Choosing the right braai

Kettle, gas or flat top braai – which is the right option for you? We weigh up the pros and cons of each.

Choosing the right braai is a hotly contested topic in South Africa. We’ve got everything you need to know about becoming the ultimate braai aficionado. So, if you’re in the market for a new braai, we have weighed up the pros and cons of kettleflat top and gas braais to make the search a lot easier.

Braai Types

Kettle braai

 

Kettle Braai

Pros

The traditional kettle braai is a firm favourite among South Africans. If you are looking for that superior smoky grilled flavour, nothing beats a kettle braai. They are the perfect choice if you like searing big chunks of meat, smoking fish or cooking whole chicken, as they distribute heat more evenly than flat top braais.

Cons

When buying a kettle braai it is important to note that cooking with charcoal is time consuming and expensive. Kettle braais are also very difficult to clean and the ash disposal can be a problem.

What to look for

The sizes range from those suitable for cosy meals for two to much bigger models to host a big bring ‘n braai. When choosing a kettle braai, go for the best you can afford. Look for good thick metal and enamelling and check that the lid fits well. If you like to be more adventurous, there are a wide range of accessories for kettle braais such as smokers, rotisseries and griddles.

We recommend:

 

Flat top braai

 

Flat Top Braai

Pros

Just like with the kettle braai, you are guaranteed to have the traditional smoky grilled South African flavour from braaing with charcoal. Flat top braais are a great cheaper alternative to the kettle braai. They are also lighter in weight. Many models are portable, making them perfect for a picnic in the park.

Cons

The biggest downfall of a flat top braai is that there is no dome to help distribute heat. With inconsistent heat, it is very difficult to cook a whole chicken or to smoke meats.

What to look for

Your biggest consideration when buying a flat top braai should be durability. You can also look for one with wheels to make it easier to transport.

We recommend:
Look for one that is not branded to save money!

 

Gas braai

 

Gas Braai

Pros

Many South Africans argue that a gas braai is a necessity in South Africa due to load-shedding. Some argue that gas braais are cleaner than charcoal braais and there is no smoke or bits of ash and debris on the meat. For whichever reason people prefer gas braais, there is no doubt that they are growing in popularity. Similar to the kettle braai, gas braais have domed lids to ensure heat distribution. However, gas braais also have thermostats, allowing you to cook different dishes at the same time at different temperatures. With quick heat up and no need for fire starters or accelerates, it is easier to re-cook meat if it is too rare.

Cons

The biggest downfall of a gas braai is the price. While you may be saving money by not having to braai with charcoal, the upfront costs of the gas braai are hefty. Other than the price, purists argue that gas braaiing isn’t really braaiing, as the taste of meat from a gas braai is inferior.

What to look for

We recommend looking for a gas braai with at least 3 – 5 burners and a side burner for heating pots and pans. If you really miss the taste of a charcoal braai, you can also look for one with a smoker box to get a hint of smoke flavour. Sturdy construction should be a major consideration in making your decision. Look for one made of aluminium or stainless steel if you plan to leave your braai outside so that it doesn’t rust.

We recommend:

 

At the end of the day, the ultimate choice is yours alone to make. Shop around on bidorbuy and take a look at our wide range of braais, taking into consideration your personal wants and needs for outdoor entertaining.

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