20 best braai recipe ideas and easy simple tips from award-winning chef

20 best braai recipe ideas and easy simple tips from award-winning chef

Have you braaied before or do you need some braai ideas that you can try out at home or with friends? Whether you want to braai for breakfast or you need some ideas for a party or family dinner, this article will give you some examples of not only main courses but braai side dishes and braai salads. Also, award-winning cookbook author Neo Nontso shared six simple tips for creating and hosting the perfect Mzansi braai.

Award-Winning Chef Neo Nontso Shares Braai Tips
Award-winning chef Neo Nontso reveals simple tips to make the most of your next braai. Image: @dinewithneo
Source: Instagram

More than just a barbecue, the braai is a national tradition. South Africans love nothing more than gathering around a braai with friends and family, enjoying the delicious grilled meats and each other's company. Netizens were intrigued by Neo’s viral video on TikTok, which shows her using a wood and charcoal method to create the perfect braai fire.

Braai tips from Award-winning chef

Traditional braaiing uses local wood, while modern-day braai uses charcoal instead, and both give the meat a distinct flavour.

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Award-winning cookbook author and chef Neo Nontso spoke to Briefly News about how to create and host the perfect Mzansi braai with six simple tips.

1. Snacks go a long way

According to Neo, having snacks available for your guests while you are making the braai and prepping the food is very important. "There's nothing worse than having hungry guests," she commented.

Mzansi's favourite braai snacks include:

  • Chips and dip
  • Cheese and biltong plate
  • Steak strips
  • Pâtés and slices of toasted bread

2. Get the most flavour out of your meat

Add flavour to your favourite cut of meat by soaking it in some yummy marinade.

"Before serving your braai meat, add some marinade to a hot pan and toss some meat into the marinade to give it extra flavour and a glossy finish," Neo shared.

What's for Dinner has great marinade recipes, but the basic recipe includes:

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  • Herbs of your choice
  • Spices of your choice
  • Salt and pepper
  • An oil of your choice
  • An acid, like lemon juice, vinegar or yoghurt

3. Make sure the meat retains its heat

Neo's third tip is simple and can make or break your braai party. "Never serve cold braai meat!" - that's our motto for today.

Weber suggests keeping your braai's lid closed to retain a steady temperature. Move your meat to the side, off of the coals, if you want to keep it warm while braaing other meat.

4. Keep it meaty, but serve a salad or 2

For Neo, meat is the star of a braai. She does, however, suggest a few sides to compliment your dish.

"It’s a braai, let the focus be the meat. You can get away with having only three sides, just make sure you make enough to fill up the plate," Neo advised.

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Great sides include:

  • Salads
  • Breads
  • Grilled vegetables
  • Pap and relish

5. Make the most of your meat

Neo says that cutting your meat into smaller chunks before or after braaing is a simple way to minimise wastage.

The 'plankie braai' (or tapas braai) has become a South African favourite in recent years. MegaMaster wrote that at a 'plankie braai', different cuts of meat are grilled, cut into small pieces and served alongside sides like bread, salads or pap.

6. The perfect fire can make or break your braai

What's a braai without the perfect fire? The right temperature can make or break your braai. Neo has a foolproof tip to start the perfect grill.

Check out the video below to see Neo in action and show you how to make the perfect braai fire!

Braai ideas for breakfast

If you are thinking of what exactly to prepare for breakfast to give your family a special treat, you may want to consider any of the options below. While they do not really take time to prepare, you will not have to spend too much as well.

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1. Braaied toasted sandwich

Ingredients: You will need cheese, tomato, onion, chutney, salt & pepper, butter and eggs.


  • Make a sandwich by adding the whole of cheese, tomato, onion, chutney, salt & pepper with butter.
  • Once you are done, braai the sandwich in a closed grid over very mild coals.
  • Keep braaing until it looks golden brownish and the cheese has melted.
  • Bake some eggs in a frying pan using the braai or stove.
  • Gradually remove the braaied toasted sandwich, open them, and then lay the eggs into each sandwich.

Once you finish doing that, then you are good to enjoy your breakfast with your family.

2. Lamb chops with rosemary and lemon

Depending on the meat that you want to use on your braai grid, first layer some slices of lemon and fresh rosemary sticks with meat. Once you have done that, the next thing is for you to add some salt to taste while you add another layer of rosemary and lemon. After you have achieved those, braai until you are sure that the meat is well cooked, and you will be good to enjoy your meal.

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3. Braaied lamb chops with pizza

Get ready-made pizza bases, chopped tomatoes, 2 crushed garlic cloves, sliced cheddar cheese, sliced red pepper, lamb chops, salt, freshly ground pepper, and fresh herbs.


  • Preheat your oven to 200°C, and then add nonstick spray to a large baking sheet.
  • Once you have done that, place your pizza base on the prepared baking sheet and spread the tomatoes over.
  • Sprinkle the garlic on it and layer the cheese and the sliced red pepper.
  • Cut the meat that you have chopped and slice it into strips.
  • Then, slice the sausage into medallions and arrange it on the pizza with the meat strips.
  • Add your salt and pepper and allow it to bake for about 15 minutes or until the base becomes crispy and the cheese melts.
  • At the point when you are serving, you may then sprinkle the herbs on top and slice the pizza.

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Budget braai ideas

Do you want to braai but thinking of what you can do in a cost-effective way? You have no need to worry, only check out these options.

1. Snoek Braai

When you are doing this, instead of the popular red meat, you may get a whole snoek and cook it over the coals. While that is ongoing, you can melt some butter (depending on your preference), and add some Apricot jam together with 2 cloves of garlic that have been crushed. Once everything is smeared, cover it with heavy duty foil and place it on the grid.

To avoid the sauce dripping off, turn it up occasionally. Then, as the fish is cooking, continue to bast it so that it can remain moist. If you so desire, you can add fresh salad and crusty bread. Enjoy your meal.

Budget braai ideas
Image: youtube.com, @1Life Insurance
Source: UGC

2. Braaied sandwich

To achieve this, all you need to do is to get enough slices of white bread and butter the outside. Then, you will layer sliced tomato, cheese and sliced onion in-between. Afterwards, you keep braaing the sandwich on the grill until you are sure that the bread is toasted and the cheese has melted. Voila! Your meal is ready. Get nice chilled drinks of your choice and enjoy.

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3. Braai Bake

You will need water, margarine, baking powder, cream, 1 sachet of Knorr Pap Mix Cheese Flavour, maize meal, grated cheese, and chopped parsley to garnish.


  • Add 2 litres of water into a clean pot and add the Knorr Pap Mix and margarine. Then, heat them until they all boil.
  • Next, mix the maize meal together with another half litre of water and stir all into the pot. Simmer until everything is cooked.
  • Get a casserole dish and scoop the whole mixture into it. Afterwards, sprinkle your grated cheese and then spill the cream over.
  • Heat everything under a low temperature of about 180°C until you are sure that the cheese has melted. Also, ensure that the cream you spilled on it has thickened.
  • Add your chopped parsley to garnish it and enjoy.

4. Braaied Spanish omelette recipe for breakfast

Get potatoes, olive oil, a small sliced onion, salt, black pepper, and beaten eggs.

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  • Wash your potatoes inside water, and afterwards, boil everything for about 25 minutes (ensure that it is not too soft).
  • Slice it with the skin (and if you wish, you may remove it).
  • Fry the potatoes until they are all tender and changing colour.
  • Add salt and pepper into the beaten eggs to taste and pour all of them inside the frying pan. Stir everything and allow them to fry for up to 10 minutes under low heat.
  • Once the top is almost set, flip over the omelette carefully to make the other side fry as well.
  • After you have fried them for about a minute or so, you can then sprinkle the cheese if you desire and serve your meal.

Braai recipes chicken

1. Braai with sticky chicken

To prepare your sticky chicken, just get chicken drumsticks, chicken wings, heinz tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, ground black pepper and cumin seeds. You can add honey depending on your taste.

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Once you have boiled the chicken using vegetable stock, you can mix all the other ingredients together and then add the chicken after you have reserved a little of your sauce. Braai the chicken until you are sure that it is cooked thoroughly. Next, add the remaining sauce and place the mix on fire under low heat. After everything is done, you can serve and enjoy with your family or friends.

2. Jan braai’s garlic and peri-peri chicken drumsticks

In order to prepare this, you will need 12 chicken, 6 peeled cloves of garlic and Peri peri spice rub. If you are preparing for a larger number of people, you can increase the number of chickens.


  • With a sharp knife, make a cut along the bone of each drumstick.
  • In each of the drumsticks, put half a garlic clove and press it into the meat.
  • Rub the peri-peri spice into the parts of the meat that are exposed and sprinkle the remaining on the skin (if you still have some left).
  • Cover the chicken and let it marinade between 20 minutes and 2 hours (the time depends on how fast you want everything prepared).
  • Then, braai the drumsticks with medium coals for like 10 to 15 minutes. While you are doing so, remember to turn them regularly.
  • Once you are sure that everything is done, you can remove it from the heat and serve.

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3. Braai chicken with paprika and honey marinade

How do you make a good braai? Depending on your choice, you can go for a full chicken; 8 pieces of assorted chicken or spatchcock. Then, for the marinade, you will need olive oil, lemon juice, cloves of crushed garlic, Knorr chicken stock pot, honey, paprika, Italian Herbs and some boiled water.


  1. Mix all the ingredients for the marinade together in a bowl until everything is well combined.
  2. Then, pour the marinade on the chicken and let it marinate for about an hour in the refrigerator.
  3. Once you have placed the chicken on the braai, you keep basting with the marinade as often as you can. Then, ensure that it cooks through.
  4. Once you are satisfied with the result, remove and serve with any fresh salad in season.

Steak braai ideas

Have you ever tried steak braai before? If you have not, you are missing something special. Anyway, here are some ideas that you can try out.

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1. Braai-spiced T-Bone steaks

  • Coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon of coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 2-4 T-bone steaks


  1. Grind all the seasonings in a grinder to make your braai spice.
  2. Rub the spice on the steaks and refrigerate for about 4 hours depending on your preference.
  3. Heat your grill until it is very hot and before you place your steaks on the grill, ensure that they are at room temperature.
  4. While you are cooking, keep turning every 2 minutes until you are sure that it is crusty.
  5. Allow the chicken to rest for some time and slice for serving.

2. Braaied T-bone steak

Ingredients: T-bone steak, Coarse salt, brown sugar, coriander seeds, black peppercorns, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme.


  1. Grind all the spices into a powdered form.
  2. Season the steak with half of the powdered spices.
  3. Marinate the steak in the refrigerator for about 3-4 hours.
  4. While it is marinating, prepare your grill. Once done, remove the steak and warm it up a little until it is at room temperature.
  5. Arrange the steaks on the grill and cook for some minutes. Once you ensure that it is turning brown, flip to the other side and cook also over medium-low heat.
  6. Once you are sure that it is good to go, remove it from the heat and serve.

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Steak braai ideas
Image: youtube.com, @RANDBURG MIDAS
Source: UGC

3. Braaied potatoes with spicy rump steak

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/2 crushed garlic clove
  • 1/2 tablespoon of chilli powder
  • 1 tablespoon of dried thyme
  • 1/2 tablespoon of ground coriander
  • 1/2 tablespoon of cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon of barbecue sauce
  • 2 beef rump steaks (but make sure to remove the excess fat)
  • 2 medium-sized potatoes


  1. Mix the whole spices together in a small bowl.
  2. Then, place the steaks in a dish and add the spice mixture on them (ensure that the whole steaks are coated).
  3. Marinade in the refrigerator for about an hour while covered.
  4. As you are marinading, boil the potatoes until they become tender. Afterwards, drain the water and allow the steaks to cool before you cut into slices.
  5. Coat with olive oil and then prepare your braai. Once it is ready, arrange the steaks on the grill.
  6. Allow to cook for 4 to 5 minutes and flip over to cook the other side. Do that until you are satisfied with the result.

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4. Braaied tasty club steak

Once you have everything you need to braai, the first thing you need to do is to ensure that your braai is well-heated so as to get a delicious crust. Then, you marinade your steaks in the refrigerator for a few hours and remove it afterwards. The next thing to do is to rub a frying pan with a little olive oil and allow it to heat up. Once you have sprinkled your seasoning on the steaks (now at room temperature), arrange them in the frying pan. But then, remember to flip each side of the steaks until you get the desired result before you serve

5. Cheesy biltong braai toasts with coriander salt

Ingredients: Slices of bread, pricot jam, grated Cheddar cheese, powdered biltong, chopped onion, fresh chopped parsley and coriander seeds.

  • Once you have those set, mix all the ingredients and place them on some of the slices of the bread.
  • Also, spread the jam on each slice of the remaining bread, and then braai the sandwiches over low heat until they turn golden brownish.
  • Make sure that the cheese has melted and the onion has become soft.
  • Then, grease a baking sheet and place the sandwiches on top, and then toast them until the colour turns brown.
  • Turn the sandwiches and let it toast for another 5 minutes on the other side. In case the sandwiches turn brown too quickly, cover them with foil to allow the cheese to melt.
  • Afterwards, in a dry pan, toast the coriander until you can perceive the fragrance.
  • Next, pulverize it with a mortar and pestle lightly.
  • Add a little salt and sprinkle it sparingly on your sandwiches and you are good to serve.

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Origin of braai

Well, braai is from the Afrikaans word braaivleis, which means “roasted meat”. Pronounced as “bry”, it is similar to what the Americans refer to as barbecue.

The only thing is that while you may use gas to prepare your barbecue, South Africans prefer, most of the times, to braai with wood. Therefore, depending on your choice, here are some ideas that you can try out with friends and family.

Based on the braai ideas that have been shared so far, it is worth noting that you do not have to be a professional before you can braai; as long as you have the desire, then you are good to go. Also, whether you want to braai for yourself, your family, or for friends, any of the ideas shared so far will be worth trying out. Enjoy a nice braaing experience.

Source: Briefly News

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