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The "Official" South African Braai Guide!

Read this before you even light a match this weekend πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯ - The WHO guidelines on braaing.

It's almost time to celebrate Heritage Day... otherwise known as "Braai day." We've chatted a bit about heritage especially after some of the hectic happenings in the country recently. So today we are breaking down all of the braai things!

It's always amazing how we find common ground, laughter and unity around the fire... South Africa needs to Braai more πŸ₯©πŸ₯©
Official South African Braai Guide_GetMemo

The Definition

Let's start at the beginning... what is a braai even? Our overseas friends call it a barbecue, so imagine that but more lit! πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯ According to some sources, the word braai itself originated from the Dutch word "braden" which means to "Roast"

Some things happened... Dutch people... Afrikaans and basically by the 18th-century braaivleis meant grilled meat. Today the word is owned by every South African, from rural KZN right through to Sandton. Braaing forms such a strong and proud part of our South African heritage - it's actually a really beautiful thing.

Barbecue: A meal or gathering at which meat, fish, or other food is cooked outdoors on a rack over an open fire or on a special appliance.
"in the evening there was a barbecue" πŸ‘ˆπŸΎ (And i was there!)

The Feeling

What do you think of when I say braai? If you are anything like me... it's tons of really wholesome and fond memories. Braais brings together friends and loved ones. They create a particular vibe and atmosphere which (in truth) needs no specific reason, time, or place. Any moment can be the perfect moment for a braai.

Braaiing to us is more than just cooking food, it's about being South African, it's about the tradition, about what we love, and how we celebrate.

Official South African Braai Guide_GetMemo

Be #LikeALocal with these great tips

All the things you need to know for when you hosting a braai and when you invited to one. Let's get started!!


The Snacks🍬🧁πŸͺ

We are not rushing here, the meat will be ready when it's ready... until then, have a snack! Something to nibble on whilst you wait can save you (and your guests) from a hunger strike. Do yourself a favour and handle these before you start:

  • Lots of Chips n Dips
  • Peanuts and Raisins
  • Biltong and Droewors (a must-have)
  • Sweets and refreshments for the kids (and you)
Official South African Braai Guide_GetMemo

The Drinks🍹🍷🍻

Ok here's a pocket-saving tactic... A standard drink is relatively affordable but your friend's favourite 2007 Chateau Petrus Grand Vin from Bordeaux is not... not at all... not even a little bit!

Tell your guests you want them to be super comfortable so they must bring their fave... you just have to make sure you cover the basic fizzy stuff (and the juices) - and everybody wins!

Don't forget the ice...

The MeatπŸ₯©πŸ— - What goes on the fire

  • Boerewors - There are many flavours to choose from like allspice, coriander, cloves, nutmeg, or grabouw wors.
  • Lamb chops - Marinate with garlic, rosemary, and thyme for about an hour. (You'll thank us later)
  • Steaks - Rump, Fillet, T-bone, Ostrich steaks are also a local favourite
  • Chicken - Spiced with the flavours you love, like lemon and herb or peri-peri
  • Seafood - Snoek, Tuna
  • Braaibroodjie – A grilled sandwich filled with sliced tomatoes, onions, cheddar cheese, and sweet chutney.
  • Braai Pap - Which goes perfectly with "Chakalaka" relish.
  • Roosterbrootjies - Which is perfect with some tomatoes, onions, and some cheese.

Check out this delicious recipe: Peri-peri Chicken Braai Recipe

What's under the grill?

The type of wood you use does make a difference in the way your braai will turnout. We suggest using any of the following:

  • Vinewood (Wingerd) - Good for starting fires, however, it does burn out quickly but provides aroma and flavour.
  • Red Garland wood or (Rooikrans). It gives you some good coals but burns out quickly.
  • Camel Thorn wood or (Kameeldoring), gives you nice heat and hot coals. It also burns slowly.
  • If charcoal is your thing we recommend Charka, they a bit pricy but it's worth it. You have a choice of Briketts, InstaBricks, or the Braaimeester range.

Keep it here, local is lekker - Braai Etiquette

Mom taught me... always say please... always say thank you - and NEVER touch my braai stand! Braai etiquette, you just have to have it. Make sure you read all the way to the end cause we have few helpful tips as well to get you up to speed.

Braai Rules


  • Only give a hand when asked for or needed.
  • If you want to braai, just say so, otherwise, please chill.
  • Always make sure that the braaimasters glass doesn't run empty.
  • The braaimaster is always right, full stop

The first rule is to always follow the invitation instructions you received from your friend or family member who invited you over, on what you should bring and what they will provide.

If you're the host, we'll I'm sure you got that all covered. If the invite says "bring and braai" or "chop and dop", this means you bring your own drinks and meat, the host will provide all the accessories like side salads, pap, garlic bread, snacks, and of course the fire.

Our second tip is super important so listen up. Most braais happen over the weekend but can also be a during-the-week-thing if there's a reason. Never ever arrive at a braai hungry (you know who you are) it's a known fact that people have died waiting for braai meat. Do yourself a favour, have a light snack before heading over (don't say we didn't warn youπŸ˜πŸ˜‰).

Rule number 3: Master means MASTER! And Braaimaster has the word Master in it - leave the tips for when the braai is at your house ekse...

Number four is an extremely important one: no courteous, kind, or loving host would EVER let you eat the meat without tasting it first themselves... to make sure it's safe πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰ Don't ask any questions, just know that if 5 drumsticks go in, only 4 drumsticks will come out. Budget for about 10 - 15% of the meat to completely disappear, no bones, no evidence... Magic!

Official South African Braai Guide_GetMemo

Lastly, the host is usually responsible for braaing the meat, respect, and let them do their thing. Always ask if you can help out with anything like refilling glasses or turning over that scorched chop in the corner there. Keep them company, that's always a winner it is after all the best place to be at a braai, right next to the fire.

Need a recipe for some homemade chakalaka? Perfect for the occasion, and goes great with some "pap en vleis", click on the image below to view and download the recipe.

The Perfect Homemade Chakalaka

Share your braai stories with us, what is the strangest meat you've ever eaten? What is the most burnt you have ever seen braai meat get? What are your secret tips or favourite recipes and we'll feature it on our upcoming blog posts in celebration of Heritage Month?

Credit: To the guys from Explore Sideways - the Art of Wine & Travel and Home of Braai

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