Pork is the best meat to braai because it is high in fat marbling, which makes it very moist and flavorful. It is also tender and if you braai it properly it maintains its juiciness.
- ¾ cup soy sauce (or half soy sauce, half Worcestershire sauce)
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon chili sauce / chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder (you can also use fresh minced garlic)
- Pork chops
- Mix the soy sauce, lemon juice, brown sugar, chili sauce and garlic powder together in a reseal-able bag.
- Place your pork into the bag and seal the bag.
- Allow to marinate in the refrigerator for 6-12 hours, turning the bag about halfway through.
- Braai the pork over medium heat for 30 minutes until done. Medium heat allows the fat to render while the outside browns and the inside stays juicy.
- When the pork is well cooked and its internal temperature reaches 145F, place the pork on the chopping board, cover with foil and leave pork to rest for 5 more minutes.
Resting the pork allows the juice to redistribute back into the meat. Cutting into the pork immediately after taking it away from the heat causes the juices to run out, therefore, if you want juicer and tender pork, leave it to rest.
There are many other ways of glazing or marinating your pork which we have discussed below.
Tomato Glazed Braai Pork
You can also glaze your pork in honey and tomato sauce. Follow the directions below.
- Half cup honey or golden syrup
- Half cup tomato sauce
- 1 tot apple juice
- Half tot soy sauce
- Half tot paprika
- Mix the honey, tomato sauce, soy sauce, apple juice and paprika together.
- Braai your pork chops over medium hot coal until almost done.
- Remove the pork from the fire and place it on a chopping board.
- Cut through the pork to its center and use a bush to coat the pork.
- Leave the pork there for at least three minutes so that the meat can full absorb the sauce.
- Braai the pork again until the sauce is glazed, making sure to expose all the cut sides, making them face the coal.
The advantage of this method is that it ensures that your pork is properly cooked inside and the sauce will be perfectly glazed and not burnt, unlike when marinades are applied before, the marinade can burn yet the insides will still be raw or you can braai until the inside is thoroughly cooked yet the marinade will be burnt. This is why you need to braai first and marinade later.
Herb Buttered Braai Pork
- 100ml olive oil
- Olive seasoning
- Braai spice
- 60ml softened salted butter
- 15ml mixed chopped herbs (sage, thyme and chives)
- Glaze your pork with salt, pepper, spice and olive seasoning.
- Braai over medium heat until the pork is done.
- Mix the butter with chopped herbs and pour on top of the pork as soon as you remove from heat and serve.
Braai Pork with Traditional Curry Marinade
- 125ml olive oil
- 1 large onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 5 – 10 ml fresh ginger
- 10 -15 ml curry powder
- 5ml masala
- 5ml turmeric
- 65 ml brown grape vinegar
- 25ml brown sugar
- 250ml cold water
- Heat the olive oil and fry your finely chopped onion, garlic and ginger until soft.
- Add the masala, turmeric and curry powder and fry for an additional three minutes; the spices should not be burnt.
- Turn the heat off before adding the vinegar, sugar and water; stir so that the sugar can dissolve.
- Season your pork with salt and then place it in a plastic container.
- Pour the curry marinade over it, cover with a foil paper and leave for 4 hours or overnight at most, in the fridge.
- Shake off excessive marinade before you braai your pork and braai over medium hot coal.
How to Keep Your Pork Tender?
Acidic fruit juices work as good tenderizers; the common ones are lime, lemon or pineapple juice. You can also marinade your pork, as the marinade acts as a brine which infuses moisture into the meat.
Things to Note Before Braaing Pork
- For your pork to cook evenly you need to defrost it overnight and leave it to room temperature for an hour.
- Be certain of what you are braaing on; be it gas, coal, wood or briquettes. This will help you know the flavor which you shall have and this also helps you select the types of spices and marinades to use in seasoning your pork.
- Make sure your pork is perfectly seasoned and glazed for the best results. The seasoning which will never disappoint is salt and pepper or you can also opt for a sweet and sour barbeque coat.
- Always use an oil based marinade and desist from using sugary or honey based marinade before braaing your pork as these burn quickly and will spoil your braai. Apply the sweet sauces using a brush a few minutes before removing the pork from the braii.
- Use the rule of thumb. Preheat your braai, ensuring that the gas, coal or wood is heated to a comfortable heat so that your pork cooks to perfection. If you can hover your hand over the braai grid for 10 seconds without pulling away from burning, then it is safe to place your pork on the grid.
- Use medium heat since pork cooks well from longer braaing at less intense heat.
- Avoid using forks. People have a tendency of using a fork to grab and turn the meat but to yield the best results, find a pair of tongs. Forks pierce the meat causing it to lose juices. Even when using tongs, avoid flipping it too much as that can also result in too much loss of the juices in the meat.
- You use a meat thermometer to test your pork, by placing it into the thickest part of the meat. The meat will be good for consumption when it registers 71 degrees.
- Always remove your pork from the heat before it is dry.
- You should know which accompaniments to serve your pork with. You can serve your pork with grilled potato salad or whatever you like, but make sure the accompaniments are ready to serve by the time you remove the pork from the braai.