Have you cooked on your outdoor fire pit? Get the most out of your fire pit. It is not only great for enjoying warmth and relaxation on a cool evening but it is also great for cooking.
Our ancestors have been cooking on open flames for centuries. Knowing how to cook is a necessity for all of us. Cooking on an open fire can be a great activity with your family while teaching your kids a useful skill. Whether you have a permanent or portable fire pit cooking on it makes for great food and fun. You may be having a large gathering with friends or a simple meal with your family, either one your fire pit can be a great way to add uniqueness to your meal. Just about anything that you cook on your BBQ grill can be just as good and maybe better on your fire pit.
You can enjoy the outdoor cooking experience with any type of wood; any wood burning fire gives food a unique flavor. However, you can also experiment to get specific smoke flavors in your food. Using different types of wood can accent your food with different flavors. There are many different types of wood you can use but you need to be careful that you are going to get a flavor you like.
One key component to flavoring food when using different types of wood is the length of cooking time. The longer you cook the food the more flavors your food will pick up. If you are cooking foods for shorter periods of time the food will not pick up specific flavors. So don't waste time trying to give specific flavor to fast cooking foods. The specific flavor is going to be dependent on the type of wood you use. Some woods will give a milder flavor while others will give stronger flavors. Woods such as almond, apple, apricot, cherry and citrus will give a milder light fruity flavor, while woods such as birch, maple, and oak give stronger but not over powering flavors. Alder is a traditional wood for smoking Salmon. Woods such as Walnut and Hickory can add strong over powering flavors.
Using a gas fire pit is another great way to cook food. You can use different types of wood chunks for different flavors. You simply moisten the wood chunks, you don't want them dripping, then wrap them in foil. Poke 2 or 3 holes in the foil to allow smoke to escape. Lay them between the grill and burner. The foil will keep the ashes from getting into the burner and the smoke will flavor your food.
Two of my favorite recipes include:
Fresh Squash or Zucchini
Wash squash or Zucchini
Cut in half length wise
Scrape seeds out of middle
Cover with Zesty Italian dressing
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese
Wrap in foil
Cook on fire until tender
Meat and Vegetable Shish Kabobs
Marinade your favorite meat chunks
Cut up favorite vegetables and marinade - mushrooms, pepper, onion, tomatoes
Place on wooden or metal sticks
alternating meat and vegetables
Place on fire until meat is cooked
through and vegetables are tender
So whatever it may be, a quick hamburger or hot dog meal that will cook quickly or your favorite poultry, leg of lamb or steak, get started now cooking on your outdoor fire pit.