Road Side BBQ

We often pull over on the roadside and have a quick barbeque. We can pretty well have a small fire made and a couple of toasted sandwiches cooked in about twenty minutes.

The implement that allows us to perform this mini time miracle is a gift from Namibia called a ‘grid’.

It's a Flame Grilled 'Whopper'
African barbeque

Barbeque in Africa is a little different than what we're used to in Australia. The ritual of fire lighting and of people congregating around the embers is pretty much the same but the Africans tend to use an open grill rather than a solid steel plate to cook on.

This method of grilling imparts a smoky flavour and lets a lot more fat escape from the food resulting in crisp, tasty meat that tends to be slightly charred on the outside but very moist and tender inside.

Similar items to the Namibian Grid are available in Australia and are usually sold as fish baskets or BBQ Grills. The one we use is unusual in that it comes complete with a heavy woven bag, a pair of BBQ tongs and triangular stand to cook on. It packs away to a compact unit that lives in the sink.

We will often pull up on the side of a quiet back road and hunt around for a handful of sticks. Just enough to get a small fire going and a few embers to cook over. It is quite surprising how small a fire needs to be to even cook a steak on. The heat is easy to control by the addition or removal of a few sticks or the manoeuvring of coals.

Cleanup is a breeze – just burn any fat or food off the grid in the remaining fire. We usually eat while the grid cools down, douse the fire, pack everything away and are back on the road in about half an hour.

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