Barbecue Meat, the Kenyan Way

Share the Story

Since time immemorial, our forefathers did barbecues. They would raise cattle and hunt wild game, then bring the meat out and grill it on an open flame. There was nothing fancy about the barbecue meat techniques – no hustle to add spices or any seasoning.

As time moved by, so did those barbecue meat techniques. When an animal is slaughtered, every part is consumed: head to tail, and even the tripe. In Kenya, we have large intestines stuffed with meat, boiled, then finally grilled to make a delicacy we call “mutura”, also known as the African sausage. It is a very common feature at a Kenyan barbecue.

Common barbecue style found in UK or US

Common barbecue style found in UK or US

The Rise of Barbecue Eateries in Kenya

Nyama choma – as we like to call our barbecue, is famous in Kenya. All foreigners who have had the pleasure of enjoying our barbecue, always tell their friends to try it if they have the chance. We have a famous eatery called the Carnivore Restaurant which serves up a very good barbecue, especially game meat. People come from all over the world to sample this meat experience.

Lately, many other joints have come up, hence a tough competition on who has the best of barbecue meat techniques. From the joints in the neighbourhood to the upscale restaurants, they all want to wow the clients with their mouth-watering delicacies. People help all these eateries thrive, through word of mouth and social media.

Most of these are family based, and the ones that manage to stay successful are passed down to the next generation.


Uniquely Kenyan Barbecue Meat Servings

Any meat can be barbecued with the right barbecue meat techniques. Chicken, beef, lamb, pork, goat, and also seafood like lobster, prawns, and calamari for the more upscale joints. They are often served, with a selection of cuts: pork spare ribs, lamb rack, T-bone, etc. Each dish comes with its own unique sauce.

Most local joints serve goat barbecue meat (mbuzi choma) aside from chicken and beef. A dish is usually accompanied with a choice of ugali (maize meal), chips, or mukimo (mashed potatoes with soft maize). The side salad is most likely kachumbari (a mixture of finely diced tomatoes, chilli, onions, and green pepper) or green vegetables.

Another unique feature of the Kenyan barbecue scene is that you will always find a car wash at a nyama choma joint. Get your car washed while you enjoy a plate of grilled meat!


Nyama Choma - Various barbecue meat, done the Kenyan way

Nyama Choma – Various barbecue meat, done the Kenyan way


Bringing People Closer Together

One thing that barbecues have in common – not just in Kenya but all over the world – is that it brings people together, be it at home or at your favourite spot. You can vent out your problems, because there are people to hear you out. Nyama choma brings friends together, enjoying every bite and the conversation that accompanies the meal.