in that area if we time. I've applied for 2 nights in Satara, 2 nights in Olifants and 2 nights in Orpen. I'm thinking the menu will include boerewors, chicken sosaties, lamb chops, some sort of steak and some sort of marinated chicken. Plus veggie and potato packets and maybe a portobello mushroom on the grill. [I wish there was a drooling smilie 8) ]

So the trip is 10 1/2 months away, and yes I am over-planning a tiny bit. But, we want to practice our grilling skills during the northern hemisphere summer so we know what we're doing when we get to the park. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Braai?
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:46 am 
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Location: Bellville, RSA
You will find firewood in longer lengths in KNP as well. The braai 'stands' they use are round as well. I have some pics, will hunt around and post them.
Glad to have been of some help. :D

James

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KNP 2014
Berg en Dal 20 - 23 Aug 2014
Satara 24 - 27 Aug 2014
Tsenze 28 - 31 Aug 2014
Satara 1 - 4 Sep 2014
Lower Sabie 5 - 9 Sep 2014


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 Post subject: Re: Braai?
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 4:04 pm 
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Braai at Satara...

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 Post subject: Re: How to braai
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 10:20 pm 
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KNP without a braai :naughty: :naughty: :naughty:

Wood or charcoal
Matches
Blitz (fire lighters)

When you get firelighters rather buy outside KNP coz they mainly have those sachets with the liquid in and with the holes in the braais it just drips out so rather buy the Blitz at a spar or pick and pay,works much better anyway.

The place 1 or 2 pieces of blitz in the center of the braai.Then light the blitz.Then if you going to use charcoal just pack them around and onto the blitz.But dont kill the flame it needs to breath.Then leave it for around 1 hour and when the flames are gone you are left with nice coals.

When you braai with wood ideally you need to chop the wood in smaller pieces.Or just a few to get the flames going and then put bigger and bigger pieces on.Again depends on how much coals you need will depend how much wood charcoal to put on.

Its better to show than to explain.But I am sure if you ask your neighbours they will help you.

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 Post subject: Re: How to braai
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 10:31 pm 
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what a great topic!! :thumbs_up: ...being of a somewhat older generation I've had experience with charcoal (barbecuing) as that was all there was. Then came propane grills, and life was a dream!
However while in SA I had no idea for wood cooking, as we've mostly done just wood fires for hot dogs on sticks or marshmallows etc....not so much for a whole meal. I loved the design of the Braais' with swivel rack or skottle, which we thought looked a lot like a Wok :lol: Meal time ...if started too late with wood, meant eating late...and sometimes drinking more :shock: :lol:
But the smell of African wood....was the treat for us...so different form anything I can remember here in Canada...and we've had lots of fires!!
So all you Saffies out there!!! Don't take the simple things for granted :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: How to braai
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 10:38 pm 
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Wow, now this is a topic that I'm really passionate about, and could go on at length.

As per B5S's advice, buy solid firelighters. Blitz and Charka are good, well known brands but just about any will do. I usually use and prefer the 'white block' type but the 'brown cardboard-y' type will work fine.

I prefer compressed charcoal, either briquettes or triquettes. If you can get only uncompressed its not a train smash, it just doesn't burn as long so its harder to manage.

I start by arranging a floor of charcoal for my block or two of firelighter to rest on. I then build a 'tower' of charcoal around the firelighter, trying to stay as vertical as possible. Don't pack it too tightly as B5S mentioned, it needs to breathe. Charcoal needs to be in contact with the flame to 'catch', so the more charcoal (surface area) in contact with the firelighter flame, the better. Flames go upward, that's why I build a tower.

The charcoal should have caught within 15-30 minutes. I usually leave the tower for a while, til the coals have started to catch over most of their surfaces. If you want to speed up the process, fan the coals with a magazine/piece of cardboard/piece of styrofoam from your meat/hair dryer (works best).

The amount of coal you need depends on what you're cooking (chicken takes a lot longer) and how much meat there is. You will get better at estimating the amount and adding if necessary as you braai more. If you do need to add more coal, try add it earlier rather than later and let it catch properly as per the instructions below.

A lot of people will put the braai grid on top of the coals while there are still flames. This is to clean the grid. You can do this even after the flames have subsided, there should be enough heat.

Don't start cooking until each coal is coated in a thin layer of grey ash. The heat at this point will be the best. Proper compressed charcoal will last you for at least 2-3 hours, so you don't have to hurry.

Depending on your braai type, and what you're cooking, you may want to arrange your coals differently. For example with Weber kettle braais, they recommend that for chicken you don't cook directly over the coals. For read meat, and if you're using a 'normal Sanparks braai', just place the meat directly over the coals.

Knowing when and how often to turn the meat is a bit of an art in my opinion. Just don't turn it too often, and don't let it burn :).

If you're using wood, the process can change a little. Start off with smaller pieces, let them catch but remain flaming before you add bigger pieces. Continue adding progressively bigger pieces, waiting for it all to catch before you add more, until you have added one or two of your biggest pieces.

Usually when I braai with wood, it is off a big campfire/bonfire, which means I have a nice feeder fire from which to get coals. This makes it a lot easier (thats why I use charcoal if no feeder fire). Wait until the coals drop off the block of wood before you cook on them.

I've left out gas braais, since I personally don't consider using gas a proper braai ;)

I should take a photo series to illustrate these steps! (a good excuse for a braai) :)

Any more questions, just ask.

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 Post subject: Re: How to braai
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 10:41 pm 
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B5S! :thumbs_up: Indeed, don't 'smother' the Blitz. Air vents are essential. Else you will have a whole lot of smoke and nothing more. :wink:


Lockie! :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: So true.


Hubby is a braai specialist... We find that some wood makes beautiful flames, but not great coals. So we always add both - wood and charcoal - for beautiful flames and sustained coals.


Giraffe, I agree with B5S - most neighbours will gladly assist. :thumbs_up: On the other hand, you can always co-op my services... I make great fires. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: How to braai
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 10:42 pm 
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Good! I will need all the advice I can get here for our KTP trip :clap:


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