Tips for Cooking Over an Open Fire

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Nothing beats being able to enjoy the outdoors. Fresh air, sunshine and some friends or family to share it with are all many of us need to unwind and have a good time. Include a meal and cooking over an open flame to complete the experience.

Whether you’re using a campfire, fire pit or outdoor fireplace, outdoor cooking is fun as well as functional. You don’t have to put a stop to your outdoor fun just to get fed. Cooking over an open fire can provide an easy way to make more food at once, especially if it is on skewers and everyone is cooking their own. And that smoked flavor can really enhance the taste of your food. For those home cooks who feel they get stuck in the kitchen, cooking over an open fire puts both the cooking and entertainment in the same place, letting you enjoy the company of your guests.

Tips for Cooking Over an Open Fire

Although it’s not difficult, there’s a little more to cooking over an open fire than just putting food on a stick. Follow these tips for a wonderful outdoor cooking experience.

  • When choosing recipes, keep in mind there is more than one way to cook food over an open fire. Skewers, a grate, cookware or placing food directly in the coals can all be utilized.
  • Adding a grate to your fire pit or fireplace can add a lot of versatility and allow you to cook most of your grilling favorites, like steaks.
  • You won’t want to use your best cookware outdoors since it is more likely to get dinged, scratched or dropped. Something heavy duty or specifically made for outdoor cooking is best. Avoid plastic, rubber or silicone handles that can melt and use long handled, metal utensils. There are also pieces like pie irons that are only utilized for outdoor cooking.
  • Remember that food often takes longer to cook when cooking over an open fire. You’ll want to have the fire going long enough before cooking to ensure there are plenty of hot coals. A half hour is usually a good guideline.
  • Adhere to safe food handling guidelines. For best results, use a meat thermometer to ensure food is fully cooked.
  • Turn­ food frequently and avoid frying and recipes with lots of extra oil to help prevent flare ups.
  • Always observe basic fire safety rules, such as wearing appropriate clothing and ensuring the fire is out before going indoors for the night.

Recipe Suggestions

You may already have a list of favorite campfire foods, and those are great options for any kind of outdoor cooking. But if you’d like something a little different, try one of these unique recipes for cooking over an open fire.

  • This Campfire Paella is definitely not your usual campfire food. With all the flavor of the traditional version, your guests will undoubtedly be impressed.
  • The ultimate social food is cheese fondue. Try this open fire version at your next outdoor gathering.
  • Why not make your next outdoor get together a brunch? This recipe for Blueberry Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast would be perfect.
  • Did you know you can cook dessert over an open fire? And not just roasted marshmallows and s’mores either. For something a little different try this recipe for Pineapple Upside Down Donut Cake.

Cooking over an open fire­ isn’t just for camping. A memorable meal cooked outdoors can add a lot to the ambience of your next outdoor gathering. And it can help you get the most out of your outdoor fireplace or fire pit, too.

Heat It Up

Would you like to cook over an open flame in your backyard? Request an estimate on a custom fire pit or fireplace.