Braai Usage and Care
Braais are made to be robust and provide years of hassle free use. Some of the more sophisticated braais do need some know-how to get the best from them and like any investment you will want to care for yours at least annually.
Fires and Braais sell gas, wood and hybrid or combo braais. We also sell boma braais, ceramic kettle braais, portable and trolley braais.
Usage and care is pretty straightforward and needs little explanation but most materials when exposed to consistent heat, fats, acids and sun will need occasional inspection and maintenance.
General Braai Good Use Guide
Please refer to the user manual that was provided with your particular make and model of braai. Below are some general good usage guidelines.
It is advisable on the first firing to “cure” you braai and if applicable your brickwork. This is best done slowly to use the braai at least 3 times for a small fire. Some odour is likely to come off the braai as the paint cures. This will disappear after a few burns.
GOOD USE TIPS
- Do not overload the braai, ember drawer or ember maker Adding excessive wood will result in poor performance and may damage the unit.
- Use only the best wood available. The use of poor quality and/or excessively damp wood may hamper performance.
- Check that all burners, braai grids and the ember drawer are in the correct position.
- Check that there are no flammable materials close to the appliance.
- After starting the fire, leave all burners on High for 10 -15 mins. Or until the wood/charcoal has burned down to embers. After that time adjust the heat to the desired level by turning the control knobs as required on gas braais or if not using the gas portion turn all knobs to the “Off” position.
- When finished grilling, leave the appliance on high for a further 5 – 10 mins. This will remove excess fat from the Ember Tray.
- Braais are designed specifically to be installed in an open area. Please ensure sufficient ventilation.
- Ensure the base or foundation upon which the unit is installed is of a fire resistant material.
- An Extractor Hood is necessary for use indoors.
- Use dry seasoned wood, a good quality charcoal or briquetes.
- Do not store fuel close to the appliance.
- Do not use liquid fuels to start the fire – liquid firelighter may be used.
- If you have an ember maker, do not over fire (allow the ember maker / ash pan to glow red) this could damage your braai. Restrain the fire to the ember maker and never make a big bonfire in the ash pan. If your braai doesn’t have an ember maker then restrict the fire to the middles of the ash pan and don’t let it burn up the back of the braai.
- Don’t burn garbage or treated timber as this can cause dangerous soot build up and can often be poisonous.
- Fire gradually destroys iron and ashes in the presence of water will eat through iron so keep your braai clean.
- Never put your fire out with water. The thermal shock is not good for your braai and can warp materials
- Don’t put heavy pots or plates on a heated grill. It will over time damage the metal and sag the gril
Gas, Combo and Hybrid Burners
Please refer to the user manual that was provided with your particular make and model of braai. Below are some general good usage guidelines for gas grilling.
- Do not fully cover the cooking area with a solid cooking plate, as the braai will over heat, resulting in component failure.
- Keep young children away from the appliance when in use.
- Ensure that the regulator is properly connected to the cylinder and that the connections have been checked to ensure there is no gas leak present.
- In the event of a burn-back (where the flame burns back to the jet) immediately turn off the gas supply at the control valve on the front panel. After ensuring the flame is extinguished, relight the appliance in the normal manner. Should the appliance again burn back, close the control valve and call a service technician to examine the appliance. Do not use the appliance again until the service technician has declared that it is safe to do so.
- Ensure that the appliance is used away from flammable materials.
- Do not remove the model rating plate that is attached to your appliance. This contains important information in addition to the serial number of the unit which the manufacturer will require should you need to make a service call.
If at anytime during the igniting process, or during use, you smell gas, immediately turn off the gas supply to the appliance at the burner control knobs and the shut off valve, and do not use the appliance until it has been checked for gas leaks. It is preferable that this be done by a qualified gas service technician.
Never check for gas leaks with a naked flame as this is extremely dangerous.
To check for a gas leak, use a brush dipped in a soapy water solution (e.g. water with dishwashing liquid added) and apply the solution to all the joints in the system.
If there is a leak then turn off the gas supply at the shut-off valve which the installer will provide as a part of the installation.
Call a service technician to examine the appliance and do not use the appliance until the service technician has declared that it is safe to do so.
Keep a spare gas bottle to hand. Running out of gas part way through your braais is simply just not cool. No proudly South African Braai lover would approve! You will be shamed!
Never leave a gas braai or fire unattended. This is just not a smart thing to do!
Care and Maintenance
- Besides the normal cleaning required, servicing of gas brais and gas components should be carried out by a qualified technician on an annual basis.
- Whilst steel, ceramic and stainless steel are a very durable materials and widely used for appliance manufacture, its surface can be damaged by misuse or by the application of unsuitable cleaning materials or methods.
- To clean the external surfaces use only a non abrasive detergent such as washing up liquid or cream based Handy Andy to remove accumulated fat or grease. Never use oven cleaner or any caustic cleaner, abrasive cleaning solvents, scouring powders, metal polish, silverware cleaners or any type of scouring pads as this will permanently damage the surface.
- To clean the Braai Grids remove from the appliance and soak in hot deter-gent solution or place in the dishwasher. Braai Grids may be cleaned with ”Scotch Brite” scouring pads. Rinse well in clean water before placing the parts back into the appliance.
- Avoid contact with aggressive chemicals.
- Don’t Use oven cleaners.
- Don’t store any chemicals (especially pool chemicals) close to your braai.
- Inspect your flue system regularly for soot build-up, damage and blockages (including birds nests). Clean, or have the flue cleaned, when soot build up is approximately 6mm thick. On steel (black) braais, paintwork can be touched up with Plason SNK74.
- Ensure you lubricate the shaft and bearing of the weather cowl annually.
- Check for any water leakage in the flue and/or onto your braai. Water may result in rust build up.
- Clean off any rust build up with sandpaper, a wire brush and then touch up with paint or grate polish.