It takes about 10 to 15 minutes to get some embers going and scattered along the bottom of the braai. We usually cook over charcoal and manuka. If you are doing steak, allow at least 15 to 20 minutes for the braai to get hot enough. Have the cooking grid on the lowest shelf to ensure enough heat to cook the steak quickly. You can cook with the doors open or shut, the fire won’t go out either way. As a general rule for whatever you are planning to cook - If you would BBQ it with the lid up, then cook it in the braai with the doors open and if you’d cook it in an oven, then cook it with the braai doors shut. A thermostat (which we sell) fitted onto the lower door of your braai helps with keeping an eye on the what temperature it’s at. Roasting is done in a similar manner to how you would roast in a conventional oven – similar temperatures and times. One of the advantages of course is that you can get a lot of roasts in at a time. We usually do our roasts in foil trays with some foil over the meat for the main part of cooking then removing the foil towards the end of cooking. If you are smoking fish, any of the foil bags and sealed fish smoking units that you heat on a shelf, generally found at the BBQ Factory etc, all work very well.