Can I Cook on My Fire Pit Art® Fire Pit?

Sep 17th 2019

Can I Cook on My Fire Pit Art® Fire Pit?

Although our fire pits are made with character and craftsmanship in mind, they can also be used to cook a marshmallow treat or family meal, allowing you to explore your primal roots. Roasting a marshmallow can be a fun and easy experience for kids and adults, but fire pit cooking requires a bit more planning. Almost any stovetop, grill, and some oven recipes can easily be converted to a fire pit cooking method. To get the best results with fire pit cooking, preparedness is key. The following are some tips to help you get the most out of your fire pit cooking experience.

Use the Right Fuel Source

The type of wood you should choose will depend on the type of flavor you want in your dish. Dry seasoned hardwood, such as oak, burns easily and gives a medium flavor. Hickory, another common hardwood to use when cooking fireside, is slow burning and produces a strong sweet flavor, adding an extra element to the meal. A common softwood, Cedar, adds a noticeable smoky flavor, and is a popular choice when cooking seafood, such as salmon.

Avoid adding paper or leaves to your fire, as these elements promote flying ash that would contaminate your food. Also, try starting your fire 1- 1 ½ hours prior to your cooking start time to allow a steady flame to develop.

Tool Preparedness

When preparing to cook over your Fire Pit Art® fire pit, gather the tools you will need, and be sure you know how to accurately care for them.

A grate is the most common tool used for cooking meat, or anything in a skillet. The grate can be used to hold skewers, meats, or skillets over the flame. Be sure your grate is heavy duty, made with sturdy materials to ensure it can handle the heat of an open flame, as well as the weight of whatever you are cooking. Treat your grate like you would a cast iron skillet, keeping it oiled and not leaving it outside. The more you cook with the grate the more seasoned it will become, adding flavor to your dishes, just like cast iron.

If cooking meat, have a meat thermometer handy. Most raw meats, such as beef, chicken, or pork, should be cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit, with the internal temperature taken in at least three places to ensure it has been thoroughly cooked. If heating meats that are already cooked, such as hot dogs, taking an internal temperature is not required.

Have utensils ready for stoking and turning food. Grilling utensils work well as they are typically long handled. Wearing heat resistant gloves if needed can help with safety when using these utensils.

For marshmallows, hot dogs, or other skewered treats, metal skewers are a wonderful addition to your fire pit tool set. Metal skewers can come in a variety of designs, including children friendly designs, are washable, and reusable. Check out our Marshmallow Roasting Art for roasting marshmallows. It’s crafted of steel and baked with porcelain enamel and is meant to be used over an open flame.

Correct Temperature

As mentioned previously, the proper internal temperature of some foods is required per USDA safety recommendations. Getting the correct internal temperature and flavor, while not burning the outside of your food can be tricky. The key lies with the distance between your food and the flames.

If your food is too close to the flames, or the fire is too hot, your food will quickly burn. Just as when you place a marshmallow directly into the flames, the outside is burnt, while the inside may still be mostly solid. The same is true with the opposite. Food that is too far from the flame, or a fire that is not hot enough, will not cook food thoroughly.

Building the fire prior to setting up for cooking can help ensure your fire is at the proper temperature and height. Another trick is to build your fire on one side of the fire pit while cooking on the other. Indirect heat from the fire and smoke will give the added smoky flavor to your meal, while decreasing the chances of burning food.

Cooking over a fire pit is a unique and captivating experience. Browse our handcrafted fire pit designs, or inquire about our custom piece options, for a fire pit you will enjoy while cooking, entertaining, or relaxing.