Braaitjie by Dieter Zermatten

A pint-sized ‘braai’ hopes to reinvent South Africa’s obsession with barbecuing meat outdoors.

Dieter Zermatten’s Braaitjie (Afrikaans for “little barbecue”) is taking on South Africa’s national past-time. Billed as “a fondue-style meal with a South African twist”, Zermatten’s invention is a compact, tiny braai ideal for one serving that encourages people to get together to each cook their own meat. 

“We hope to make the patriotic act of the braai a social experience,” says Zermatten, an industrial design graduate from the University of Johannesburg. “We see fondue-like get-togethers where everyone has their own.”

The braai stands just 18.6 cm high and measures 15.5 cm wide by 31.4 cm long. The mini-braai enables everyone to cook their own meat just as they like it. So no more groups of men standing around the braai and no more delays while everyone waits for the meat to come off the fire. “With the Braaitjie, you cook and eat straight away,” explains the designer.

Made of stainless steel, the Braaitjie weighs just over one kilogram. It’s fuel efficient as using the entire grid guarantees that every last bit of heat from the coals is used. It’s also designed to be portable, making it ideal for camping and travelling. There are also no loose parts as the grid is affixed to the frame.

“The stainless steel construction has been optimised for maximum cooking power,” says Zermatten. “We have cooked up to two kilograms on under seven coals before. This will reduce energy and food wastage at the same time.”

Is South Africa’s braai (barbecue) culture about to get a makeover?

The Braaitjie costs R399 and can be ordered here.

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