Installation & Usage Guidelines for your Braai
POSITIONING AND INSTALLING YOUR BRAAI
Adding a Braai area can create an entire outdoor room so it is a very important step to consider the positioning of your Braai. Look over your garden for the most liveable spot and wherever you put it, make sure you allow enough level area for dining and for working around the Braai.
We strongly recommend that you have your braai before you start any preparation or installation work for it.
We find that the most practical height for the Braai is about 700mm off the ground. This works best for both cooking and when using the Braai as an outdoor fire. Your Braai can be left as is or can be clad in construction materials designed to compliment your particular tastes and decor.
One option for creating a pedestal is using Firth Concrete Blocks. These are readily available and not expensive. Please contact us for further details. The Braai can then easily be secured in place by passing a metal strap over the top of the fire box lintel and securing it into the bottom block on each side.
If you decide to utilise the space underneath the Braai for wood or any other combustible materials, it is recommended to position the Braai on a precast concrete slab or something similar that is heat resistant.
A good option when cladding the Braai is to extend the slab beyond the sides of the fire box, resting it on the supporting structure. The extended area will then be able to take the weight of the chimney cladding. Another option is the example shown above where the Braai has been placed on a concrete slab which is supported by steel brackets which are in turn bolted to plastered concrete blocks. The intention for this particular Braai is that it will be clad at sometime in the future. It has also been secured to the wall at the rear.
When cladding your Braai, an expansion gap of 20mm should be left between the non-combustible cladding material and the Braai. Make sure that none of the finished brickwork protrudes past the flange of the Braai as this may affect the ability of the top door of the Braai to stay open when it is used. We recommend hiring a stonemason.
FLUE & COWL
Included with the braai is a rotating cowl and a single skin flue (made up of 2 X 1.2mm lengths) which is suitable when the Braai is free standing or clad in non-combustible materials. A rotating cowl is necessary to prevent rain from entering the chimney.
If the flue is to go through any type of veranda or roof system, then you will need to contact a local flue supplier who will be able to provide and advise on the appropriate flashings and/or flue required to meet the NZ standards.
Please note - the internal flue size should not be smaller than the dimension of the smoke outlet at the top of the gather.
FLUE & COWL ASSEMBLY
You will find 8 screws included with the Braai for use as follows:
4 X Hex head Tec screws for the Flue connection to the top of the Braai and 4 X Wafer head Tec screws for joining the two parts of the Flue.
Pilot holes are required before assembly.
Ensure the Cowl connection has been greased before positioning the Cowl.
Extreme care is needed when lifting the flue onto the gather as the bottom edge of the flue is very sharp. It is also heavy and will be affected by any wind gusts till secured in place.
FIRST FIRING & GENERAL USE
It is advisable on the first firing to cure the Braai (and brick/ stone work) slowly with a small fire i.e. don’t build a “bonfire” during the first firing – it may damage the Braai (and brickwork). It will seem as if the fireplace is smoking the first time when lit but this is quite normal as it is the paint burning in. There will also be some chemical odour, and this will disappear after the first couple of fires.
Always have your fire in the Ember maker and/ or on the Ash pan – never have the fire directly on the bottom of the Braai and do not put your fire out with water as this may damage the fire box.
COOKING WITH YOUR BRAAI
Either start a small fire in the ashpan and build this up or start the fire in the ember box and after it is established, shake the embers down through the ember box and drag them across the ashpan into the cooking area. We have found positioning the cooking rack at the lowest level (i.e.closest to the fire) for steaks, chops, sausages, kebabs, chicken pieces etc.; using the mid setting for roasts, with the doors closed and also topping the fire up with charcoal or wood from time to time to keep the heat up; and for pizzas or slow cooking, using the top setting, again with the doors closed and with most of the heat coming from the ember box has worked best for us.
For more braai tips, click on the following link: www.south-africa-tours-and-travel.com/south-african-barbecue.html#GENERAL BARBECUE (BRAAI) TIPS
DISPOSAL OF ASHES
Keep the ashes cleaned out. When removing ashes from the Braai, we suggest using a metal container with a tight fitting lid and dispose of the ash responsibly. Do not leave the ash draw on a combustible floor as ash can stay hot for days.
Any exposed steel may corrode and should be treated accordingly. Clean off specks of rust with a wire brush/ steel wool/ sandpaper, then touch up with Stove Bright or any equal heat resistant matt black fire paint, available at most hardware stores. If you find that Stove Bright isn’t effective in your area or situation, then we suggest that a more permanent option using Wurth saBesto Rust Converter (link attached) and Wurth saBesto Matt Black Heat Resistant Lacquerspray may be more effective.
Inspect the Flue system annually for soot build-up and/ or any other blockages e.g. birds’ nests. Clean the Flue pipe if internal soot deposits are greater than 6mm in thickness.
Cowls should be greased at least once a year. Not greasing the Cowls may result in winter leakage and the fire place smoking.
Your Braai is constructed out of 3mm mild steel and if used the way it was intended to be used and if the areas exposed to the elements are treated as per above, your Braai can last a lifetime.