Normally when we talk about wires, they are transporting electrons to power the various electronic gadgets we all love. This time, we’re looking at bits of wire you put food on to cook over an open fire. I am fond of a YouTube channel called Fire to Fork, where the host Harry Fisher makes videos about cooking meals on open flames. Harry often uses an Oz Braai to cook with. I decided to buy a Travel Braai at Oz Braai’s stand at recent 4-wheel drive show to try it out.
Oz Braai is a family-owned, Australian-owned and locally run small business. Its heritage is from South Africa, where Braai cooking is common.
What is a Travel Braai?
Braai is a South African term for BBQ. A Travel Braai is a compact BBQ that can be placed on an open fire to cook with.
To use a Travel Braai, you need an open fire which can either be fuelled by wood or charcoal. Once the flames have died down and you have a good bed of coals, place your Braai stand on top of the coals. Add your meat, vegetables or fruit into the sandwich of the wire grill and insert the it into one of two selves. The selves allow you to vary the temperature by changing the height of the food above the fire. Turning the food is done in one motion by removing the tray, inverting it 180 degrees, and reinserting it into the rack.
What’s in the bag?
Once you open the Travel Braai package, you’ll find a canvas carry bag with a plastic lining. Inside, there’s a Braai basket, Braai stand and a stand clip. All are made from high-quality 304 stainless steel. The bag measures about 30 x 30cm, and the contents weigh 1.5kg.
The basket measures 28 x 28 x 3cm, with two retractable handles, one attached to the basket and one to a removable lid. Once you insert your food into the basket, the lid can be positioned at one of two positions depending on the thickness of the food you are cooking. When cooking, the wire basket was too hot to touch, but the handles remained cool enough to touch.
The Braai stand is assembled by folding it into a V shape and attaching the stand clip. This holds the unit at a set angle so that the basket can be inserted at one of 2 fixed levels. The stand should be reasonably level and can be made so by pushing down into the coals.
Once your food is cooked, remove the basket from the heat, open it, and serve.
What can be cooked in the Travel Braai?
Slow cooking or roasting
Thick steaks ribs
Chicken, drumsticks, wings
(The grill and basket can also be used as a stand for a kettle or frypan over a fire)
Using the Oz Braai
As a child, my father had a BBQ lunch on the wood of Sydney gumtrees every Sunday. Fast forward to today, I certainly don’t have a BBQ every week, but I have a Gas Webber on the balcony and a fire pit out back.
A fire pit is becoming more popular in suburban life, and this simple device can cook over flames or a fire pit. It’s also designed for easy transport and enables you to BBQ anywhere you can light a fire.
I was very happy with the results of cooking on my fire pit. I could easily vary the heat by changing the height above the flame, and all the food was turned at once rather than individually. The whole process didn’t actually take much time after I lit the fire, left it to burn down, put the food on then turned it a couple of times.
Some handy hints include having thick gardening gloves or an oven mitt to handle the metal to save you from burns. Also, to clean up, simply put the folded pieces in the dishwasher before your next use.
The photos show that the Oz Braai’s Travel Braai is a neat package that can be easily transported to a picnic or camping. The Braai is just at home in your backyard, used on a fire pit or simply over an open fire on the ground. Food was easily cooked and turned, giving great results and a smoky taste.