There’s something primeval about open fire cooking. It’s also an easy way of cooking outside and you can play with raw fire when you’re engaged in fire pit cooking. Whether you’re cooking over a fire pit at your own backyard or you’re going on a camping trip, we’re here to help you out with the basics of cooking on a fire pit.
Before You Cook
Cooking with a fire pit grill is not so hard, and you get juicy and soft-textured meat from it. Before you start planning on your fire pit cooking, make sure you have these at your disposal.
1. Check for the Fire Bans
There are several localities where you need special permission to build a fire pit. Check with your local fire codes and find out if you belong to one of those localities. There are also restrictions due to the weather. For example, you can’t cook on a fire pit during the dry summer days in many states. If that’s the case, you have to wait for the right time to set up your fire pit.
2. Gather the Materials
You don’t need to go out of your ways to collect the right materials for your fire pit. You’ll find most of them on your basement or the local wood shop. Things you’ll need:
- Meat Wrapper
- A metal panel as a pit cover
3. Dig Your Pit
Sorry to break it to you but you need to take part in some physical labor as well. For a family feast, you can dig a hole of one meter in diameter and a half meter in depth. If you maintain your lawn properly this ain’t going to be a difficult job. The size of your pit totally depends on the amount of food you’re cooking. Don’t let go of the dirt you’ve just unearthed since you’ll have to use it to fill the pit’s top later.
4. Use Rocks for Lining up the Pit
Search for flat rocks of medium size and put them on the sides and the bottom of the pit. This isn’t something mandatory but you can get more evenly heated fire from your pit.
5. Soak the Green-Wood
We’ve mentioned green wood in an earlier section. But what do you need them for? They add a smooth smokiness to your meal. But to get the real flavor out of green wood, you need to soak them in water for a certain period of time. Do this while you’re preparing the hot coals for the pit.
The Rules of Fire Pit Cooking
There are some basic rules that you need to follow while using your fire pit for cooking. Now we’re going to discuss them.
1. Choose the Right Kind of Fuel
Firewood is the main component of your pit fire cooking. Unlike cooking with grills, this gives you the room to customize the flavor of your food. The flavor depends on the type of wood you’re selecting for your pit. If you’re going for backyard cooking, you can go for either of these woods:
- Almond wood
- Cherry wood
For camping fire pit, you need to use non-pine wood. They’re dry and easily breakable. You can easily use them by snapping their branches. If you’re camping out and you choose damp wood for cooking, you won’t be able to fire them up as easily without proper experience. You can also go for cooking with charcoal in a fire pit for an extraordinary outdoor fire pit cooking experience.
2. Cook Anything You Can Cook on a Regular Grill
Since you’re cooking over fire on a fire pit, the mechanism is the same as cooking on a regular grilling machine. You can cook your salmon, vegetables, or chicken breasts on your fire pit. But if you have a fancy fire pit, you better look out for greasy food that might taint your pit.
3. Have these Accessories for Convenience
You don’t need to have fancy accessories for your fire pit cooking experience. But keep these fire pit cooking accessories by your hands for convenience:
- Skewers: to hold vegetables and hot dogs so you get them ready as you make them
- A grill rack: to be able to cook by using both direct and indirect heat. You can also cook multiple things in a single setting with this
- Aluminum foil: to wrap your chicken, fish and vegetables with oil so the oil remains inside the wrap. You can use the wrap to cook on the pit
4. Always Keep Water Near Your Pit
If you’re trying fire pit outdoor cooking, always keep fresh water near your pit. You might need to use it for watering the dry earth (if there’s any). You’ll also need to wet the grass around the pit since there can be sparks from your pit. Also, keep some sand around so you can extinguish any unexpected occurrence of fire. You’ll finally need to water your pit to exterminate your fire at night.
5. Don’t Aim for Perfection on the First Time
A fire pit follows the same mechanism as a grill but it’s harder to control. Unlike a grill, you won’t get any lid with a fire pit to control the heat. On your first experience, it’s pretty normal to find burned food or to find the food taking a longer time to get cooked than you’ve expected.
Food to Cook over a Fire
We’ll discuss three common fire pit cooking recipes for your fire pit cooking grill.
- 1 package of whole graham crackers
- ½ cup melted butter
- Condensed milk
- Chocolate chips
- Butterscotch chips
- Heat the pit at a low level
- Mix the butter and crumbs and press the mixture towards the pan’s bottom
- Pour milk. Add butterscotch and chocolate chips and then add marshmallows on the top
- Cook for 15 minutes. Check the doneness by lifting up the pan’s cover with tongs
2. Salmon with Lemon and Dill
- 1 tbsp soft butter
- 6 ounces of salmon fillet (4 pieces)
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Sliced onion
- Garlic cloves
- Dill sprigs
- Fresh basil
- Lemon (medium sized)
- Put the pit at a medium heat
- Take 4 double thick foil papers and spread butter over them
- Place the salmon fillets inside each of the foil papers
- Cover the fillets with sprinkles of salt and pepper
- Add garlic, onion, basil, dill, and lemon on the top
- Place a grill grate over the pit and put the salmon wraps on it. Its essential to have grill grate for cooking large meals. Choose the right type of fire pit if you have cooking in your mind.
- Cook for 8-10 minutes until you’re able to easily flake the fish using a fork
- Open the wraps carefully so the steam may escape
3. Potato and Hot Dogs
- Refrigerated 20 oz. of red potato wedges
- Four hot dogs
- Cheddar cheese (shredded)
- BBQ sauce
- Take 4 pieces of 18 square inches foil paper and divide the wedges among them
- Place the hot dogs on top of the wedges and add onion and cheese
- Spray BBQ sauce and fold the foil tightly
- Grill the wraps for 10-15 minutes over medium heat
- Carefully open the wrap to let the steam escape
Fire pits bring in vibrancy to your backyard and outdoor cooking experience. You’ll not only enjoy the exquisite experience of fire pit cooking but you will also get to eat the most flavored food of your life. You can also make your own pit grill by following the fire pit grill DIY techniques. You can never go wrong with a fire pit whether it’s at your yard or you’re taking it on a camping trip. It’ll even spice up your camping experience in case it’s not up to the mark.