Open fire cooking is a joy when done right, producing a taste that your stove top never could! Sure it's a slower method of cooking and you need to be a little more prepared, but there's something about building something from scratch which you can't beat. Here are some of our tips to get you prepared for cooking delicious and simple meals when cooking outdoors.
Start by creating a stable foundation for your fire. Have a mix of larger logs and plenty of smaller-medium to get your fire going. The best kind of wood is hardwood as it creates the best coals, which are crucial for cooking. After your fire has burnt out, you can move your cookware around the fire, using a shovel to create hotter and cooler areas with the coals.
Be patient. Big flames doesn't mean your fire is ready to cook on. You're waiting for the coals which can take up to an hour before they're ready. It's much harder to adjust the fire when there's a griddle plate over the top so make sure it's got enough fuel before you begin cooking.
Go for coals! Start by building a fire on one side of your fire pit and use the other side for hot coals. The coals will give you consistent heat for cooking most things including stews in your dutch oven, foil wrapped spuds, grilling veggies and meat too. When cooking things like steak, you'll want to make sure you've got a lot of hot coals to sear it nicely on the outside. If cooking a slower cut like a butterflied chicken, be mindful of the chicken cooking too fast on the outside, so moving it to a slightly cooler area is best.
Bring a meat thermometer! These take the guess work out knowing when something is cooked. Forget cutting a steak in half to check if it's cooked. By using a thermometer you can get the perfect cooking every single time.
Choose the right equipment. Our preference is to use cast iron cookware as it retains the heat well and allows you to get a nicely charred cook on the outside. Another essential is fire gloves, so that you can get right in there to maintain the fire without burning your hands. As mentioned above, a thermometer of course!