Going Traditional

You can always ­find a spot near your patio for a built-in braai. This small braai is great for small spaces (and your budget), and can always be expanded on later.

What you need

  • 1 table braai
  • 8 bags stone
  • 6 bags river sand
  • 8 bags building sand
  • 5 bags plaster sand
  • 5 pockets cement
  • 35 M190 cement blocks
  • 24 common concrete bricks
  • 2 x 18 mm shutterboard (1200 x 200 mm)
  • 1 x 18 mm shutterboard (600 x 200 mm)
  • 1 x 18 mm shutterboard (790 x 400 mm)
  • 3 x 8-gauge reinforcing rod (1100 mm)
  • 5 x 8-gauge reinforcing rod (650 mm)
  • Binding wire
  • 5 L TFC Coolcrete stain – cobblestone colour
  • 2 L TFC Top Seal – tile and concrete sealer


Tape measure, bricklaying trowel, spirit level, carpenter’s hammer, rubber mallet, ­ oat, plastering trowel and hawk, 75 mm paintbrush

Step 1. Plan your braai. Decide what height you would like to braai at so the grid sits not too high and not too low. Then measure how high you need to build the walls to support the braai at that level (we decided on 760 mm), as well as the spacing of the support walls so that the braai is supported on either side by at least half a block (635 mm).

Step 2. Mark out and excavate the site for the foundation (2000 mm x 800 mm to a depth of 200 mm). You can choose a solid slab foundation for under the entire braai and counter top, but we chose to use a solid foundation under the braai and a foundation just for the walls under the counter top.

Step 3. Mix 4 parts stone, 2 parts river sand and 1 part cement with water and ‑ fill the foundation, using a ­ oat to level and spread the foundation. Allow to dry for 3-4 days.

Step 4. Mix 5 parts building sand and 1 part cement with water for the mortar for building the walls. Place a layer of mortar on top of the foundations and set the ‑ rst course of blocks. Build the blocks up to a height of 760 mm.

Step 5. Place the braai in position and continue to build the wall around the braai, now using the bricks. On the back and the outer edge, build up four courses. On the inner side, build up three courses to allow space for the countertop slab.

Step 6. Using the shutterboard and masonry nails, put together the boxing for the countertop slab (100 mm high). Make a reinforcing grid using 8-gauge reinforcing rod, equally spaced across the countertop area and fastened together with binding wire. Remove the reinforcing grid from the boxing.

Step 7. Mix 4 parts stone, 2 parts river sand and 1 part cement with water and pour into the shutterboard box to a depth of 50 mm. Place the reinforcing grid on the concrete and continue to fill the box with the mixture. Float the top and check the levels. Allow the slab to dry for 5-7 days before removing the shutterboard support.

Step 8. Mix 3 parts plaster sand and 1 part cement with water and plaster the walls, covering all the exposed brickwork. Allow the plaster to dry completely.

Step 9. Complete the look by applying three coats of concrete stain, allowing each coat to dry for 48 hours. Apply another three coats of a concrete sealer to ensure your braai outlasts you. Allow to dry.

Need a table top braai? The 1000 Multifunction Charcoal Braai from Firefox is designed to make your outdoor structure stylish. This table braai can also be used indoors where there is a chimney to vent the smoke. It has a hook to use for a potjie pot and is cleverly designed to hold stainless steel trays that fit under the heat and keep your food warm. These also double up as serving trays.

The Gardener