Weber is a brand that produces Kettle Barbeques. There are other manufacturers like Cadac, and Bush Baby that also produce them. I don’t have a problem with any of these companies. I like using their products from time to time, and I love eating the food that is prepared in them. I have a problem with calling it a braai.
Yesterday my friend Tank Lanning wrote to me on Twitter: “Checkers have Eisbein on special for R 29 per kg. Bought a few and going to do them on the weber tonight. Any tips?” All of this was good news. Checkers have a special on Eisbein, Tank is cooking himself some nice food, and Tank is asking my advice.
I replied “First cook them a bit in salted water, makes them softer.” This I know because a few years ago when camping in Namibia, we did that. Eisbein* is German, and Namibia is a bit German. So we decided to braai Eisbein whilst there. At the time I read that advice somewhere, and it worked well. I will replicate that recipe one of these days, and write about it on this website. But that is not the point today.
A few hours later, Tank told me the following: “My oath but it was good.” This did not surprise me. What’s not to like? A good piece of meat, made even better by the taste of flames, coals and smoke. However, Tank also said: “Thanks Jan. I know you are anti Weber, but it’s sensational for cooking an Eisbein.” I agree with Tank. Kettle Barbeques are sensational for cooking (certain meals). But then call it that. Cooking, in a very manly way. The essence of a braai is lighting a fire, and gathering around that fire. Not lighting briquettes, putting a lid on proceedings, and waiting in the living room for the food to get ready.
So this is what I propose South Africans do henceforth: When you are using a Kettle Barbeque, say “I cooked this meal in my man-oven”.
*If you are really technical, the meal that we were discussing is called Schweinehaxe. That is pork knuckle with a crackling on the outside. Eisbein in the true sense of the word is pork knuckle, boiled in water, and served as is.