Why a braai is NOT better than a barbecue

Gas Grilling

Grilling on Gas

According to most South African braai purists, this is NOT a braai. However, according to most Americans, this is not a barbecue either… This is called grilling!

So you see, a braai cannot be “better” (and definitely not worse) than a barbecue… because they’re simply not the same thing!

Barbecue is affectionately referred to “Low & Slow” by some pitmasters, this is because a typical barbecue makes use of the larger, tougher cuts such as Beef Brisket & Pork Butts (i.e. Shoulder). Unlike braaing (or grilling) uses indirect heat and smoke to cook and season the meat at much lower temperatures. That’s not to say that other meats and cuts can’t be barbecued. In fact, most barbecue competitions require teams to prepare both ribs and chicken in addition to brisket and pork. Making sure that all 4 categories are ready within 1/2 hour of each other, remaining warm and juicy for judges, requires lots of practice and has tripped up many a competition barbecue team.

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Now just to muddy the waters even more: As far as I’m concerned, just like a potjie, a barbecue also counts as a braai (when it comes to counting as a braai for my daily braai anyway).

Interested in learning how to barbecue? Check out our How to Barbecue – Barbecue 101 page as a great way to start your barbecue adventure, and we hope to see you at the next competition.


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