As the Braai4Heritage event (formerly known as National Braai Day) looms around the corner – 24 September to be exact – we thought it only fitting to provide you with plans to make a portable braai cart in time for the occasion. Our rolling prep station adds style and fun to any braai.
You’ve perfected your grilling technique. You’ve mastered the marinade. Now take your outdoor culinary skills to the next level by building our red cedar cookout cart. It’s the perfect mobile staging area for storing and preparing food. Chop vegetables or slice meat on its lift-off polyethylene cutting board, then dump scraps through its hole and into a sliding stainless-steel pan below. Another larger pan on the left slides out to give you access to stored meat, fish, vegetables or ice. Lean cookbooks against the backsplash and keep condiments in the lift-out tray on the left.
After the feast, the slide-out pans, the cutting board and the condiment tray come inside for cleaning while the cart stays outside with your grill.
What you’ll need
Our cart is built of vertical-grain red cedar, a rot-resistant wood that’s easy to work with. To build exactly what we’ve got here, you will need a table saw and, ideally, a portable planer. Those attractive red cedar slats that form the shelves start out as ½-inch-thick pieces ripped from a plank using a table saw. They are then planed or sanded. You’ll also need a biscuit joiner to bind the top pieces and a router to put a gentle curve on each slat edge and around the hole in the cutting board.
That’s a lot of equipment to build a little cart. Suppose you don’t own those tools — simplify. Use a circular saw and edge guide and substitute dowels or pocket screws for biscuits. To avoid planing, make the slats from suitably sized timber or have an old-fashioned timberyard plane the material for you.