Over The Fire Cooking – The Basics

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I recently started to get interested in over-the-fire cooking and I will try to explain first what that is.

cast iron skillet on a campfire.

What Is Over The Fire Cooking?

As the name already gives away it is cooking over a fire. I can hear you say well, I do that all the time on my gas and charcoal grill.

And although that is true there is a difference between the different types of cooking outdoors on an open fire.

Over-the-fire cooking or as some people also call it open-fire cooking is cooking on a campfire over a flame or a hot bed of coals that are made of burning wood and not charcoal.

What I Found Out So Far About Open Fire Cooking.

I noticed that you think of something as cooking over an open fire your first thoughts are that it is pretty easy.

You just start a fire and do the cooking that you normally do on a grill on an open fire.

Nothing is more beside the truth. I found a ton of things that I had never thought of when it comes to that.

There are many ways you can use a campfire to cook on.

Read Also: https://bettergrills.com/how-to-start-a-campfire/

What Can You Cook On An Open fire?

Most of us think maybe about roasting a marshmallow on a campfire and I thought so to at first.

“I found that basically what you cook indoors on your stove and in your oven you can also cook outdoors on a fire. “

You just have to make sure to use the right open-fire cooking equipment.

Types Of Fire Pits

Once I started reading about what to use for a fire pit I soon realized that I could make a whole website just about that.

You can use many things that will help you to secure the fire to stay in the area you designated for that. Here are a few examples.

  • Rocks
  • Bricks
  • Concrete Blocks
  • Metal rings

Related Read: https://bettergrills.com/how-to-build-a-campfire/

These are just a few of the, in my opinion, easy-to-use options that will help you build a firepit for outdoor cooking and, as I use mine, for just relaxing at night.

What Else Do You Need For Open-Fire Cooking?

Here it even can get more complicated. You can use anything you want but the most used is cast iron.

Here is a list of products that I found for use in over-the-fire cooking.

  • Grill
  • Pots and pans
  • Tripod
  • Utensils

You can read my advice on the best open fire cooking equipment on its own page!

I also noticed that most of the recommended pots and pans are made of cast iron and the tripods from sturdy metal.

Campfire Cooking Kits Materials

In many cases it is easy to run to the store and have a look at a complete campfire cooking kit.

But what is the best material you might ask yourself.

You can read my article on the best materials for a campfire cooking kit and decide on what is the best for you.

Why Cast Iron?

Cast iron holds the heat better and this makes it better suited for outdoor cooking.

The disadvantage of cast iron is that when you drop it it will break. It is also fairly heavy but for this type of cooking, this is actually an advantage because of the heat retention.

If you like to know more about cast iron I wrote an article on how cast iron is made for you.

My Outdoor Cooking Fire Pit – What I did

Since I always had a small fire pit that we used to sit by at night I decided to replace that with a “cheap” newer version that I could also use for over-the-fire cooking.

By cheap I mean that I used building blocks since they are fairly cheap and stackable. Although I also read that they are not really fireproof and can crack when they get hot.

Step 1

I had a few blocks and bought some more at my local hardware store.

concrete building blocks for the over-the-fire cooking fire pit built by Eddie van Aken

As you can see I only used 17 blocks for my fire pit plan.

foundation of my new fire pit

First I made sure that the basis was level on all sides. I also kept one block on its side to make sure that I had airflow going into the fire pit.

I had to play around a little to make sure I had the surface that I wanted to have. Blocks make that very easy.

my new firepit is ready

This is what I ended up with. I ordered a grill grate a few weeks ago and used this to adjust the blocks in a way that the grate would fit.

I used the 2 blocks on the side just because I had them left. They were not in my original plan.

Next Step In My Over The Fire Cooking Plans

Since about everyone advised me to use cast iron and to keep it affordable I ordered a 10-inch lodge cast iron Dutch oven.

The reason is that I probably most of the time will cook for 3-4 people.

In the past, I bought some cast iron skillets and some other things in yard sales and I will start using these.

One other thing I have to find out and that is what wood to use for open fire cooking and where to find it.

Eddie van Aken

Eddie van Aken has years of experience in running his full-service restaurant and with this came working with using and dealing with all types of kitchen equipment. With his experience, he can find all the pros and cons of grills and add them to the grill reviews he is doing. You can read more on the about page for Eddie van Aken

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