There is a lot of smoke and a lot of heat involved when you cook. A home full of combustible surfaces might be disastrous if anything goes wrong. Cooking outdoors, on the other hand, is about more than just not doing it inside. Enjoy the fresh air and company as you prepare dinner on the patio.
If you merely chuck a steak on the grill, don’t expect miracles! So, we’ve compiled a list of outdoor cooking techniques and safety considerations to help you get the most out of your open-flame cooking experiences.
Priority is Given to Security
Before we get into the specifics of how to cook outside, there are a few safety precautions to be aware of.
First and foremost, avoid cooking near anything that might catch fire, such as foliage, clotheslines (even if they are full of clothing), and fences. My recommendation is a distance of six to ten feet, depending on the strategy you choose. If you’re going to have an open campfire, stay as far away from fuel sources as you possibly can. A wok burner allows you to get a lot closer to the flame since it is enclosed.
Make sure to inspect the ceiling as well. An open fire under an overhanging tree may be quite hazardous.
In addition, the following factors need to be taken into account:
- Pick a location where youngsters are less likely to come upon it.
- Flat areas are usually the greatest.
- Ascertain whether or not a fire or a BBQ may be lit there. There may be a fire ban in place when it’s dry, so it’s important to keep that in mind.
- Finally, always have a fire extinguisher or at least a pail of water handy while dealing with a fire. If you’re dealing with an oil or fat fire, don’t use water to put it out.
Methods of Outdoor Cooking
The most popular outdoor cooking item is a gas burner, which may be anything from a camp stove to a high-performance gadget.
Cooking outdoors may be done in a plethora of ways. Seven of our favorite techniques for cooking outdoors will be discussed here, from camping stoves and gas burners to grilling over an open fire. Let’s get to it, shall we?
This kind of gear is easy to transport, making it a suitable choice for camping. As an added bonus, they’re the easiest to operate. Make sure you have a burner, cooking utensils, and a tank of gas that is appropriate for the task at hand (generally propane.)\
Make sure the windbreak is positioned in the direction of the wind and adhere to the safety considerations I’ve outlined before you use it!
Gas burners have the advantage of being able to cook food at a higher temperature more efficiently. BTUs are used to measure the output of gas burners (British Thermal Units). Gas burners, on the other hand, may produce up to 200,000 BTU, which is far more than the ordinary stove’s 7000 BTU. Cooking stir-fry on a wok burner is made easier by this.
Check the burner’s BTU output and utilize carbon steel or cast iron cookware for high heat cooking. These can handle the heat quite well.
Cooking stir-fries outside on a gas burner is a great idea. Additionally, you’ll keep the home free of smoke while benefiting from increased heating.
While charcoal grills are often used in backyards to cook a meal, they are also a terrific camping choice.
Use a camp BBQ to cook directly over the charcoal, not as a heat source for indirect cooking. Place the coal basket on a fireproof surface and keep sparks at bay. It’s a great way to spend time with friends and family while you’re cooking.
In addition to the safety considerations I’ve previously made, you need think about what kind of charcoal to use. Charcoal for grilling should be purchased from a trustworthy supplier if possible. There should be no impurities in the charcoal you use!
Check Out Best Charcoal Grills in 2023 for more information.
Charcoal Fire Starter/Lighter
1. Put some kindling, lighting bricks, or newspaper and twigs in the grill after it’s all set up. Lighting fluid may be added after the coals have been added. By the time the BBQ is finished, all fire starting materials will have been used, making them safe to use. However, much lighting fluid might cause the BBQ to overheat, so use caution.
2. If the BBQ does become too hot, you may reduce the airflow by partially closing the bottom vents. As an alternative, place the lid on the BBQ and fill it with cold water. This aids in the cooling process. As long as you don’t douse the coals in water, it’s OK.
3. When the coals are white and blazing, the BBQ is ready to use. Even though the coals are ashy and white, they may still be used as long as they remain hot.
4. By pushing most of the coals to one side, you may create separate temperature zones.
Cooking food on a BBQ is as simple as laying it out on a wire mesh rack or wrapping it in aluminum foil and setting it on top of the coals.
A chimichurri marinade and sauce or barbecue sauce are excellent accompaniments to steaks on the grill. It’s simple to roast sweet potatoes in the embers, and the smokey taste is a nice contrast to the sweet potato’s natural sweetness.
Once the coals have cooled, use a grill brush or steel wire brush to remove any remaining ash. Many hardware shops carry cleaning supplies.
Even before the rise of civilisation, campfires were the most common method of cooking outdoors. They aren’t difficult to construct, but a few pointers may go a long way.
How to Build a Cooking Fire in the Backyard?
1. Get the correct kind of wood first. Seasoned wood is the best option. Burning fresh wood is a waste of time. The wood you use for your campfire should come from the same location where you’ll be camping. Make sure you know whether you’re authorized to have a campfire!
2. Remember the windbreak as well. A fireproof surface is needed to prevent campfires from starting a blaze on the ground or beneath trees. The logs should be placed in a metal fire ring or encircled by stone or bricks. After you’re done, cleaning up will be a breeze.
3. Add a few crumpled pieces of paper, firestarter, or dried leaves to the mix, followed by pencil-thick sticks. This will be used as a fuel source. Start with smaller branches and logs until the fire is well-established.
4. Wait for the flames to burn down before cooking over open flames, just as when you’re barbecuing. You cook using the embers and ashes left over from the previous day’s fire.
5. Finally, keep an eye on your campfire. Do not allow it to burn down to ashes if you are not paying close attention. Logs should be moved to the side as soon as you can raise one without much effort so that the fire doesn’t go out.
A camping Dutch oven is an excellent choice among the various camping equipment alternatives. Large cast iron kettle with tripod legs that allow it to be placed right over the embers for roasting You may stack coals on top of the lid for additional heat.
Everything that has occurred so far has included some type of fire. However, if you don’t have a portable generator, you’re out of options unless you want to deal with flames.
However, there is a workaround for this. Thermal cookers allow you to prepare meals in the convenience of your own home. Please understand that this isn’t some kind of “warming” device; rather, the thermal cooker will keep the food hot enough to prevent it from overcooking, much as a slow cooker would.
An excellent choice for fast travels and overnight stays, thermal cookers allow you to prepare your dinner in advance and enjoy it warm once at your destination.
Cooking in the open air in other ways
There are several advantages to having a brick-built pizza oven in your backyard and Pellethead Smokin offers an adapter for their gas burner stove. In addition, building them yourself isn’t that difficult.
Using a hunter’s fire, you may quickly prepare food while on the go. Construct a trench without digging by laying down a row of stones or two new pieces of wood. As with a campfire, stack the leaves/paper/kindling. The next step is to add a little bit of dried, light wood.
Because you’ll most likely be taking your cookware around with you while using a hunter’s fire, it’s vital that it be lightweight and portable.
Ensure that the fire is totally out, then cover it with earth when you have completed cooking.
When you’re sitting around a campfire, you may enjoy the company of your companions as the flames flicker and burn. However, you may also prepare some snacks at the same time.
A BBQ-style wire rack is an option on most fire pits. A specific grill/BBQ attachment is available from Solo Stove and BioLite for portable fire pits. You may, however, purchase a grill grate like this one from Camp Chef if your fire pit does not have this feature.