For most South Africans braaiing is second nature, hosting, on the other hand, is something that can always improve. It can be a massive task, making sure guests are happy, that the food is on time (and tasty), ensuring that glasses are full, and the list goes on. Even the most intimate braai can sometimes keep you so busy you miss all the fun.

We’re giving you the essential tips to take you from absent host to vibe master.

You’ve Got Mail

There is no need for over-designed, laminated invites sent via the post. This is 2019 so start a WhatsApp group, add a quirky profile pic and start planning this braai together. This ensures that everyone is part of the planning process and probably more likely to attend. It also reinforces the spirit of togetherness that is essential at any social gathering.

Top Tip: We’re all busy, so set a time (roughly half an hour) for you all to actively chat on WhatsApp.

Issa Vibe

Get the music going even before your guests arrive, that way the mood for the braai is set right off the bat. Place the speakers near where the action is happening and make sure you have an auxiliary cable ready so your guests can change the music as they see fit.

Seating should be set up around the braai so that the designated braaier can be close to the conversation and take part in the banter.

Top Tip: Have some smaller pieces of meat ready to feed the masses as the main dishes are cooking.

Define ‘Braai’

It’s important to establish what kind of braai it is from the start, are you having a Bring and Braai or is it up to you, the host, to sort out the food. The drinks, no matter the set-up, are usually up to the guests to sort for themselves. Another thing that should be made clear is whether or not side dishes are required from your guests. Consider assigning one or two people to provide dessert and a salad if you do want to share responsibilities.

Top Tip: If you’re planning a large bring and braai do it around the beginning of the month. #JustSaying

What’s Cooking?

It’s important to have at least one main meat, usually something like ribs, chops, steak or boerewors. With your meat as your star ingredient, you can start building on that with side dishes like salads, bread or veggies.

Top Tip: Going Vegan? Substitute the meat for mushroom steaks or large aubergines.

For the Gram

Admit it, one of the best things about braaiing with your friends are the photos and the videos that you’ll be sharing on social media. If you really want to make it epic, create a unique hashtag that you and your friends can use, unique to your group so that these memories can live together online.

Top Tip: Have a designated friend responsible for snapping pics, clips, and stories throughout the night.