Classic South African Braaibroodjie jaffles

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A board with classic South African Braaibroodjie jaffles (grilled cheese sandwich with tomato and onion)

These classic South African braaibroodjie jaffles are perfect to cook over a gas hob or slowly over a fire. For anyone who might stumble on this recipe and be unsure what a braaibroodjie is, it’s a toasted (or grilled) cheese sandwich cooked over a low and slow fire (BBQ or braai).

Ingredients for a South African braaibroodjie sandwich

In South Africa we call a BBQ a braai so braaibroodjies are barbecued (toasted) sandwiches.

These South African braaibroodjie jaffles are the perfect solution for when the craving hits but you don’t feel like lighting a fire and waiting for the coals to get to the correct (low) temperature. I cook these directly over my gas hob. They are also fabulous for camping.

South African braaibroodjies in the making

Ingredients for classic South African braaibroodjie jaffles:

There is some controversy over one of the fillings of a traditional braaibroodjie and that is chutney. Some people insist on adding it and others, like myself feel it has NO place in this classic sandwich.

  1. Cheese – I have used a medium matured Cheddar in this recipe and I like around six months maturity. I don’t like the cheese in a braaibroodjie to be too sharp or too mild. I sometimes add a combination of mozzarella and mature Cheddar in order to get an oozier texture.
  2. Onion – I like to use very finely sliced red onion as I prefer the flavour in general, but a brown/white onion would work well here too.
  3. Tomatoes – Use very ripe tomatoes to get the best flavour. Place the sliced tomatoes on kitchen paper to drain some of the water off. This helps prevent the sandwich from getting too soggy.
  4. Bread – sliced bread is the best for a jaffle as it is difficult to clamp bread that is thicker and harder. Soft pre-sliced supermarket bread has a lovely soft texture which is perfect for a braaibroodjie jaffle. When making a braaibroodjie over a fire directly, I sometimes use ciabatta or sourdough.
  5. Butter – This is an important component and you can decide if you want to butter both slices of the bread. For the sake of calorie conservation and because I don’t think it’s necessary given that there is a generous amount of grated cheese, I don’t butter the inside of the bread.

You can choose what you prefer and can put whatever filling you like into a braaibroodjie. The world is your oyster here, and I have tasted many delicious variations. Here I have kept with the three classic ingredients of cheese, tomato and onion.

How to make a South Agtican braaibroodjie jaffle

What is a jaffle iron?

A jaffle is a two-sided metal gadget that clamps a sandwich together and is used to cook or toast the sandwich over a fire. You can also toast your sandwiches over a gas flame.

In Australia, a jaffle is referred to as a sandwich that has been toasted in what we know in South Africa as a snackwhich machine. This iconic appliance seals and cuts the sides of a toasted sandwich as well as through the middle to create two separate pockets. These pockets resemble a pie and are totally delicious.

A jaffle iron does a similar job without slicing through the middle of the sandwich creating a delicious pie-like sandwich.

Toasted cheese, tomato and onion sandwiches made in a jaffle iron

How to make South African Braaibroodjie jaffles

  1. Make Sure you spray the inside of your jaffle iron well with non-stick cooking spray before adding the buttered sandwich. The bread has a tendency to stick to the iron.
  2. Cook the jaffles over a low heat or the lowest flame on your gas hob. Check frequently to ensure the sandwich is not burning.
  3. Flip the sandwich over when it has reached a nice golden brown colour.
A board with classic South African Braaibroodjie jaffles (grilled cheese sandwich with tomato and onion)

A few grilled cheese sandwiches you might like:

‘Pizza’ jaffles with mozzarella, tomato & onion

Toasted Cheddar cheese sandwich with buttery leeks

The best French onion grilled cheese sandwich

Giant grilled cheese with. hot honey butter

Classic South African braaibroodjie jaffles

A recipe to make a classic South African braaibroodjie into a jaffle (stove top or fire).
Print Recipe
A board with classic South African Braaibroodjie jaffles (grilled cheese sandwich with tomato and onion)
Prep Time:10 minutes


  • 2 slices of pre sliced soft bread
  • 11/2 Tbsp Kerrygold salted butter softened
  • Aprox. 30gms Kerrygold Mature Cheddar measure with your heart
  • 2 slices of ripe tomatoes drained on kitchen paper
  • 1 few thinly cut red onion slices
  • Salt & pepper


  • Butter the bread on the outside and build your sandwich as follows: onion, cheese then tomato slices.
  • Top with the other slice of bread and place in your jaffle iron that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Trim the four corner of the bread that poke out.
  • Place your jaffle iron over low coals or your smallest gas burner set to low. Cook for a few minutes on either side until golden brown. Check as you go.


Be careful not to burn yourself as the jaffle can get very hot in the middle after cooking.
Servings: 1


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