Does the panel think I should buy a bbq or plancha? Our French friends say plancha all day long. Any thoughts or experiences?
Definitely BBQ - with a plancha you may as well just use a frying pan indoors!
If buying a BBQ if you can buy a Weber - ours is now 11 years old, the previous Outback bbq lasted 2 years.
We have one that is both!
One side grill tray, other side flat plancha. With a lid so can put the pizza stone in it and use as pizza oven too.
Unless by plancha you mean a gas thing?? Never feel you get the flavour myself.
(We also have a weber for when just two of us, and can fit pizza stone in that too)
We use our plancha for bacon, burgers, eggs and fish; the BBQ for everything else.
Think it depends whether you want to use various woods to flavour your cooking, as that’s obviously not an option with a plancha. A cast iron frying pan will do the same job, but of course it depends on how many for whom you’re cooking
Re the BBQ or braai, when I lived in S africa, at weekend all my neighboues (and our best local restos) would cook with acacia Karoo, a thornbush, whose scented smoke, for me is one of the most evocartive smells of southern Africa.
So, what’s important? For instance, distance from kitchen, cooking with locally sourced wood, will you continue to be able to carry gas canisters (and what might Putin do to the price of gas!). Also compare the price of a really good Le Creuset plancha that can be used indoors all the year round and look at what you can do with the fan grill option on your oven.
I have a charcoal Webber that’s started with gas from a small canister. I echo Marks point about using woods for flavour.
These days we rather like collecting grubbed up roots that have been thrown out from local vineyards for flavour.
I have a gas plancha. Why ? Round here, open fires and barbecues are banned in the high summer months. The risk of fire is too great.
For me, a lot of the BBQ flavour comes from the meat cooking in the flames rising from below. As said already, if that’s not the case then you might as well use the kitchen and a pan.
I did experience the braai method of cooking in Zimbabwe, which seemed to mostly rely on letting the wood burn away and then putting the meat on the grill over remaining hot embers. By that time most of the ‘wood’ flavours seemed to have gone, and it was like using any other charcoal, which was very disappointing. I should liked to have experienced something a little more like @DrMarkH described.
I should also have mentioned that the downside (for me at least) was one was supposed to have had knowlegeable opinions about the Springboks, as neighbours’ braais also usually required one to watch live rugby union on TV. Meanwhile the OHs were making the most boring, unimaginative salads in the kitchen. But that didn’t matter because it was all about rugby and burnt meat…
And beer I would imagine/hope
Oh yes! The remaining Nats brought cases of horrible, malty Castle and the liberals cases of Namibian Windhoek lager, a great beer, and possibly the only one on the continent recognised as compliant with the famous mediaeval German purity standards
As an Aussie growing up on a farm we would have wood BBQs by the river, using an old grill or a plough disk depending what cooking but for home cooking I’ve only ever known gas. Fire reasons, cost reasons (my sister spent aud 5000 last winter in wood!) and ease as well. I see BBQing as a way to cook outside so as not to heat the house. Sorry but not going to spend hours waiting for wood / charcoal to die down (and seriously €6/ bag if you lucky for 2 meals???).
We have a big gas one with 2/3 grill, 1/3 'plancha and a lid ’ plus a side hob. When it is hot I don’t even need to boil a pan of water inside for pasta ect. For me it is a tool that is daily used, easy, quick etc. There is a thing I can add wood chips too but never bothered. The grill is heavy cast iron and when there is meat in you still get the flame cooked thing, honesty I can’t really taste a difference that is worth the hassle of coals. We do have a huge grill thing and a 1/2 44 gallon drum but must be years since we have used it.
We’ve started to use these which help keep the BBQ cleaner.
and Castle or Windhoek beer I was at the match when the Springboks beat the All Blacks in 1995. I have a framed print (picked up cheap a few months later ) of the famous drop goal on the wall of my study.
A kettle bbq every time. Don’t go for gas as it is a pig to keep clean. Charcoal much better
I have had a Weber charcoal kettle BBQ - it was excellent, but I do prefer my Weber gas - so much easier to start and control. With the flavorizer bars the taste is similar.
When finished, I turn the heat up to full for 8 minutes then just wirebrush the grill plates and they come clean in 30 seconds.
Once a year I clean out the main body of the BBQ.
Charcoal barbecues are an extreme fire danger in our hot summers and are now banned in many places.
Do you have a source for that Jane please? We have a small charcoal BBQ which our guests have been using every evening. It’s on the terrace and he throws water on it when he’s finished.
Cooking real pizza on the bbq? Not reheating shop stuff. Something else a plancha cannot do, or can it?