My husband loves a superior barbeque. He says there’s nothing better than the flavor of meat that has been cooked out in the open and I have to admit that I agree with him on that issue.
Yet the things I enjoy most about cooking food on a braai is
a) there aren’t any cooking containers to clean afterward and
b) I can unwind and chill out while my husband does everything.
A barbeque is the one meal he’ll not let me make, saying I overcook the food whereas he knows how to get it just perfect. I’m not offended whatsoever because I would rather wash a pile of cooking pots than set a fire, not to mention, barbequing is sweaty work because you can get mighty warm standing around a fire on a midsummer’s day. Occasionally, we enjoy having a braai for Sunday lunchtime and my man has been talking about changing to a gas braai because it heats the food quicker.
Of course, being a man, he’s all about the meat yet there are many other types of protein that can be grilled on a barbeque such as chicken, seafood, fish, pork, and lamb, basically, just about everything. Fish and seafood are delicate and care should be taken not to over or undercook these products.
Prawns can be skewered and placed directly onto the grill but fish, of course, should be bundled in aluminum foil as it will break apart if put directly on the grill. You can also bake bread, and cook vegetables on a barbeque either directly on the grill or wrapped in aluminum foil with a marinade.
Timing is essential when braaing food and you need to know at what point you need to put a particular item on the grill after the fire has been lit. Hubby is very good at judging at what time the coals are all set for cooking a particular kind of food. If you put the steak on the grill when the fire is too scorching, it will burn the outside of the meat without cooking it on the inside.
Another tip is to wipe the grill with 1 / 2 an onion prior to placing the various meats on the grill as it helps clean off any deposits on the bbq that had not removed with cleaning and gives the various meats a little extra tastiness
An important point to bear in mind regarding poultry, though, is that it should be pre-cooked in the oven first. It is very hard to cook chicken all the way through on a barbeque without charring the surface. If you do find a way to achieve this then the flesh will most likely be dry.
Undercooked chicken carries the risk of salmonella poisoning and pregnant women must avoid it no matter what. Instead marinade the chicken in a lemon and herb sauce, for instance, and wrap it in foil and then oven bakes in a baking dish or dish for almost as long as you would normally cook it in the oven for.
However, don’t open the foil towards the end of baking to brown the fowl-like you ordinarily would. Take it out to the braai instead and finish it off on top of the grill. The advantage of precooking poultry in foil in the oven is that the chicken maintains its juices while still getting properly cooked.