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Thread: Braai (Barby) cheat starter

  1. #1
    garage nut's Avatar
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    Braai (Barby) cheat starter

    Today is a public holiday in SA (Worker's Day) so apart from finishing off my bender I had to utilize an absolutely gorgeous late summers day by having a "Braai". That is what we call i\a barbecue in SA.

    I made this fire starter a few weeks ago. Got to drop my head in shame to make a braai with charcoal, but only the 2 of us so a bit of a wast to make a wood fire and no opportunity to have a beer as tomorrow is a working day again.

    Braai (Barby) cheat starter-braai-sarter.jpg

    Not sure if you have them over the sea. i only ever visit Germany and have not seen it there.

    Just a SS tube with a grid about two thirds down. Some fire lighters on the grid and fill it with charcoal.

    Braai (Barby) cheat starter-braai-sarter-2.jpg

    I treated myself to this SS one. I used to use a steel paint tin with a couple of holes with a hole saw, but they only last about 6 months.
    So when I had some urgent lazer cutting to have done and not meeting the minimum charge, I quickly drew this and whalla.

    Was a bit silly of me not having the joint at the handle, but that is the price of school fees.

    It still need a nice wooden handle on both sides of the steel handle, but it works.

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  3. #2
    Content Editor DIYer's Avatar
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    Thanks garage nut! We've added your Charcoal Starter to our Grilling and Smoking category,
    as well as to your builder page: garage nut's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:




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  5. #3
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    These are common here in the States. And I use this as well, as wood grilled meat is so much better then Propane.
    My cooking time with Porterhouse steaks is less then 2.5 minutes per side (@1.25" thick). My wife and I like it cooked Black and Blue. Wood flame is the only way to get the heat, and flavor.
    The commercial made charcoal starters are cheaply made, and for some foolish reason they use aluminum rivets to assemble them. Your SS should last your life.
    It takes 30 minutes to get the coals ready.

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  7. #4
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    It take me about 2 minutes to get my cast iron skillet hot on the stove then 3 minutes to get my burgers well done. start to finish done eating and dishes washed before a grill would get hot .Might take a little longer to grind the steaks into burgers though
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
    When I have to paint I use http://kbs.justoldtrucks.com/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank S View Post
    It take me about 2 minutes to get my cast iron skillet hot on the stove then 3 minutes to get my burgers well done. start to finish done eating and dishes washed before a grill would get hot .Might take a little longer to grind the steaks into burgers though
    Yes, but they are not wood smoked flavor. That is the point about using charcoal, either real, or pressed briquets.
    I do grind my own hamburger, as I can cut the fat out, and as expensive as ground hamburger has gotten I can do it cheaper and fresher. When you fresh grind hamburger, you an eat it rare. As production made seems to have an E. coli problem, so well done is the only option.
    I understand rare is a learned way to eat beef. You typically eat it the way your parents made it.

  10. #6
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    I'll eat meat from just about any animal that bleeds red but it is not going to bleed when I eat it I've gone so far as when a steak house has prime rib for their special to have the guy cut off a slab then tell him to grind it and press it into a burger then toss it on the grill until it is done the only thing on this planet that I consider eating raw or half cooked is Hot Chili peppers
    Probably the reason that I can't taste wood flavor in anything other than a brisket that has been cooked for 18 hours is no matter the meat when it goes on the heat it is loaded down with garlic onion oregano red pepper tumerac curry black pepper and my hot sauce that I make, the only plain unseasoned meat that gets cooked around here would be some that was freezer burned and cooked for the dogs
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
    When I have to paint I use http://kbs.justoldtrucks.com/

  11. #7
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    I agree that wood smoked flavor is the best for BBQ. I cook almost every night on our natural gas fired BBQ grill that I modified in 1997 to allow wood chunks to be added to the the right-side gas burners. In the lower right side, I removed a small section of the cast iron grill to allow up to 2.75" (70 mm) wide chunks of wood to be added for heating and smoking.

    Braai (Barby) cheat starter-three-burner-natural-gas-grill-wood-smoking-section.jpg

    I use all sorts of woods but prefer using mesquite wood I buy in small chunks from the local hardware store. The three burner natural gas grill is a grill made by FireMagic with black porcelainized steel which is old fashion by today's standard of stainless steel grills but the all-black color hides years of smoke cooking by the BBQ. Except for the grills, the interior burners and the lower grills are all stainless steel and have been been replaced a few times since 1997. I also increase the natural gas burners BTU by increasing the hole diameters in the brass orifices by a few thousands of an inch. It doesn't take much to significantly increase the BTUs per burner but be conservative on the hole diameters or you will melt down your BBQ. There are some great websites showing how to do this and what orifice diameter to use.

    Regards,

    Paul Jones
    Last edited by Paul Jones; 05-15-2018 at 09:13 AM.

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  13. #8
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    Paul Jones if we lived closer to each other I'd give you 20 tons of mesquite
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
    When I have to paint I use http://kbs.justoldtrucks.com/

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  15. #9
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    I used to have a propane BBQ, but after replacing the burners 3 times, and the spiders making webs inside the air mixing tube (with flame back that took out the piezo igniter, twice), it was cheaper to use wood, which also gave me the heat I wanted.
    The propane BBQ was dual element, over one element I removed the grate, and placed apple tree green sticks (with leaves, and small apples). This worked well but made a mess to clean up. And given the spider problem, and no place to store it indoors, and I wanted a dual BBQ and smoker, so I changed the machine.
    Now I can use direct wood heat, or a side firebox. I just smoked 5 slabs of pork ribs, and 9 chicken quarters on Saturday. I used oak wood (4" branch cut into hockey-pucks), as apple for a long smoke (9hours on the ribs) is a bit too bitter (for me). I fought a cold fire all day, and had to finish them in the oven. My oak was too wet, as it sat out all winter on the ground. It did smoke super well, and the 150-190F temp. really left a smooth smoke flavor. So I may have to keep doing it this way, as this was superior flavor to a 250-300F smoke.

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  17. #10
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    Frank S,

    I wish it was the case of being closer for a load of your mesquite. After many years of smoking with mesquite, I tried cooking some pork chops with very dry apple wood. I discovered the sweet taste of apple wood is an excellent choice and will try it on other meats.

    The nice thing about mesquite is I sometimes start up the BBQ smoking early in the morning. The whole neighborhood starts smelling like a fancy restaurant and I am getting hungry.

    Regards,
    Paul

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