Everyone likes a barbeque,or as us South African’s know it, a good old fashioned braai! We are one of the countries with the highest braaing rates in the world! But is there a way to do it in a more healthier manner? For sure, read on…
Here are a few tips which will help:
- Those who know how to braai will tell you that coals with high temperatures just char the outside and leave the inside underdone. medium or lower heat produces the tastier meat, whether on coals or gas. when you can hold your hand over the coals for 4 – 5 seconds, you good!
- Harmful bacteria can get into the meat if you making hamburgers, so don’t go easy on the cooking time. Over medium coals the average size patty should cook for about 12 – 13 minutes.
- You don’t want to flavour any of your juicy steaks and meat with chemicals, so the best way to make coals is to use a chimney stack if you are using briquettes. Wood is fine as long as you have sufficient coals and do not use flame from the burning wood to cook with. Some types of woods have resins and other chemicals in them which can be harmful
- Don’t keep your steaks and ribs in the fridge for more than 5 days. Chicken within two days. Otherwise freeze it till you need it.
- The temperature inside chicken, turkey, and poultry needs to be 70 deg C or more to destroy all the bacteria, if any are present. That means you need to cook each side about 10 – 15 mins at least. Steaks and chops should be at least 60 deg C
- Low and slow ids the way to go with sausage. Over low heat the skin won’t burn before the meat is cooked inside. It will also prevent the skin from splitting and shooting out juices which will cause a flare up.
- Bacteria can grow on food that’s left out to defrost. For safety, slow thawing in the fridge is best. Most food will thaw in a day or two in the fridge. t’s also safe to quick-thaw food in a sealed bag in cold water or in the microwave if you’re going to cook it right after. If you use cold water, change it every half-hour and keep it cold.
- Marinating meat, even for just 10 minutes, is a triple-win for braaiers. It brings out flavour and moisture and helps reduce possible cancer-causing chemicals. Thin, oil-free marinades, especially with vinegar or citrus, are best. Thicker, store-bought marinades and those with honey, sugar, or tomato tend to char. Use those only in the last minute or two of grilling.
- It is a good idea to put about 1cm between chunks of food on your kebab. (It can help everything cook through more quickly). But the very best way would be to cook meat and vegetables on different skewers. That’s because veggies and meats can need different cooking times to be done. Plus, it cuts back on the chance of germs moving between the meat and veggies.