I had an epiphany last month when I learned about glamping (glamorous + camping) and realized I could have the fun of being outdoors on vacation during the day and come back to a bed, shower, and meal made by someone else.
This month I’m exploring an aspect of camping that people can do in their own backyards, cooking over a campfire– I mean fire pit.
There’s nothing like sitting around a crackling fire talking to friends, which is why fire pits have become so popular.
One trend that’s also becoming more prevalent is fire pit cooking, and I’m not talking about s’mores though those are delicious and something you have to cook at least once in your backyard.
Why Fire Pit Cooking?
According to The Fire Pit and Grilling Guru, “most any fire pit can be turned into a barbecue pit, allowing you to cook delicious food over either a wood fire or charcoal.”
Why cook over a fire pit rather than a regular grill?
Sometimes you might need to feed a lot of people all at once; other times you might want the flavor of wood smoke or the ability to grill a steak and pan fry more delicate food simultaneously.
Or maybe you and your friends are just sitting around late at night and you decide you want some cheese fondue right now, but you don’t want to go indoors to make it.
Whatever the reason, fire pit cooking is here to stay.
If you’re looking for a grate for your fire pit, check stock at a local grill retailer first. As long as the grill spans the pit and sits securely on top, the shape (rectangular or circular) doesn’t matter. If you cannot find a grate that will fit, look for an experienced, local metal worker to build a grate to your specifications.
Recipes for Fire Pit Cooking
Of course it goes without saying that you can grill all the standards, like steak, hot dogs, and chicken, on your fire pit.
If you’ve done any camping (as opposed to glamping), many of the recipes here may be familiar, although I’ve tried to choose ones that were a bit out of the ordinary.
Three recipes intrigued me from ytravelblog.com, an Australian travel blog started in 2010 by a young couple who travel the world with their two little girls.
Spaghetti Arrabiata (or Pasta Arrabiata), looks flavorful and because you’re at home, you can cheat by boiling the water for the noodles inside on the stove.
Since paella was originally made over an open flame, why not add Campfire Paella to your repertoire?
Finally, the Chocolate Bananas dessert recipe, a fruity version of s’mores, sounds delicious as is but could be improved (in my opinion) by adding a couple of marshmallows inside the bananas.
For all three recipes, click here on YtravelBlog.com.
More Fire Pit Cooking Recipes
This next dish, Dutch Oven Braised Beef and Summer Vegetables, from Sunset magazine is perfect for fire pit cooking.
Instead of heating up your house in the middle of summer, you can prepare the meat (2 lbs or more) in advance and then put it and the vegetables into a Dutch oven, let them cook for a few hours, and, presto, dinner for six or more depending on how much meat and vegetables you use.
This next recipe is in honor of former neighbors from Greece who used to roast an entire lamb every 4th of July. If you want to feed an entire street as they did, you’ll have to increase the recipe by a power of 10, but these Lamb Kebabs with Mint Pesto from Bon Appetite look amazing, especially since you’ll be grilling them over wood for an added smoky flavor.
The Fire Pit and Grilling Guru has dozens of recipes, from Whole Pig Roasts and Roast Leg of Lamb to Fire Roasted Peppers and a slew of Pie Iron cooking recipes. For a full list from click here. Two other good sources for recipes are this article from Buzzfeed and this one from California Fire Pit.
Let us know what you think and, more importantly, what you’re fire pit cooking! Upload a picture to our Bombay Outdoors Facebook page.