While a minimalist approach will still net you major flavour at braai time, the right gear can help you raise your game for blistering results. Here are the best braai tools to get your hands on, let’s fire up the grill.
The Best Braai Tools To Get Yourself Or The Braai Enthusiast In Your Life
1. Meater Plus Wireless
A powerful thermometer removes most—if not all—the guesswork of cooking a perfect cut. This one packs advanced tech to give you even better insight into those all-important internal temps. With 50m of wireless range, you can comfortably transition from kitchen to braai without missing a beat. Bonus: you can connect it to your tablet or phone to monitor your grill ensemble from the couch—perfect if you have to duck away to catch the final minutes of the game.
2. Tonglite Braai Tongs
If you want to master the grill, a pair of reliable pincers is practically mandatory. “You’ll want two pairs,” says Jan Scannell, the man behind JanBraai. “One for the burning embers and one for the meat.” For the burning bits, keep it simple—these will be on the frontlines, so durability is king. However, when it comes to your meat movers, there’s an opportunity to level up. The Tonglite braai tongs feature a warm white LED that’ll put your cuts under the spotlight, giving you a clear view even over the campfire.
3. Le Creuset Venus Basting Brush
Whether it’s lathering on marinade in the kitchen or brushing on apple cider vinegar to lock in moisture on the grill, a basting brush is an important part of any braai armoury. This one is heat resistant up 250°C, and the silicone material wicks away both odour and flavour, so you won’t have to worry about carrying over last week’s sauce into this week’s sirloin.
4. Weber Precision Wide Spatula
Spatulas are never exciting, but always necessary. And while you might be tempted to put your kitchen’s flipper to the flames, you’re best served with something built for the inferno. Weber’s spatula is ultra-wide letting you turn over your more delicate ingredients (read: fish) without your hard work flaking off into the coals below. Its stainless steel construction gives it extra mileage and protection against the elements.
5. Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker
There’s no reason the braai area should be a no-smoking zone. The proof: this powerful smoker from Weber. Smoking is a low-fat cooking process because—if done properly—you won’t have to lather on extra oils and sauces to keep your meat juicy. Plus, with the wide array of smoking wood available (apple, cherry, hickory, you name it) you can tweak your timber to tap into added flavour. We like this smoker because it’s easy-to-use and features two tiers of cooking grates, serving up generous grilling real estate.
6. Grill Brush and Scraper
A dirty grill will undo all your exertion in the kitchen, seasoning your cuts with dust, charcoal and broken dreams. Enter: this heavy-duty brush and scraper. With minimal effort, you can dislodge any leftover debris, giving you a clean grilling surface for the next braai. Running into resistance? Soak the grid in hot water with a cup of white vinegar and some dishwashing liquid. Then tag in the brush again to leave it spotless.
While many Saffers will scoff at the idea of bringing tech into the braai area, if you’re new to the grill, there’s no reason you should be left dangling over the flames. This app lets you input exactly what you’re cooking and then churns out pre-set timers that’ll save you the frustration of turning that prime cut into an expensive piece of coal. Timers can be scaled based on the size and thickness of your chosen meat (or veg).
8. LK’s Flat Pot No.1
Scannell says a high-quality pot is a must: after all, pap and potjie fare are two of SA’s greatest additions to the grid. This three-legged one can be placed on an open fire, above warm coals or even used on your stove top. Be warned: oil-cured pots aren’t meant for the dishwasher—they can rust quickly if they’re not properly washed, dried and stowed away.
9. JanBraai’s Portable Braai Kit
Being able to braai on the move will give you access to flavourful meals whether you’re beachside or roughing it in the mountains. This kit from JanBraai stows away snugly in a heavy-duty ammo box ready to unload when you’re ready to feast. Weighing just 16.5kg, it’s a relatively easy carry, and it features three grid height levels so you can easily find that coveted heat sweet spot. Keep in mind, this braai uses charcoal, so make sure you’ve got an adequate supply before you depart.
10. N-Rit BBQ Gloves
Cooking at high temps will often put you in the burn zone, so it’s important to have reliable protection. These heavy-duty BBQ gloves will shield you against the flames, keeping your digits safe whether you’re poking the coals or rescuing your steak from slipping into them.
11. Maisonware Rechargeable Flexible Electric Outdoor USB Braai Lighter
If you’re sick of refills (or replacements) this high-tech lighter is the perfect fire starter. With an arc of electricity, you’ll have no trouble getting your braai going—even on the windiest days. It features a 360-degree flexible neck, and can be recharged with anything featuring a USB connection.
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