Make sure that you don’t embarrass yourself in front of all your family and friends by serving them tough, overcooked and flavourless steak with these top tips to make sure you’re crowned Official Braaimaster this braai day.

Use braai tongs instead of a fork

You want to avoid piercing the meat because it lets out all the juices, which is what locks in the flavour and moistness

Serve medium-rare (without exception)

We know, we know. You should be able to eat your steak however you please. But let’s be honest, you’re reading this because you want a GREAT steak. You will only get that if you eat it medium rare. If anyone dares to request their steak well done, refuse and never invite them to your braai ever again. If your steak is around 3cm thick, it should take about 7 minutes on a braai to cook to medium rare – as long as you follow the tip below about the coals.

Go overboard on the coals

You really do need loads of them, and you want them very hot. If you’re using wood then make a big fire – don’t make a small one and then add more coals or wood later. Either the second batch won’t be hot enough or the first batch will be totally burned out by the time the second one is up to speed. Save the small fires and beers around the flames for roasting your marshmallows after the main event.

Don’t use marinade

Yep, you heard us! Step away from the braai marinade. Purists would say you have to stick to only salt and pepper but we think you can get away with a basting. The basting can only go on after you’ve seared the steak on both side though, otherwise any sugars will burn. After the steak has been turned, you can baste away!

Let it rest

It’s true, all those fancy cooking shows are right about one thing – meat really is at its best when it’s rested for a little while. It stops all the juices running out when you slice it up and makes it taste better. After your steak is cooked, take it off the braai and let it sit on a wooden board or a warmed up plate for a few minutes while everyone grabs their drinks, sits down, serves up salad etc. By a few minutes, we mean something like three to five, not thirty.