Jan Braai’s ‘Fireworks’ — a bi

Jan Braai’s ‘Fireworks’ — a bible for anyone who will ever braai again

No matter if you are a seasoned braai person or a complete novice, there is no doubt this book will teach you things you didn’t know and to tailor your craft to be the best braai maker you could ever be

Jan Braai’s ‘Fireworks’ — a bi

Most South Africans, the world over, are vehemently determined to keep the tradition of the braai alive, whilst rejecting the term “BBQ” at every turn.

If you have ever wanted to have a proper braai, then a new bible exists and you cannot even invite people around for your next braai, until you have read every word of this book, and committed large portions of it to your consciousness. 

Jan Braai – more commonly known as Jan Scannell – has written a new book called Fireworks under the name Jan Braai, expertly creating a bible to braai by. Jan is the driving force behind the 24th September being National Braai Day, but with so many expats living all over the world, it could arguably be called International Braai Day.

The author has such an obvious deep passion and love for the art of the braai. The love this man has for the age-old tradition of the braai cannot be missed at a single turn of the page. He has found the thing he loves and is making it work, and we the reader are blessed with his desire to share his secrets with the world.

“The Jan Braai Rules”

Scannell starts the book by explaining the fundamentals of a braai — what you need to create any braai. “The Jan Braai Rules” like the ten commandments og braaing, are emblazoned on the front and back pages of the book — leaving you no doubt as tp what is and isn’t acceptable in a braai. Scannell then expands on the history of the braai, safety issues and the supplies and herbs you will need to make a braai.

Jan saya there is no such thing as a good braai or a bad braai.  The rules you must follow are for any braai, because every braai will be, and indeed must be, perfection. The reader is given suggested guide lines for cooking times, which most novices will be thrilled about. There is even a section about troubleshooting your braai when things have not gone according to plan. Plus, there’s a section on the ultimate braai kit. After reading this, any reader will know they cannot live without every item on the list. It will get your credit card twitching to ensure the next braai you have will do Jan proud. This is what Christmas wish lists are for.


The recipes are broken up into the main food groups. To start with are the proteins, beef , lamb, chicken, boerewors, seafood and pork. The proteins are followed by sauces, potjies, vegetables, bread, salads and finally ‘desserts on the braai’. The undaunting recipes range from oxtail potjie to putu pap, to rump steak with garlic butter, to mussels in a white wine and garlic sauce, to a butternut with a filling (which literally makes one quiver with excitement), ending with the ever so simply explained flambéed peaches.  There is little you won’t find in this book, and nothing that won’t want you to fire up an open wood fire in the middle of winter.


To end this review, I use a quote from the acknowledgements:

“These days men don’t need to be the hunters they were 100 years ago… But you do need to be able to make the perfect braai. It’s one of those things that should be done without fuss and minimal fanfare.  Actions and results should speak louder than words and there should be a clear demonstration that you have deep and thorough knowledge of the intricacies that surround this ancient and primitive art.  It’s just one of those things that separates the men from the boys.”

 The hard cover book is available in South Africa on Kalahari and in Europe on Amazon