With Braai Day only a few days away, it’s time to brush up on your grill skills.
Whether it’s for Braai Day, summer afternoons in the garden with family or a get together with friends, a braai is one of the best ways to bring people together.
As the summer days approach and we dust off our braais, we have ensured that you are well prepared to impress your friends and family with the perfect braai meat.
Here are 9 easy steps that will make you a braai master of note this summer:
- Support your local butcher
Instead of buying your meat from just anywhere, take the time to explore your neighbourhood and find a local butcher that sources meat ethically from local farmers. Not only will you be eating premium cuts, but you will also be supporting the local value chain in your community. While it may be more affordable to buy from the big supermarket chains, in the end you are what you eat, and your body will thank you for choosing wisely. You’ll also notice the difference in taste when buying from a local butcher as the quality of the meat is superior.
- Let your steak rest after it has come out of the fridge
Don’t put your steak on the grill straight after taking it out the fridge. Make sure to let it sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes prior to cooking. This simple tip helps you cook the steak more evenly to ensure the same consistent goodness with every bite.
- Season heavily
Don’t be shy with the seasoning! If you season your steak just before cooking, it will help to impart flavour into the meat. But be careful not to season your meat too early before cooking as the salt will draw out the moisture, resulting in a less juicy piece of meat.
We recommend seasoning generously with Maldon Sea Salt which contains the perfect balance of natural minerals. The Maldon pyramid flakes have been skilfully made using the same traditional artisan methods in the coastal town of Maldon since 1882.
- Bring the heat
If you have a meat thermometer, the ideal temperature for cooking a steak is between 120°C to 125°C. Don’t worry if you don’t have a meat thermometer though, you can also let your coals heat up and then use this nifty trick: hold your hand over the coals at the height you’d place your steak, if you can keep it there for 5 seconds without feeling ‘the burn’, you’ve hit the right temperature and can start cooking.
- Medium rare for the best flavour
How long you need to cook the steak for depends on its thickness. You can keep an eye on the sides of your meat to see how much has been cooked already. If your temperature is correct, it should take about 2-4 minutes on each side. Medium-rare brings a steak that is juicier and more flavourful to the table. But don’t force this opinion onto everyone. The best braai master always cooks steak to people’s preferences.
- Let your steak rest
Remember to let your steak rest after cooking so it can reabsorb and distribute the juices that have been pressurized during the high heat. If you cut the steak too soon, you’ll be left with a final product that is tough and dry.
- Don’t cut the steak too thinly
Slicing the steak creates multiple, flexible portions, so those that are hungry can grab more while those who can’t finish an entire steak don’t have to feel bad about wasting food. Be careful not to slice too thinly though as you still want to enjoy that satisfying feeling of biting into a juicy piece of steak.
- Always add more salt
Did you know that salt is the ultimate flavour enhancer? At low concentrations, it reduces bitterness and boosts the sweet, sour, and umami flavours. At higher concentrations, it suppresses sweetness and enhances umami, which is ideal for savoury dishes. Moral of the story? More salt equals a more flavourful steak! But not all salt was created equal. For the best results, use a superior salt like Maldon. It is trusted by professional chefs around the world and has the perfect balance of natural minerals that offers a fresh intensity and wonderful taste to enhance any dish naturally.
- Add some veggies and enjoy
Don’t forger about the sides! The perfect steak is best accompanied by deliciously seasoned potato wedges (we love Maldon Salt and the Weber Chilli Explosion grinder to bring extra heat) and a fresh green salad.