Hansie used to be the cricket captain that gave us the biggest shock. Until 24 hours ago. This morning I woke up to the news that the current South African cricket captain Graeme Smith used a disposable grill to try and braai last night. We’ve all seen them in the supermarket. But who will ever use one? Graeme apparently. On tour in the West Indies and desperate for a braai.
I never knew what to call these things, as it’s clearly not a braai. So if boxing can give them the George Forman Grill, then cricket can give us the Graeme Smith Grill. Before criticising Graeme, I thought it would be wise to test one of these things, to see whether it’s any good. I went to a local supermarket this morning, got one for about R20, and decided to use it for making lunch. The instructions on the packaging are pretty easy and straightforward, and it took just one match to light it, no firelighters required. After 25 minutes, it was clear that the coals were, if not ready, certainly not going to get any better, so I decided to braai. After my recent success with Salmon, this was fortunately my choice of lunch. The Salmon needed 5 minutes, on medium coals, and that’s exactly what the coals had on offer. The thickest part of the fish was pretty much raw Sashimi, but the Salmon was fresh, so no harm done. What I can now tell you about the Graeme Smith Grill:
You can definitely not braai Chicken or Pork on it. You can braai a thin cut steak on it, but you would need to time it well. The coals do not have enough power to seal the meat on the outside so braaing a real steak is not a good idea. One pack of thin boerewors would work. A pack of thick boerewors could be risky, might not fit onto the grill, and will maybe not cook through. A big fish like a Snoek of Yellowtail would crush this thing and go for swim in the sea.
However, what this device is absolutely perfect for is lightly seared Salmon, or Tuna. My big problem with braaing fish, is that is leaves the taste of fish on your grill, and hints of that taste on your chops the next day is not ideal. No such problems here. This thing is disposable. The holes in the flimsy little grid on the top are finely spaced, perfect for the delicate texture of fish. And lastly, as we men like making big fires, our coals are usually too hot for fish, and this is definitely not a risk on this little heater.
The funny disposable grill in the supermarket then. Perfect for medium rare fish. Useless for all else. Leaving us with the lingering problem of what to call it. The “Graeme Smith Grill” would be an insult to Graeme, so please don’t call it that.