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Pan Macmillan

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Jan Braai Shares His Essential Tips for Lighting a Fire

FireworksJan Braai has written about the basics of fire-lighting for the Getaway Blog as he suspects this is what may be standing in the way of cooks who are reluctant to take their culinary skills outdoors.

He has broken the process down into easy steps, starting with what wood to use and ending with getting an even spread of coals to cook on:

There’s a ridiculous notion among South Africans that women cannot braai. This is simply not true. On average, and I must be very clear that I’m generalising here, women in South Africa are slightly more experienced in cooking than men. Hence, logic dictates that they will also be better at it. Which leads me to the question, why don’t women braai more often?

I think the answer is simply that many of them don’t know how to make a fire. That is the stumbling block. Because, let’s be frank, once that fire has burned out and you have a bed of red-hot coals, it’s simply a source of heat on which to prepare your food, similar in operation to a stove, but resulting in meals with more flavour. (Make no mistake, there are some atrocious male braaiers out there, but their failure usually stems from the habit of completely overcooking, drying out and/or burning the meat.)

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