There are some things to think about before installing your built in Braai BBQ.
Where to position?
It’s important to consider the space you want to position your Braai in. Pick an area of your garden which gives the user of the outdoor Braai plenty of room to cook and also allows the greatest amount of space in which to entertain in. A Braai is after all a great showpiece for any outdoor area and is a natural place for people to congregate around at a party or gathering. When planning where to put the Braai think about the following things:
– Comfortable space for food preparation and service
– Seating and dining area for your guests
– Shelter from the elements (we use the Braai all year round, so a consideration if you wish to do the same and don’t like getting wet)
How do you want the Braai to look?
There are several options;
– Concrete/breeze block/brick structure, rendered with plaster and painted
– Stone structural surround/stone clad structure
– Exposed Braai.
It is preferable in this instance to have some form of cover; be it a veranda, awning, lean-to or roof. Please note the flue pictured below is an extraordinary large example.
Free standing Braai
If you wish to have a Braai which isn’t fixed into a position or permanent structure then we also sell a durable stand which you can bring out from storage along with the Braai when you wish to use it.
If you wish to install your own Braai then we have a few handy tips;
– We find that the Braai is best positioned about 700mm off the ground
– It is important to have a solid and heat resistant surface for the bottom of the Braai to sit on, we suggest a heat resistant concrete lintel/slab or thick stone
– When cladding the Braai, make sure you leave a minimum of 20mm between the inner skin of the non-combustible building material and the surface of the Braai
Using your Braai
The ‘first firing’ should be a slow and small fire, this is important in order to cure the Braai’s structure. You will notice some smoke which is just the paint burning in and is normal.
Make sure always to start the fire in the ember maker or ash pan, not only is it the easiest way to do so but starting a fire on the very base of the Braai may cause damage and warping. We want your Braai to last many years! For the same reason don’t put out the Braai using water.
By starting your fire in the ember box, you can allow some serious heat to generate, then shake the box with a poker and allow the embers to fall into the ash pan below. Then simply drag them across to the grill and spread appropriately. You can accumulate deposits of embers under the grid to create hot and very-hot areas dependent on your cooking needs.
The grid is best set on the lowest setting for steaks, chops, sausages and chicken pieces etc. Place the grid higher up for roasts, stews, soups and use the hook at the top for Potjie cooking (the Afrikaans version of the Dutch Oven).
For slow cooking, pizzas, bread, Potjie meals or smoking we recommend you cook with the Braai doors closed and just keep topping up the ember box with wood. This allows the greatest sustained generation of heat in the Braai; so you are effectively using it as an oven rather than a grill.