As South Africans, we’re used to roughing it out when it comes to a braai. The less equipment the better. Wood, maybe one folding grid and a grid stand. That’s it. One with nature, the smell of the wood fire, and staring into the dancing flames. What if we told you that you can still have all that, but on a random Wednesday after work? We developed our range of patio gas braais for the folks that love to braai but want a quicker alternative.
If you’re close to buying your first gas braai, or you’ve been braaiing on gas for years, read this blog to learn more about:
Why choose a gas braai
- A gas braai is a quick and convenient way to cook outdoors. You can do everything on a gas braai that you can cook in an oven while experimenting with what you know and love to braai.
- Compared to a wood or charcoal braai, the preheat time is much shorter. A gas braai needs to be preheated for about 7-10 minutes before use whereas a wood or charcoal braai can take up to 40min for the coals to be ready.
- It's much easier to regulate the heat on a gas braai, especially for beginner braaiers. It takes more of an expert braaier to successfully braai a variety of ingredients on an open fire.
- The top of our ‘pros-and-cons’ list is that a gas braai can be your saving grace during loadshedding to cook a hearty stew for the family, or good old-fashioned braai broodjies and chops!
Gas braai basics
- Always preheat your gas braai for 7-10 minutes before use so your grids can heat up as well.
- Leave one burner off completely and create a ‘safe cool zone’ for your ingredients. If an ingredient is well charred on the outside, and needs to rest to finish cooking, move it over to the ‘safe cool zone’.
- Fatty meats can cause serious flare-ups. A flare-up is a sudden gush of flames caused by fat dripping into the gas burner. Quickly move your meat away from the flare-ups so it doesn’t burn. If your flare-ups aren’t subsiding yet, switch off the gas burner in that section of the braai.
- Make sure to inspect your burners and flame tamers regularly for rust or deterioration to prevent any gas leakages or uneven gas distribution. If it’s beyond repair, shop our spare parts.
Heat zones in a gas braai
Yes, exactly like in the name – a gas braai is a braai that works with gas. However, if you understand the method behind the madness of a gas braai, you’ll take your braaiing skills to the next level. A gas braai is designed to work like an oven with a single heat source in a cavity/ space of cooking. As the braai warms up, the heat from the burners will travel upwards and into a convection of heat if the lid is closed.
This is great even heat for cooking and baking big pieces of meat that needs longer time on the braai without burning. A gas braai has a few ‘heat hot spots’ that every new braaier should be aware of – the back of the braai and just next to where the flame tamer stops.
Due to the design of a gas braai the back is the space where most of the heat generated from the burners is contained. Think about it, the back of the braai is the base structure where the lid fastens and only has small vents where hot air can escape. Whereas the front of the braai is open and more exposed to cool air.
From the top view, just to the side of where the flame tamer ends, it is a little warmer than directly on top of the burners. The flame tamers are used as a protector for your burners, but also a shield to the extremely hot gas flame. These ‘hot spots’ can cause your ingredients to burn or overcook quite quickly if you don’t use them to your advantage.
Cleaning your gas braai
Always clean your braai before and after use with a grid cleaner. If there are still bits stuck to your grid when you start braaiing, chances are they will burn and/or stick to your meat. When you’re finished braaiing, clean the grids again while the braai is still hot to remove the excess fat and sauce bits stuck to the grid.
For the ultimate gas braai spring clean
- Let the braai cool down after use.
- Remove the flame tamers, warming rack, grease tray, and cooking grids.
- Use a sponge with a light soap and lukewarm water mixture.
- Clean all smaller items separately, and then clean the braai itself after.
- Start cleaning the braai from the inside out, make sure to remove all grease from the small nooks and crannies to avoid rust later on.
- Rinse the outside of the braai with water.
- Wipe it with a clean dry cloth.
- Place all the smaller items back into the braai.
Whether you are the foodie anxious to experiment with eggplant steaks and seafood, or the ‘no-fuss’ braaier with a family potjie, a gas braai can work for you. Shop your very first gas braai today!
The gas braai is connected to a gas cylinder on the right of your braai with a hose and regulator. This hose travels inside the braai to the control panel into the manifold. The manifold distributes gas to each of the burners. A gas valve with jet and orifice is connected to each allocated spot on the manifold to provide gas to each burner. Each burner snugly fits over the valve and fastens to the back of the braai with a pin. The ignitor pin is an L-shaped pin next to the burner which creates a spark for the burner to ignite. Each ignitor pin is connected with an ignitor wire to the ignitor. Depending on the braai you have, it will either be a battery-operated ignitor, or a push-and-turn ignitor.
Convinced about buying your first gas braai, but not sure which one to get? Check out our range today.