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by Dan van Straaten June 15, 2021 0 Comments

The Ultimate Guide to braai (South African way!)

What is Braai Lets Braai Uk

Who does not love the smell of the meat cooking on a BBQ? Who does not love a summer party in the garden with friends and family around a BBQ?

Everyone loves a BBQ and since the start of the pandemic, BBQing is becoming more and more popular than ever in the UK. The Independent reports following a poll of 2,000 UK BBQ owners that many have been experimenting cooking on the grill.

We know South Africans love BBQing; but they do not just BBQ, they braai! It is all about the experience, the smells, aromas, ambiance.

First, what does ‘braai’ mean, do you know?

The word braai (pronounced ‘bry’, rhyming with the word ‘try’ – I am sure many of our readers are rugby fans too 😊) comes from the Dutch ‘braden’, meaning ‘to grill’. It is an abbreviation of braaivleis meaning ‘grilled meat’. So, the word is originally from the language and culture of Afrikaner people in Southern Africa. Having a braai is a social custom not only in South Africa but also in Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Zambia. Whether it is sunny or raining, breakfast, lunch or dinner, braais are part of the Southern African culture.

A braai is much more than just cooking food, it is all about the atmosphere, the taste, the experience, and the people that you share it and spend time with! No matter if it is for a special occasion, a rugby match, a date night, or a school night dinner, you don’t need an excuse to braai and enjoy good food and good company.

What is a South African braai?

We believe it starts by making the perfect fire!

A major difference between a braai and a BBQ is the fire! A braai, traditionally, uses wood as fuel. Wood brings out the best flavours in the meat. And different varieties of wood produce different flavours. When using wood, the air is full of wonderful aromas that create a great ambience. The coals will remain lit for the duration of the braai, even after the food has been cooked. Guests will then gather around the fire and enjoy atmosphere.

Meaning of Braai Lets Braai Uk
The Meaning of Braai Kameel doring wood buring on a open fire

You can find premium Southern African wood in the UK and we are here to help. We offer 3 types of wood:


(Acacia Cyclops) burns quickly and gives lovely rich  coals in around 40 minutes







Kameeldoring (Camel thorn) is a very slow burning wood and will create plenty of hot coals in approximately 1 hour






Sekelbos (Sickle Bush) gives off intense heat and a wonderful smoky flavour to the food,





To learn more about our wood !

It is much more than just a meal…we love the atmosphere!

So, you will have understood, a braai is much more than just a meal! The food (enough to feed a rugby team 😊) is delicious. The whole experience is very social. Waiting for the fire to produce the right amount of heat and coals takes time, then there is eating, drinking, and …more drinking. This is the whole point of a braai: a long social gathering that can last for hours. It is all about catching up and having a great time with family and friends.

And you can braai anything!

T-bone/fillet steak, lamb chops, chicken scewers/flatties, boerewors (‘farmer’s sausage’ in Afrikaans), seafood, braaibroodjie (grilled sandwich), potato bakes, corn on the cob and the list can go on.

Earlier this year, we really enjoyed watching all episodes of ‘South Africa with Gregg Wallace’ on ITV. Gregg Wallace loved braaing with South Africans; he tasted some skilpadjies (sheep liver wrapped in a sheep layer of caul fat) and really enjoyed the kudu and cream potjie (a stew cooked in a cast iron pot), you can watch a clip here this looks delicious!

You can also watch the clip below.

And let’s not forget, a braai needs a braaimaster

The host is usually the braaimaster in charge of choosing and building the fire, as well as grilling the meat. There is a common saying in South Africa: “Jy krap nie aan ‘n ander man se vuur nie” which means “You don’t mess around with another man’s fire!’’. At home, Dan is without a doubt our braai master! 😊

The Ultimate Braai Experience !

To explore the Ultimate BBQ experience and discover our premium Southern African BBQ/braai wood

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