If you have an outdoor fireplace, there’s a good chance you’ve roasted a marshmallow or two over it. There’s something extremely satisfying about perfectly cooking (or burning) those little puffs of sugar with nothing but a stick and the flames in front of you. So, why not extend that feeling of satisfaction to your entire meal? There are several ways to cook your dinner using your outdoor fireplace; the hard part is choosing what you want to eat.
1. On a stick.
Probably the simplest and most foolproof way to cook over a fire is with a stick. The easiest foods to cook with just a stick are marshmallows and hotdogs, but you can get fancy and wrap some refrigerated dough around your hotdog to create an at-home corn dog. The biggest downfall of cooking on a stick is that you’ll probably end up wasting some food, as it can fall off the sticks fairly easily. It also takes patience and a steady hand to ensure your food is cooked evenly and thoroughly.
2. With a rotisserie.
While quite a bit larger than a simple stick, fireplace rotisseries are still a fairly simple piece of equipment to use. Rotisseries are perfect if you’re looking to cook a big piece of meat, as they sit in front of the flames and slowly cook your food to perfection. Some rotisseries even come with two separate spits, so you can cook a chicken on one, and veggie kabobs on the other. One con associated with rotisseries is they’re best used for large pieces of meat, so they may not make sense if you’re cooking for one or two. They can also block your view of the flames during cooking time.
3. Pie iron cooking.
A pie iron is two shallow metal bowls (varying in shape), that fit together and are attached to a long handle. To use them, you fill the bowls will food, snap them together, and then cook. Pie irons are most commonly used to make Panini like sandwiches, but really, the sky is the limit with what you can cook in these gadgets. The hardest part about cooking with pie irons is determining when your food is fully cooked. You don’t want to open them too soon or your dinner won’t be done. Also, be sure to properly season your pie irons and cover the inside with butter or oil before cooking, so food doesn’t stick to the inside.
4. Use a Dutch oven.
Ideal for soups or stews, to cook with a Dutch oven over your outdoor fireplace, you’ll want to invest in a fireplace crane. This holds the pot above the flames and ensures even cooking. Most Dutch ovens are made of cast iron, which retains and distributes heat incredibly well. Essentially, you can use a Dutch oven the same way you would use a large pot on your stove; make soup, braise meat, even scramble eggs. The biggest issue in cooking with Dutch ovens is they’re heavy and you will need a fireplace crane to properly cook with one.
Try something new this summer and surprise your family with a truly outdoor dining experience. If you’re looking for an outdoor fireplace or have questions about whether one would work on your property, check out the selection at Fireside Home Solutions. They also offer free in-home consultations and can help you pick the perfect outdoor fireplace for your home.