Sitting around a fire used to be reserved for summer camp and camping. Now, having a fire pit at home has become very popular. A small patio fire pit in the city or a large outdoor sitting room around a fire pit both have one very important thing in common: fire. Whether in the city or the suburbs there is probably one more commonality: s’mores. If you have the right tools then your fire pit can go way beyond s’mores. This post is sponsored by Wayfair. All opinions are my own. I am a frequent Wayfair shopper just like anyone else. All of the items in this post were chosen and purchased by me. Some of the items in this post were provided Wayfair.
Cooking with Fire Beyond S’mores
The feel, scent and sounds of a fire are what make it such an event. Fireside gatherings bring back memories and the flames create excitement. Cooking over fire takes time and a willingness to go on an adventure because there are so many factors at play.
The first rule of cooking with fire beyond s’mores is to allow plenty of time. Get comfortable and settle in for this dance back and forth between the fire and your tools. Bring down some cold drinks, have the family hang out and chat, read, relax or cook with you.
The second rule is have the right tools. To cook over a fire pit, you don’t need much. An actual fire pit or a circle of stones on sand both work and at very least you need wood and some tongs. For the wood, make sure it is untreated. As you explore more, you will learn that different types of wood create more or leas smokiness. Have water nearby and tools to move the wood and protect hands from heat. I recommend some tongs and glove.
Once you have the basics then you can add on with extra equipment that allow you to raise and lower your cooking grate. Then you can add to the cooking gear. Much of what you use on the fire you can also use on the bbq or oven.
What I’m Playing With
Some of my favourite local restaurants cook over wood fires and many of them have a system that allows them to lower and lift huge grates over the fire. Being able to raise and lower your cooking surface over a fire is very helpful. I even recently saw a clip of a cooking method that swings the grate over huge flames. This simple Beedeville Open Fire tripod system is simple to adjust by hook and chain. It also comes apart to store easily.
Have some cookware that is safe to use over a fire to reheat vegetables grilled earlier. A griddle surface is also perfect to sear something like scallops that may fall through the grates. I like the shape and size of a griddle like this Pit Boss cast iron reversible grill and griddle Just check specifications and make sure that the griddle you choose is safe for a grill or fire.
In addition to a flat griddle, a medium frying pan is another extra tool that is excellent for pan sauces. I use the De Buyer Frying Pan Again, check that the pan you choose can go on a fire or grill. Two of my favourite sauce pans are a simple creamy Dijon mustard sauce or a butter Marsala and lemon sauce (recipes coming soon).
What To Cook
Breakfast, lunch or dinner can be cooked over a fire pit. For breakfast, let the fire pit cook foil-wrapped potatoes overnight among the embers and then finish them on the griddle for smoky breakfast potatoes. Pancakes are great on the griddle as well. The smokiness in contrast with sweet maple syrup is delicious. Of course you can also make toast. Our campsite in Canada has this toaster for the campfire and I fell in love with it.
Lunch paninis on the griddle are a great way to use up leftover grilled vegetables or to take grilled cheese to the next level. For dinner any meat directly over the fire is fabulous and for non-meat eaters vegetables, cheeses, non-meat burgers and more all work on the fire pit.
Plan out your cooking timeline. Vegetables take up a lot of space on the grill and also need quite a bit of cooking time. I always start those first. After that you can cook any appetizers and then fish and meat tend to be quick unless you are doing a slow roast. As with any cooking the whole experience will be more enjoyable if you plan it out from start to finish.
Don’t Forget Dessert
Dessert can be grilled fruit with cream or ice cream. Just cut up slices of the grilled pineapple or take some fresh berries and pour cream over the top or add a scoop of ice cream.
Of course s’mores are always an option. You can make them in a cone or make a bunch at once the classic way with this Rectangular S’mores Maker.