Braai on a Budget: Delicious Meals Without Breaking the Bank

Braai on a Budget Guide with Recipes and Ideas

Nothing beats the inviting aroma of sizzling meat over an open flame and the camaraderie of friends and family gathered around a braai. But enjoying this beloved tradition doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag. With a bit of planning and smart choices, you can host a delicious and budget-friendly braai that will impress your guests without breaking the bank. Here’s how to do it.

Budget-Friendly Meat Choices

Economical Cuts

When aiming for a budget-friendly braai, selecting less expensive cuts of meat is a strategic choice. Economical cuts like chicken thighs, pork shoulder, and skirt steak are not only affordable but also incredibly tasty and versatile.

  • Chicken Thighs: These are rich in flavour and forgiving in terms of cooking time. They stay juicy and tender when grilled.
  • Pork Shoulder: Perfect for slow cooking, pork shoulder becomes wonderfully tender and can be used for pulled pork sandwiches or tacos.
  • Skirt Steak: When marinated and sliced against the grain, skirt steak offers a satisfying and economical option for steak lovers.

Marination Tips

Marinating your meat can transform budget-friendly cuts into something incredibly delicious. Use simple yet impactful ingredients like soy sauce, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and a blend of spices. Let the meat soak in these flavours for a few hours, or even overnight, to ensure tenderness and a depth of flavour that will impress your guests.

Affordable Recipes

Boerewors Kebabs

  • Ingredients: 750g boerewors, 12 kebab sticks, 1 large red onion, 24 cherry tomatoes, 2 bell peppers, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Method: Cut the boerewors into 3-4cm lengths. Thread the boerewors, onion, cherry tomatoes, and bell peppers onto the kebab sticks. Brush lightly with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and grill for about 7 minutes per side until cooked through.

Spicy Chicken Wings

  • Ingredients: 16 chicken wings, 2 cups tomato sauce, 4-5 crushed garlic cloves, 4-5 chopped chillies, salt, pepper, juice of 1 lemon.
  • Method: Marinate the wings in a mixture of tomato sauce, garlic, chillies, salt, pepper, and lemon juice for at least 2 hours. Grill on medium heat for 15 minutes, basting with the marinade until caramelized and cooked.

DIY Garlic Bread

  • Ingredients: Ready-made garlic bread, basil pesto, mozzarella cheese slices, sun-dried tomatoes, black olives, black pepper, Italian herbs.
  • Method: Spread pesto on each slice of the garlic bread, insert mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, and olives between the slices, rewrap in foil, and heat over the coals for 15-20 minutes.

Incorporating Vegetables

Grilling vegetables not only adds colour and vibrancy to your braai spread but also provides an affordable and nutritious option. Opt for budget-friendly veggies like bell peppers, large mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant, and onions. Simply marinate or brush them with olive oil, season, and grill until tender and caramelized.

Homemade Sauces and Condiments

Making your own sauces can save money and allow you to customize flavours to your liking. A traditional South African Sauce is Monkeygland, here is a simple recipe to create your own, don't worry no monkey glands are used.

Monkeygland Sauce Recipe

  • Ingredients: 50 ml Sunflower Oil, 2 medium Onions, finely chopped, 2 cloves Garlic, finely chopped, 1/2 cup Boiling Water, 25 ml Brown Vinegar, 25 ml Worcestershire Sauce, 100 ml HP Sauce, 100 ml Fruit Chutney, 250 ml Tomato Sauce, 2 tbsp Brown Sugar, 1 pinch Chilli Powder or Cayenne Pepper, 1/2 tsp Salt
  • Method: Heat the sunflower oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the finely chopped onions and fry until they start becoming translucent. Add the garlic and fry for another 1-2 minutes. Add the boiling water, brown vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, HP sauce, fruit chutney, tomato sauce, brown sugar, chilli powder, and salt to the pan. Mix well. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until it thickens.

Economical Side Dishes

Sides are essential to a complete braai experience. Here are a few wallet-friendly options:


  • Ingredients: Cabbage, carrots, mayonnaise, vinegar.
  • Method: Shred the cabbage and carrots, mix with mayonnaise and vinegar, and season to taste.

Potato Salad

  • Ingredients: Potatoes, mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar.
  • Method: Boil and cube the potatoes, mix with mayonnaise, mustard, and vinegar, and season to taste.

Grilled Corn on the Cob

  • Ingredients: Corn, butter, herbs.
  • Method: Brush corn with butter, season with herbs, and grill until tender.

Budget-Friendly Beverages

Crafting your own beverages can significantly cut costs compared to buying pre-packaged drinks. Prepare refreshing homemade lemonades, iced teas, or infused water with slices of citrus fruits and herbs. These not only quench your guests' thirst but also add a touch of sophistication to your braai.

Homemade Lemon Perfect for Braais and Barbecues

Affordable Braai Equipment

Whether you’re just starting or looking to upgrade your setup, we offer a range of braai equipment to suit every budget:

  • Small Braais: Starting at £25, perfect for intimate gatherings.
  • Large Braais: Up to £500, for example the entertainer braai, for those who host larger parties.
  • Braai Cooking Grids: From £15, when you don't need a full braai, cook with just a grid over your coals / wood.

Hosting a budget-friendly braai doesn’t mean compromising on flavour or enjoyment. By choosing economical cuts, making your own marinades and sauces, incorporating vegetables, and opting for homemade beverages, you can create a memorable braai experience for everyone.

By integrating these tips and recipes, you can ensure a cost-effective and enjoyable braai that delights your guests and keeps your wallet happy. Visit our store to explore our range of versatile and affordable braai equipment.

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