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The jury is still out on which kind of braai is the best. With the rise in popularity of gas braais, the argument has really heated up in recent years. So which one should you get for your home?
We take a look at the pros and cons of both the traditional wood or coal braai and the newer gas options that are readily available now. Once you have the facts, you’ll be able to make up your own mind as to which one you want to use when family and friends come round on the weekend.
Set up and prep
First things first, we look at setting up your braai before you start cooking. Both options will need to be cleaned after the previous use. Cleaning the grill is the same for both. However, cleaning out the burnt coals of a traditional braai is an added element that gas braais don’t have.
When it comes to actually lighting the fire, gas is a lot simpler. All you need to do is open the dial and ignite the spark. In a matter of moments you are ready to cook. A wood or coal fire takes longer to get going and to get it ready for cooking.
Verdict: Gas is easier to light and has less prep time.
Cooking and flavour
The glory of food from a braai is that strong smoky flavour. The food is both cooked by the flame and smoked for an extra depth in the taste. However, with a gas braai that second element is missing and some argue it’s the reason you braai.
Verdict: You don’t get that smoky flavour with gas.
Price wise the two options actually balance out. The initial cost of a gas braai is generally quite a bit more than a standard option. This is due to the fact that there is a lot more that goes into making a gas braai. They need space to hold the gas cylinders, the connective hoses must be strong and flexible and the igniter must work properly. On the other hand, a standard braai can be as simple as an open drum.
If you look at the long term, gas is less expensive than buying wood or coal. However, if you have a decent supply of wood from trees in your own garden, this is a much cheaper option.
Verdict: In the long run, both options are balanced.
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