Fire Pit Cooking: Are You Ready For Awesome?
This is the most comprehensive guide to Fire Pit Cooking on the planet.
The best part?
I’m going to show you how to cook with fire and make your neighbors jealous.
In short: if you want to learn how to cook in a fire pit, you’ll love this guide.
Let’s get started.
What Is Fire Pit Cooking?
In this chapter, we’ll cover the basics. First, you’ll learn exactly what fire pit cooking is. I’ll also share some awesome advantages of fire pit cooking.
What is fire pit cooking?
Fire pit cooking is when you cook food over a fire pit.
The fire pit can be anything from a store bought iron pit, a brick BBQ pit or even as simple as a campfire.
Hopefully, you weren’t expecting a complicated answer but it’s that simple.
You can cook almost anything over a fire pit and you only need a few accessories to ensure you’ll make your neighbors jealous.
As you might expect there are a few advantages to cooking with fire, so let’s start with those.
Advantages Of Fire Pit Cooking
One of the best things about a fire pit is that it can be used as an entertainment piece or as a way to cook.
Just imagine having your friends over for an afternoon roast.
You all sit around the fire pit as you slow roast some pork ribs enjoying the sweet aroma as they cook. Then later in the evening, the daylight turns to night, and the party (with drinks in hand of course) enjoys the warm glow and warmth of the fire.
Cooking with wood:
Have you ever had a great smoked salmon!
Need I say more.
When you cook over a fire pit it’s very similar to smoking your meat.
The aroma and flavor of the wood will come out in the flavor of the meat. And you can try different types of wood to add different flavor characteristics, like almond wood, apple wood, cherry wood or even oak.
Sounds awesome right!
Tons of recipe options:
There really is no limit to what you can cook on your fire pit.
Most BBQ stores will have grills, pans, pots and rotisserie setups. so you can cook everything from chickens to a pig.
Fun for kids:
If you have kids you know that it’s important to keep them occupied before they drive you insane, and a fire pit definitely will keep them occupied.
Just think back to when you were a kid camping.
For dinner, you roasted weenies then followed that up with some marshmallows and smores. After dinner, Dad always told some corny ghost stories.
Your kids will have so much fun camping in your backyard you might as well set up the tent.
However, even with those advantages, there are always a few concerns when cooking with fire and wood. Let’s look into a few of them.
Pros & Cons Of Cooking With A Fire Pit
To be honest cooking with a fire pit doesn’t have to be hard, in fact, it’s very similar to using a barbecue and most people have at some point used a barbecue.
That said there are a few things you should know about before you start.
Pros To Cooking With A Fire Pit:
- So Much Fun – As we mentioned above you can’t deny how fun using a real wood fire is to cook with. Everything from starting the fire to tending to it. It’s something the whole family can be involved in.
- It’s Green – Okay, it’s more of an orange/red/yellow but cooking with wood can be a very natural process. You can also use hardwood lump charcoal if you enjoy using charcoal and want to avoid any chemicals.
- The Taste – When you use a fire pit you have so many options to enhance the flavors of your food. You can try using flavored woods, or wood chips or try using seasoned firewood embers for the best flavors.
Cons To Cooking With A Fire Pit:
- The Time – Basically if you plan on cooking for dinner you’ll need to start early. It takes time to get the glowing embers hot enough to cook your food and this can take several hours.
The cooking process will also take a little longer as well. That said, it can really be an event so use the time to enjoy friends and family.
- The Taste – It’s funny how something good might also be a bad thing. Maybe you don’t want the smokey flavors passed on to your food.
- Loss Of Heat – Depending on what you are using for your heat source your fire pit can lose heat quickly. Charcoal can help because it’s made to stay hot enough to cook for hours.
Also depending on the type of fire pit, you are using can also have an impact on how well the heat remains.
And with that, let’s look at the different types of outdoor fire pits available
Types Of Outdoor Fire Pits
There are fire pits that can be expensive.
There are fire pits that can be super cheap and simple.
(And there are even pits that can be used for entertainment)
In this chapter, I’ll show you all the different types of fire pits.
Before we get to the fun of sitting around a fire with your friends you need to be aware of all the different options.
Some are more complicated than your traditional pit made with rocks, some are made of stone, copper and cast iron.
Here Are Some Of The Most Common Fire Pits
Simple Stone Fire Pit: This is as cheap and “rustic” as you can get. Just dig out a hole in the ground and place stones around the edge. You can then place a grill or grate over the stones to allow you to cook a wide variety of food.
Brick Fire Pit: This is an upgraded version of the stone fire pit. Only this time you use premade bricks that can be arranged in a circle and place a grill on top.
Learn how to build your own DIY Fire Pit
Wood Burning Fire Pit Grill: This one is made just for cooking and will likely come with a grill that can fit right above the firewood.
Portable Fire Pit: These ones are a little smaller, so they can be easily moved around, some even have wheels. Typically these are used for entertainment purposes however some do come with a grate but you can always use a skewer if needed.
Fire Pit Table: This is another one that is geared more towards entertainment. They are usually set right into a table making it a great party feature, just set your drinks down around the pit as you roast your weenies.
Cast Iron Fire Pit: Now we are getting into some of the heavy-duty pits. These are strong durable and typically able to support accessories like grates, grills and rotisserie attachments.
Copper Fire Pit: Very similar to the cast iron fire pit only these are a little more classy look and this is reflected in their price. Just like the other pits they can be equipped with grills and other accessories for lots of cooking options.
Now that we got those out of the way let’s move onto the many ways you can cook over these beasts.
Types of Fire Pit Cooking
If you want your neighbors to be jealous, you need to show them something special.
(These are your “Fire Pit Skills”)
Your “Fire Pit Skills” are how well you cook over a fire with a skewer, pan or rotisserie using direct or indirect heat…basically, every method listed below.
Don’t think the only way to cook your food is by stabbing it with a metal rod and sticking it in the fire.
There are many ways to cook over a fire pit.
Here Are The Most Common Way’s To Cook Over A Fire Pit
Skewer Cooking: Basically it’s exactly what I just said, stabbing your food with a skewer and cooking it over a hot fire. Things like weiners and kabobs are great examples of skewer cooking.
Direct Heat Grilling: This one is the most similar to how you would cook on a barbeque. You cook directly over the fire (heat). Some good food to cook this way would be steak, chicken, pork, hamburgers & hot dogs. Basically, anything that will cook quickly and need high heat.
Learn to grill like a bear in the backwoods with these campfire cooking tips
Indirect Heat Grilling: This is similar to how your oven works. Your food cooks in the hot air that moves around it. This is great for some larger meals that need to cook slowly like roasts because it allows the inside of the roast to cook without burning the outside. Unlike direct heat grilling, you will need a lid for your fire pit. Ribs & whole chickens are more great examples.
Rotisserie Cooking: This takes indirect heat grilling to the next level by slowly cooking your roasts evenly as the rotisserie turns.
Pot Or Tin Can Cooking: This is one method you may have seen in some old western movies. Simply take a pot, pan or can and place it into or just over the fire. This is great for soups, stews, beans, and pan frying vegetables, potatoes and even fish.
Tips for Cooking on a Grill or Barbecue
To cook amazing food, you need a few tips & tricks.
In fact, that’s why I dedicated Chapter 4 of this guide to cooking tips.
And in this chapter, I’ll show you 4 tips that you can use to cook on a grill or barbecue and make some awesome food.
Sure you can cook on a barbecue! Most men can.
But this is cooking with a real fire and it takes patience, skill, and know-how.
But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
If you don’t want to burn an entire roast in front of your closest friends and family here are a few tips for cooking over a fire pit, that will have them all lining up for seconds.
Tip #1 Use The Right Equipment
First off don’t be cheap. If you want to be an alpha then act like one (or at least dress the part).
Your food needs to be handled properly, so don’t drop your new york strip in the dirt because you were using a fork to flip it.
Here are some basic tools you should get:
- Tongs – The most useful tool for adding food to the grill, turning food and removing food.
- Spatula – The spatula is ideal for flipping food that might be too delicate for tongs, like fish or burgers.
- Fork – A fork can help move your food around the grill and turn them over as well. But it’s really useful to check your meat to see if the juice runs clear.
- Basting Brush – Save your arm hair get a long basting brush so you can baste your meat while it cooks on the hot grill.
Cooking GREAT meals over a fire requires the best tools. Read Must-Have Campfire Cooking Equipment. We Review It All: Griddles, Dutch Ovens, Pans, Stove & Pot Sets and more.
Tip #2 Marinating & Basting
The hot air, heat, and smoke can quickly dry out your food and unless you want to serve up a bunch of hockey pucks – best to take some notes.
- Marinating: Is when you soak your meat in a preseasoned mix before cooking to help tenderize tough meats and add flavor.
- Basting: This helps keep your food moist and will also add color and flavor. You can use oils, sauces, and drippings to baste your food.
Tip #3 Use The Right Charcoal
Charcoal can add great flavors but it can also destroy the taste if your charcoal has any chemical additives.
Use a good hardwood lump charcoal when cooking food on your fire pit. It has no chemical additives and will add some great flavors.
Learn how to start your charcoal here.
Tip #4 Let Your Meat Rest
It’s important to let your meat rest approx 5-10 minutes to let the heat, juices, and flavor really set in. This is what will set you apart from every other man.
Don’t be impatient and start eating right after your done cooking.