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How to braai the perfect steak

How to braai steak in a few easy steps that will keep your steak tender and full of flavour.

There are various techniques that one can use when braaing a steak although the most important factor is managing temperature.

When your steak first hits the braai or the pan on the stove it must be very hot, this sears the meat and is the part of the process that generates all the flavour through caramelisation.

Following the caramelisation you do not need such high temperatures and should move the steaks to more moderate part of the braai or reduce the stove temperature allowing the steak to gently cook thorough to your preferred doneness.

Season with you favourite spices but I generally find the that best steaks are prepared with nothing more than some salt & pepper. A good piece of meat needs nothing else.

It is also a good idea to bring the meat to room temperature before you start to braai it, the will ensure even cooking throughout.

A steak should be turned 3 times, sear one side, turn and sear the other, then reduce the temperature and turn to cook through, one more turn after that to cook through the other side.

  1. The best size steaks for the braai are 2.5 cm thick (1 1/4 inches)
  2. Bring the meat to room temperature
  3. Build the fire using one half of the braai, keep half without coals to allow room to manage the braai temperature.
  4. Season both sides of the steak with salt and pepper
  5. Sear the steaks over a high direct heat for 2-4 minutes each way depending on the thickness, until caramelised.
  6. Then move the steaks over to the area of the braai with no coals and a moderate heat.
  7. Brush with olive oil and cook through, lid on, until done turning one more time.
Steak Internal Temperature Chart
Doneness Internal Temperature To the Eye To the Touch
Blue 17°C – 38°C /  80°F-100°F Deep red Soft & Squishy
Rare 49°C – 51°C / 120°F-125°F Bright red in the middle and pink towards the edges Soft
Medium Rare 55°C – 57°C / 130°F-135°F Very pink in the middle, browning towards the edges Beginning to firm up
Medium 60°C – 63°C / 140°F-145°F Light pink in the middle, brown towards the edges Firm with a slight give
Well Done 71°C + / 160°F + Brown & grey throughout Hard


More: Braai Recipes | Steak Braai Recipes

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Some say he holds the world record for potatoes peeled in a minute. It is believed he set this record as a 6 year old while living at the ANC camp in Tanzania during the 1970's