How to light a bbq fire (braai fire) like a Pro!
A Complete and Comprehensive Guide by Let’s Braai to celebrate National Braai Day.
Have you recently been invited by your South African friends?
They would have told you that on the 24th of September, South Africa will be celebrating National Heritage Day, also know as National Braai Day.
Millions of South Africans will be commemorating National Heritage Day.
Those celebrations happen every year on 24 September. It is a South African public holiday that has been celebrated officially since the mid 90’s.
On this day, South Africans are encouraged to celebrate their diversity, heritage, culture, and roots. Various events will be staged throughout South Africa to commemorate this day.
In 2005, a campaign created by Jan Scannell, known as ‘Jan Braai’, ‘renamed’ the bank holiday as National Braai Day in recognition of South African culinary tradition of holding braais. Jan Braai has got a TV programme on KykNet called ‘Jan Braai’. If you ever get the opportunity to watch this, it will give you some great ideas about preparing food on a braai/bbq. We have recently been offered one of his cooking books, some amazing recipes!
The Braai Day mission is to ‘encourage all South Africans to unite around fires, share our heritage and wave our flag’
On 5 September 2007, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, was made the National Spokesperson for Braai Day. He said: “There are so many things that are pulling us apart,” and “this has a wonderful potential to bring us all together…. We have 11 different official languages but only one word for the wonderful institution of braai…”. He also said: “This is something that can unite us. It is so proudly South African, so uniquely South African”. He passed away last year, on the 26th of December 2021.
Are you barbecuing/braaing for the first time? Find out how to light a BBQ correctly so that you get the best flame-grilled results
It’s barbecue party, and that means it’s time to dust off the grill and invite your friends over for a good, old-fashioned cookout. But before you can start cooking, you need to get the fire going. Lighting a barbecue can be tricky, but with these tips, you’ll be able to do it like a pro!
Our Essential Guide – it’s perfect for barbecue newbies who are just getting started and know to know the best way to light a fire for a braai; it also contains some tips.
Are you Barbecuing with wood for the first time?
At Let’s Braai, we have a passion for braaing. We love the atmosphere around a braai and we love a good fire. With our authentic braai wood, you can create that ultimate bbq/braai experience!
The main characteristic of African hardwood is its long burn time, in fact much longer than charcoal. And because African hardwoods produce a lot of heat consistently, you can cook anything like a braai master.
Our Southern African braai wood is extremely dry and has a very low moisture content. We stock:
With very little moisture content, Kameeldoring is a very dry and slow burning BBQ wood. It gives off a beautiful musky fragrance and creates a large amount of hot burning coals, a superb grilling and cooking wood! Can also be burnt in fire pits and outdoor fireplaces.
A super dry and slow burning BBQ wood, Sekelbos hardwood gives off intense heat and a wonderful smoky flavour to the food. Superb cooking wood for BBQ and braai enthusiasts! Can also be burnt in fire pits and outdoor fireplaces.
Rooikrans produces coals in about 40 minutes, adds a lovely smoky flavour to your meat, and stays hot enough to cook for up to an hour. Can also be burnt in fire pits and outdoor fireplaces.
Reddish in colour, very dry and dense, Mopane makes extremely hot coals and stay hot for a very long time. A slow burning wood that generates lots of heat, you can grill and cook for hours! Mopane will enhance the flavour of the food, a beautiful cooking wood.
We offer our authentic braai wood in 10kg and 20kg bags. Our Southern African bbq wood is also available in 30kg box (free mainland UK delivery) which is the perfect gift for all braai lovers.
Our Mix and Match bundles allow you to pick and choose the different kinds of barbecue wood.
If you are South African and you are lighting your fire with wood, you know you will be transported back in time to that happy, great memory of a braai experience you had.
As you already know, a braai is not a braai without a fire; so, we will tell you how to light the perfect braai fire!
Without a fire, there is no braai: here is our 4 steps guide to the perfect braai fire
All South Africans know that the best way to gather family and friends is around a good braai with good food.
Fire plays an important role in the braai experience; so, for The Ultimate Braai Experience, here are our 4 steps:
Here we go, how to light a bbq properly?
1. Get all your materials ready
· Gather everything you are going to use to begin the ‘braai building’ process.
· First, you will need a fire-starter – firelighters are a very convenient choice (we would recommend natural firelighters). We also keep our cardboard egg boxes; with vegetable oil, they make perfect fire starters!
· Then, get your kindling (chopped up pieces of logs): our Sekelbos kindling is extremely dry and dense
· You will need logs of wood, the more dense the better – you can shop here our premium Southern African braai wood
· And a good pair of tongs 😊! We love our Jim Beam grilling tong
2. Start and light the fire
· Put your kindling in the centre of the braai to form a small square tower. You do this by laying 2 pieces down parallel to one another. Then you place 2 more pieces on top, but perpendicular this time.
· Place your fire-starter in the middle and light it.
· Then place your bigger logs and carry on ‘building’ a square tower using the same technique as for your kindling wood.
· Build 3 or 4 layers like this; keep the wood well apart to allow air to feed the flames
· This is the method we recommend as it works best for us.
3. Maintain the flames
· This is the most important part of the fire-building process
· The fire needs to be watched attentively
· Make sure the fire has enough space to breath. Stack too few logs and the fire will die; and if you place too many, you will suffocate the fire.
· Once the fire is burning nicely, leave it alone! When the tower collapses, you can move the logs back on the burning pile.
· If you are using Rooikrans, the fire will take approximately 40 minutes to turn into coals. Allow 1 hour if you are braaing with Kameeldoring or Sekelbos braai wood.
4. Braai and enjoy!
· For maintaining a great fire, we recommend to fire on one side and when the coals form, pull them over to the area you want to cook and spread them over. Then once your hot coals are evenly distributed, place your braai grid.
For all bbq enthusiasts, our new stainless steel braai is perfect to do so with the ember maker. You can keep adding logs to the main fire (coal maker); this will create a constant supply of coals.
Our stainless steel braai has 3 grid height settings which allow you to cook quickly on the lowest setting. For meat and dishes that require a slower cooking time, keep your grid at the top.
It also comes with durable plastic wheels for easy pushing over grass or uneven ground.
You can keep the cooking area of the braai at the perfect temperature (low heat or high heat) for the food you are grilling (meat, vegetables, fish or Braaibroodjie – better known as a bbq sandwich)
Now you know how to light a bbq fire (braai fire) like a Pro!
On the 24th of September, it’s not only National Heritage Day/National Braai Day, it is also a big day for the Springbok team! The South African Rugby team will be playing against Argentina and they have got a chance to win the Rugby Championship. It is a competition in the Southern Hemisphere between South Africa, New Zealand, Argentina and Australia.
Since we started our Let’s Braai journey, we have had the chance to meet some of the Springboks: Andre Esterhuizen, Jasper Wiese, Wilco Louw, Jaco Taute to name a few. They are enjoying our barbecue wood and stainless steel braai…a taste of home!
So light a bbq, grill and enjoy
It’s now time to grab yourself another drink, enjoy delicious grilled food and make the most of the time with family and friends 😊. You can’t beat the atmosphere of a braai/bbq and the social aspect that goes with it.
From the Let’s Braai team, we wish all our friends and family in the UK and back home in South Africa a great National Heritage Day/National Braai Day