Cigarette buts in the braai

During the past few days South Africa’s most famous brandy drinker Neels van Jaarsveld and myself were filmed doing various scientific tests on braais. Duvan Durand, the man behind the Jack Parow music video “Cooler as ekke”, directs the show. By and large the test that drew the most attention when mentioned on Twitter, was when we tested whether throwing cigarette buts on the coals influences the taste of the meat on the braai.

We started by visiting the science department at the University of Stellenbosch, to establish whether there was any health risk in conducting the test. Then we lit three identical fires, in three identical braais. When the coals were ready, we threw about 20 cigarette buts on the one fire, four packs of cigarettes (that’s 80 cigarettes) on the second fire and left the coals of the third braai unpolluted. Immediately after that, we braaied deboned, skinless, un-marinated chicken breasts on all three fires. When they were done, a blind tasting test was conducted on three individuals, and a sighted tasting test on another three. To my dismay, the results were not as conclusive as I had hoped for. For details of exactly what happened you will have to wait for the show. I did then ask the crew to do two blind tests on me. Both times I could correctly identify the three differing types of chicken. So I do have my reservations about the abilities of our tasting panel.

Please, use the comment section, and give me thoughts and advice on how we can improve this test, to ensure a more conclusive result. The show should be on air & internet by early August.

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