How to cook a barbecue on a fire pit
Who says you can only have a barbecue if it’s cooked on an actual barbecue? After all, humanity has been cooking over fire long before the barbecue grill as we know it today was ever invented in the 1950s (you’ve got a certain American gentleman named Don McGlaughlin to thank for that in case you wondered).
As much as we love a good old fashioned barbecue, it has reached the stage where it’s nothing new anymore. So if you really want to get creative and add some theatre to your outdoor cooking experience then look no further than…the humble fire pit.
Why cook on a fire pit?
Unlike a typical barbecue that is usually marshalled somewhere in the corner of the patio – fire pits really do take centre stage.
Fire pits bring a social experience where few can resist huddling around it and nattering away the evening. Rather than one person cooking away on the barbecue in the corner while everyone else is socialising and cracking open their ice-cool beers, the fire pit brings everyone together. And that means everyone can cook on it too!
Anything you can cook on a grill can be cooked on a fire pit. But unlike grills, fire pits call for firewood (kiln dried firewood to be precise), and preferably, some smokeless coal.
What fuel do I need to cook on a fire pit?
The best fuel for cooking on a fire pit is a combination of smokeless coal and kiln dried hardwood logs. The coal will provide the heat and the logs will deliver the flavour. If you’re feeling really adventurous look for wood such as almond, cherry, hickory or mesquite for an aromatic flavour.
So, how can I cook on a fire pit?
We know they look good – and we know we can cook on them. But how do you actually go about cooking on a fire pit? Well, here are some methods that will fire up your imagination – as well as your fire pit!
If your fire pit doesn’t already come with a grilling grate you can buy a rack to fit over the top. Alternatively you could provide each of your guests with a grilling basket so they can cook their own food over the pit and freeing you as the host to enjoy the social scene of the evening.
Skewering is as synonymous with camping as strawberries are to Wimbledon. And when it comes to what you can skewer over a fire pit the possibilities really are endless. Your local butcher or supermarket should stock a variety of skewered kebabs – or you could have a go at making your own skewers.
Fancy a pot-cooked curry or stew? With a fire pit – you can! In fact, you can cook a variety of recipes in a pot and over a fire pit that you couldn’t be possible over a barbecue. And there are a number of ways you can pot cook too, such as hanging your pot from a tripod or frying your pan or pot directly on the grill.
Rotisserie (or spit roasting) over a pit can take a while – but good things come to those who wait! It can be a little tricky to master but check out these online guides to take you through the process. Don’t forget to let us know how you get on!
What else do I need to know before I cook on a fire pit?
Before you set off to light your fire pit make sure you’ve got the basics lined up:
- A bucket of water – just in case of any accidents.
- Firewood and smokeless coal – see our netted kiln dried hardwood logs or our loose kiln dried hardwood logs and add smokeless coal to your order!
- Equipment – such as aluminium foil, skewers, tongs, a grill rack and a heat-resistant pot will all come in handy.
Share your fire pit cooking pictures with us!
We’d love to see how you get on with cooking over a fire pit. Why not share your ideas in the comments section or tag us in our socials!