Get ready for summer evenings by building your own braai. Picture: Mike Fox
Get ready for summer evenings by building your own braai. Picture: Mike Fox

Get sizzling with a built-in braai

By Lifestyle Reporter Time of article published Oct 28, 2020

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Don MacAlister

1 If you are building close to the house, or on to it, you need to ensure the top of the flue is higher than the surrounding roofs, otherwise the fire won’t draw properly.

2 Check your braai has a spark inhibitor built in, especially if you are close to thatched roofs, and don’t forget you need a light inside the firepit.

3 If you have a large roof overhang be careful – you don’t want roofing timbers close to the flue.

4 I have checked the regulations and, although they are a bit vague, it appears you don’t need approved plans but you do need to get municipal approval.

5 Once you are good to go, try a cheap, portable braai in the desired position to see how it is going to be affected by wind.

6 Before building the braai, test it by placing it on a pile of bricks, with the flue in position to check it is drawing.

7 Many braais are built using the house wall as the braai's rear wall, but rather keep them separate, especially if your house wall is a cavity one. However, you don’t want the gap to be too big as it will become a dirt trap.

8 If it is to be freestanding, I recommend all the walls, including those surrounding the box, be 220mm or double brick.

9 Ensure every fourth course is a header course and use brickforce every fourth course.

10 If using one, make sure your builder has a properly dimensioned sketch of what he is going to build for you.

11 Remember you need a solid foundation.

12 Ensure all of the fire box is surrounded by fire/insulation material, including the parts of the flue that are built in.

13 Use fire bricks adjacent to all metal surfaces. I have had more success with braais built of face brick.

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