|COOKING WITH A VESTO|
In this case we demonstrate how to cook using wood charcoal as the fuel.
Put on the braai plate stand
Put on the braai plate
Put in some wood charcoal (not briquettes in this demonstration) keeping the level below the holes at the centerline. If you over-fill the combustion chamber not enough air will come through to burn properly.
Add a small piece of fire-starter. It will take a lot less than when lighting charcoal in an open cooker. Don't be surprised if you get a bigger flame from it that you expected. Use a small piece!
Instead of using a petroleum fire lighter you can use twigs, leaves and small bits of wood. Light the charcoal by building a small fire on top. This is called 'top-lighting'. Bottom-lighting charcoal tends to make a lot of smoke, gets going slowly and it will burn too quickly because it all lights at once.
Here some twigs are used to light the piece of fire lighter. The first flames are from the twigs.
Now the fire lighter is burning with its characteristic yellow colour. This burns at a high heat and starts the charcoal burning far faster than an open cooker.
When it is burning well you can put on the braai plate.
We cooked the sausage first.
Don't forget to poke holes in the sausage with a fork. The fat is drained into the fire and burned. The braai plate looks like a frying pan but works like a grill.
Next, put on the steaks.
A peek into the fire. If you have to refuel, put on only one of two handfuls of charcoal.
Steaks done to perfection.
We call these 'Botjies" or braai bread or garlic butter buns. They cook beautifully if you place a cover over them briefly making a small oven so they brown on top. An upside down wok is ideal for this.