Planning a cookout or barbecue this weekend? Try going rustic by having your cookout over your fire pit! Your guests will love huddling around the fire, inhaling the grilling aromas, and watching the meat cook. And the flavor from a real wood fire can’t be beat by gas or even charcoal!
You can barbecue anything on a fire pit that you would on a traditional grill, but the method will be a bit different. Read on for tips for fire pit cookouts.
- Prepare your fire pit for grilling. Unless you’re planning a rotisserie, you’ll need a grate to go over the pit. Some fire pits come with a cooking grate, while others don’t. You don’t necessarily have to buy one specifically for your fire pit. Will the grate from your grill fit across? Many hardware stores and camping stores sell inexpensive fire pit cooking grates or grills, as well.
- Burn good firewood. As with most wood fires, use only well-seasoned hardwoods. Avoid softwoods like pine that contain a lot of resin. The resin will burn off and leave your food sooty. Fruit trees like apple and cherry make excellent wood for cooking. Never burn treated lumber or wood with paint.
- Cook over embers. Like cooking with charcoal, let your fire burn down to embers before cooking. Open flames will burn your food. Start your fire early and built a healthy bed of coals before you start grilling on your fire pit. Your pyromaniac guests will enjoy helping with this.
- Use a lid. A lid hold in the heat, helping your food cook evenly. It also traps the hardwood smoke, adding more flavor. Most fire pits don’t have lids, so you might have to get creative, especially for larger fire pits. Just make sure the lid is metal, and not galvanized. Galvanized metals can give off toxic chemicals when burned.
Want a fire pit for some summer fun? Check out our selection here: outdoor fire pits and fireplaces.