It’s no secret that everything seems to taste a little bit better when cooked over an open fire. Here we’ll share some basic tips on how to make some delicious eats over a crackling open flame.
To successfully make a meal over an open flame, there are a few items you’ll want to be sure to have on hand.
Perhaps the quickest and easiest method for open flame cooking is placing foods over an open flame in a grated grill. For this method, you’ll want to pick foods that will benefit from a nice char on the outside such as sweet potatoes, steaks, or whole fish.
Another quick and easy open flame cooking method is alfoil packets which keep foods tender and juicy during cooking. Because you’ll typically need to bury the packets under hot coals and dig them out later, it’s also a good idea to have some rubber-tipped tongs on hand to avoid puncturing the packet and letting in soot.
Cast Iron Pan
Cast iron pans are extremely versatile for open flame cooking, as they ensure even heat and give foods a perfect sear. Make sure you give the pan enough time to fully heat up before throwing in your dinner, or it may stick to the pan.
A Dutch oven is a perfect choice for anything requiring a pot for cooking. Just surround the oven with coals, and you’re all set to make stews, soups, sauces, casseroles, and even desserts.
Open Fire Cooking Basics
Check for Safety
Before lighting your fire, check the area for any potential hazards like low hanging branches or dry grasses close to where you plan to light the fire. Start your fire with small tinder and build it up to larger logs—never use flammable liquids to start your fire. To ensure your fire will light easily and burn cleanly, be sure to only use dry wood and not green or wet wood. Make sure you have plenty of bagged firewood on hand so that your fire doesn’t die halfway through cooking!
Preparation is Key
Be sure to have all of your ingredients cleaned, peeled, chopped, and generally ready to go when the fire is. Once the fire and coals are ready for cooking, you’ll want to get everything into the open flames as soon as possible. Plus you’ll be able to eat sooner!
Proper Tools At the Ready
Make sure you have a pair of tongs on hand to place and remove foods from the fire and to adjust the coals. You’ll also want to have an oven mitt and/or kitchen towel around for handling hot pots, pans, or Alfoil packets.
Adjust Your Fire
You can manipulate the temperature of your fire just by rearranging the coals and logs. Create a high-temperature cooking area by pushing the burning wood into the back of the fire pit, a medium temperature area with a bed of hot coals in the middle of the fire pit, and a low-temperature area with a less densely packed bed of coals at the front of the fire pit.