Any form of cooking that involves dry heat applied to the surface of the food is called grilling. Grill recipes have evolved for millennia. About 2 million years ago, the early man started to cook with fire. The controlled use of open fire to cook food was a very important element in the social and biological evolution of early human beings. Before the discovery of fire, the early man ate uncooked plants and raw meat.
About 300,000 years ago, the earth oven was first invented in Europe. They dug wide pits in the ground and lined them with stones. The pits were then filled with hot coal and ashes to heat the stones. They wrapped their food in leaves and placed them on top of the ashes. They then covered everything on earth and left the food to cook slowly.
Before the modern grill that is used today was invented, people cooked their meals outside on burning charcoal placed on a shallow metal iron pan with thin legs.
How popular is Grilling in Africa?
Most people in African countries do not need a reason to light up the fire and grill food. They do grilled cookouts on weekends as they have drinks with their friends and family. Grilled meat is a staple in almost all celebrations, weddings, family gatherings, cookouts, and holidays across all African countries.
Other grilled foods in Africa include chicken, lamb, steak, game meat, potatoes, and an all-time favorite, corn on the cob. Grilled foods are very popular in Africa. Almost every culture has its signature grill recipe. Grilling is one of the few things in Africa that cuts through racial and cultural lines. Regardless of your language, culture, or race, the love of meat cooked on an open fire is something that all Africans share.
If you have ever tried African cuisines, you know that seasoning is everything when it comes to making these exotic dishes. The most common spices used in African grill recipes are;
- Cayenne pepper
- Curry powder
- Garam masala
We are certain that you want to hop in and have a taste of the African culture and see what all this fuss around African grill recipes is all about. Keep reading to find the 10 best grill recipes in Africa that are sure to leave you yearning for more.
Are there health benefits to grilling?
As we all know, grilling is one of the greatest ways to cook healthy food and enjoy spending time outdoors. Whether you are grilling with family or friends, you are going to feel closer together during and after the cookout. Entertaining friends and having fun help us slow down and have time for conversations with friends and family.
What are the health benefits of eating grilled food? Grilled food can help you lower your calorie intake. For instance, when you grill meat, the excess fat melts and drips off the racks. This is healthier compared to other cooking methods where meat is left to cook in its own fat. When meat is left to cook in its own fat, the excess fat may be reabsorbed into the food thus making it unhealthy.
Grilling helps with weight loss. The best way to cook if you are on a weight loss journey is by grilling your food. This way, you are not adding any excess calories to your meals because no extra oils are needed.
When boiling or frying food, some minerals and vitamins that are contained in the food may be lost. You won’t need to add any unnecessary condiments when grilling to get your desired taste. Grilling locks in the food’s moisture that makes the food tastier.
Why are people advised to choose lean meats when grilling?
Grilling is the lightest cooking method. This means that you should choose thinner meats to grill to achieve the best results. Examples of lean meats are;
- Poultry: turkey breasts and skinless chicken,
- Beef: T bone, tenderloin, steak, sirloin, top loin.
- Lamb: Loin
- Pork: Tenderloin and pork chops.
- Game meat: Buffalo, rabbit
- Birds: Ostrich, Pheasant, and quail.
- Veal: Trim cut
The Best 10 Grill Recipes In Africa
1. Grilled Corn With Harissa Recipe by SeriousEats
Grilled corn becomes even more tasty with harissa (Moroccan red pepper sauce) mixed and sprinkled with mint. Each piece is smothered in harissa and just easily cooked on the grill.
2. Grilled Moroccan Chicken by CookingClassy
Grilled Moroccan Chicken has become one of the go-to chicken recipes! It’s bursting with so many bright, aromatic flavors and it’s one of the tastiest chicken recipes you’ll have ever tried! Just be sure to allow enough time to marinade so the chicken can really soak up that flavor.
3. African Grilled Tilapia (African Style) by African Bites
Grill Tilapia (African Style) — Easy whole grilled Tilapia smothered in spices and herbs with an African spicy hot sauce for dipping.
4. Mozambique Peri Peri Grill Chicken by African Bites
Mozambique Peri Peri Grill Chicken or roast chicken – moist, juicy, beautifully browned chicken with a smokey spicy coconut cream sauce. So good, easy and tasty! You’re going to want to make it all the time!
5. Grilled Shrimp With Chermoula Recipe by Serious Eats
This perfectly grilled shrimp recipe have a clean, sweet shrimp flavor with a nicely charred crust and a plump, juicy texture. They pair wonderfully with chermoula, a North African condiment based on herbs, cumin, olive oil, and lemon.
6. West African Grilled Chicken Salad by AfroVitalityEats
A bowl of greens can become much more when you put a little love and creativity to it. They say eat your greens but no one said it had to be boring. Here’s to transforming the ordinary into extraordinary and enjoying every bite!
The highlight is obviously the chicken which was marinated with the Mekko Dry rub from Essiespice. This recipe is delicious, healthy, and simple.
7. Tunisian Grilled Salad By PBS
Tunisian Grilled Salad is also known as Slata Mechouia featuring stovetop roasted peppers, onions, and tomatoes on baguette slices.
8. West African Beef Kabobs By Feel Good Foodie
West African Beef Kabobs are a popular Nigerian street food recipe also known as Suya. They are skewered juicy spicy meat made with a peanut butter sauce!
This recipe is all about the marinade. And the hero in the marinade is the peanut butter! The natural oils in the peanut butter coat the beef and allow it to soak up the flavor and fat of the peanut oil. This locks in the moisture, keeping the skewers of beef juicy and absolutely dynamite.
9. Dibi Hausa (West African Grilled Beef Kebabs with Tankora Spice) By Saveur
It’s also a great way to get a taste of West African barbecue in a short period of time. Though this recipe calls for beef, you may use any other meat or vegetable to achieve delicious results.
10. Nigerian Beef Suya By Food Fidelity
If you are interested in developing Nigerian recipes, start with Beef suya. It is Nigerian street food featuring grilled beef skewers seasoned with ground peanuts and spices.
Suya actually refers to the seasoning mix which typically includes the aforementioned ground peanuts, brown sugar, salt, pepper, paprika, and chili pepper.
The flavor is complex and the aroma is strong but pleasant. Heat levels vary depending on the cook, but the depth of flavor is consistent and is the draw that will make you overeat if you're not careful.
As the holidays approach, whether you are an advanced cook or a beginner, include grills on your menu. As you have seen in our recipe list, you can grill almost anything; from vegetables and fruits to meat and poultry. Cooking food over fire gives a unique taste to food. Let’s not forget how oddly satisfying it is to turn food over flames. Other than that, grilling techniques are very simple.
Africa is home to hundreds of different indigenous tribes. We strive to bring you as close as you can get to your African roots by giving you different varieties of African recipes. We let you enjoy exotic African delicacies and inform you about the culture behind them. If you can’t get to Africa to enjoy the amazing cuisines, we will bring African cuisines to you.