Open fire cooking has been around since man discovered fire. Today, it is becoming a hot trend at restaurants of all calibers around the world. Cooking over an open fire is arguably more than a skill, it’s an art form. While experts don’t always agree on what to cook over a fire or how to create the best cooking fire, there are a few tips most will approve of.
- Take a cue from the Boy Scouts of America and be prepared! Whether cooking on an indoor wood-fired grill or in some remote forest location on a campfire, preparedness makes a world of difference. Cooking with fire and in nature allows room for extraneous bits like ashes or bugs to find their way into food. Prepping as much ahead of time will help cut down on any surprises or under-equipped locations.
- Patience is the key to all great fire cooking. A good bed of hot coals with few flaming logs is ideal for open fire cooking. Typically, it can take 30-45 minutes just to get the fire ready for cooking.
- Bank those coals. If you have set yourself up for success, your fire will be contained in a vessel or prepared area. Start your small fire on one side and move coals to the other side when ready. This way you can keep adding wood to the fire to make more coals while starting to cook on the coals as they are ready on the other side.
- Don’t start cold. Foods starting at room temperature will cook faster and more evenly on a fire. Get your ingredients out ahead of time, about 15-20 minutes, so they have enough time to get the chill off before cooking.
- It’s done before it’s done. Cooking over an open fire makes it much easier to overcook foods. Fire roasted foods will stay hotter for longer after cooking so be ready to remove them from the heat just before you think they’re done. Allow some resting time to cook thoroughly.
Cooking over an open fire includes:
- Indoor grill
- Outdoor grill
- Fire bowl
From grilling to roasting and smoking, there is no shortage of techniques when it comes to open fire cooking. If you’re ready to get back to the roots of man and have your own culinary adventure, grab that apron and get to the grill!