Braai area - all 14 sizes
Article by: Kimberly Guest
Improve your home

Building and design tips for braai areas

Fans of South Africa’s national pastime will tell you there’s more that goes into a successful braai than simply lighting a fire and flipping over the boerewors. The best braais come from a combination of planning, positioning and accessibility.

While a freestanding braai can do the job, many South Africans have chosen to create a permanent braai area in their gardens that adds style to the entertainment area, encourages socialising around the fire, and, of course, adds convenience to the cooking process.

If you’re thinking of building the braai area of your dreams, these are the elements to consider before starting.

Location, location, location

One of the most important decisions to make is where you want to position your braai area.

Ideally, the location should be an extension of your outdoor entertainment area, offer easy access to and from the home and have enough space for your needs. If you’re keen to avoid rain delays to your future parties, you can place your braai area under cover. However, make sure the area offers enough ventilation or include a chimney in your building plans.

Other elements to consider include avoiding particularly windy areas and ensuring there is enough distance from windows – your neighbour’s windows too! – to prevent the smoke from entering the home.

Braai type and size

Now that you’ve found the perfect spot, it’s time to decide what type of braai you want. While the traditional use of wood and charcoal are still favoured in South Africa, interest in gas outdoor grills is growing and has the advantage of producing much less smoke. Ultimately, this decision will be down to your personal braaiing preference and budget.

If you have decided to go with a gas grill, you will find a variety of sizes and options to choose from that can then be built into your braai enclosure. Don’t forget to make space to store your gas bottle in a cool, protected area.

If you are more of a traditionalist, then your size options are almost limitless. Here you will need to consider what type of grill surface you would like to use and provide enough support to prevent dipping in the middle. And the space below the braai can be used to neatly store your wood and charcoal supplies.

Supporting surfaces

Regular braai masters will tell you that one of the biggest advantages of building a braai area is that you can make sure you have counter space. Some braai masters even insist on including a small sink. These counters really come in handy for putting down containers, cooking implements and drinks. And what’s more, you won’t have to worry about the family dog grabbing that steak off the garden chair you were using as a table.

Adding a drawer and cabinets under the counter also provides a handy place to store your lighters, braaiing tools and other elements from your entertainment area such as chair cushions.

Interested in getting a braai area for your home?

Head to the LookSee Marketplace for a braai area assessment and quotation from experienced contractors.