An outdoor fireplace is an amazing addition to any garden or outdoor space. Not only is it a brilliant way to incorporate an innovative centerpiece into your outdoor area, but it also doubles as an outdoor grill which can really elevate your dining experience.
Most people buy their outdoor fireplace only as an aesthetic addition to their home and garden, when in reality, a wood-burning fireplace is an alternative cooking method which can make for fun barbecue nights in the summer. It is also an ideal way to create a communal area in your garden which is perfect for entertaining or hosting dinner parties.
What is an outdoor fireplace?
An outdoor fireplace is a structure that allows you to make fires outside of your home to cook or simply enjoy the burning flames. It’s similar to an indoor fireplace but it is located outside. As with any fireplace, it requires regular maintenance and cleaning.
There are different types of outdoor fireplaces, depending on the kind of atmosphere you want to create and your aesthetic preferences. For example, wood fireplaces are great if you want to barbecue regularly and want a more rustic look whereas gas fireplaces or electric fireplaces are best if you are looking to add an elegant or luxurious touch to your outdoor space.
Regardless of the type of fireplace you choose, it’s a smart investment to make sure you enjoy your backyard to the fullest. Outdoor fireplaces are designed to work through all weather conditions, so even if it’s the middle of winter, you can go outside and share a hot chocolate with your friends and family while getting warm around the fire.
How to choose an outdoor fireplace
Advantages of cooking with a fireplace
The main advantage to cooking with a fireplace is the taste it provides the food with. Whilst you can get a great taste on a regular stove top or a gas fireplace, it simply does not compare to the depth of flavor that you can achieve from a wood-burning fireplace. Cooking food on an outdoor fireplace gives it a smokiness which many chefs and foodies love.
In addition to the additional layers of flavor you get from cooking on an outdoor fireplace, it also brings people together. When people cook on a fireplace, it’s similar to cooking on a BBQ or a grill so you achieve the same lively and friendly atmosphere. Fireplaces are often used during the summer months and they provide the perfect excuse to invite friends and family over to enjoy a moment with a drink in hand and music in the background.
Plus, believe it or not, there are even health benefits to cooking with a fireplace. When you cook meats and vegetables on a BBQ or an outdoor fireplace, they retain more nutrients than if you roast them or cook them in a pan. People also generally cook leaner meats on fireplaces with little to no butter or oil, hence making the overall meal healthier.
Things to consider before cooking in an outdoor fireplace
All the things that you need to consider before cooking in an outdoor fireplace have to do with preparation, as once you start cooking you want everything to be organized. One of the first things to consider is whether or not you need accessories or fireplace tools. When it comes to grilling food, fireplace accessories are a must.
The most basic outdoor fireplace accessory which anyone needs in their fireplace tool set is a fireplace grill. You need a grill rack to put on top of your wood-burning fireplace so that you have somewhere to actually place the food you want to cook. Other key accessories that you might want to purchase include skewers, a charcoal holder, a hood with rotisserie and utensils. You might even want to invest in a fireplace crane to make things easier when cooking.
You also need to make sure you have enough firewood and logs before you start cooking to ensure your fire does not run out when fireplace grilling. Once you have all your resources on hand, you are ready to start cooking on your outdoor fireplace. Remember that it takes for wood to properly catch fire so you will need to start your fire around 45 minutes before you intend to begin cooking, as it will take a while for your fireplace to reach the ideal cooking temperature.
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3 tips for cooking with a wood-burning fireplace
If you want to get the best out of cooking on a wood-burning fireplace, there are some things that you need to think about in order to make delicious food. To help you on your grilling journey, we have collated some fireplace cooking tips.
1. Type of wood
The type of wood that you use for your fireplace is essential when it comes to cooking. Many people do not realize that different woods burn differently and therefore give off different flavors. As you can imagine, some types of wood are preferable for cooking (e.g., seasoned wood).
The biggest difference between woods is whether it is a seasoned wood or an unseasoned wood. Seasoned and unseasoned wood has everything to do with where the wood is in the life cycle. Seasoned wood is wood that has been properly dried out.
This is preferable for fireplace cooking as it does not require additional efforts to draw out the moisture from the wood. Anyhow, the moisture would give the food a bad taste. Therefore, when you are cooking on your fireplace, be sure to have wood that is seasoned, as this will give you the deep smokey flavor you are looking for.
2. Use skewers
Skewers are a great alternative if you don’t have a grill plate. They’re a great tool for different types of meals such as kebabs. Layering your meat and vegetables onto a skewer and placing it into your fire is the best way to quickly cook your kebabs whilst also achieving the perfect charred flavor on the outside.
Skewers are also great if you want to get the kids involved. You can place a hot dog or a marshmallow at the end of a skewer and give it to the kids so that they can heat it up on the fireplace. Make sure you keep an eye on the children that are using skewers!
How to assemble your outdoor fireplace
3. Use a pan to reduce mess
Cooking on a fireplace can get messy as the oil and fat from your food will drip down into the pit or bowl of your fireplace if you place it directly on top of the grill. However, there is a foolproof way to prevent this mess and make cooking on your fireplace a whole lot easier for you. All you need to do is use a pan.
Placing a pan on top of your grill will contain all the fat and juices that would otherwise fall straight into your fireplace. You will therefore be able to easily clean the fireplace as all you need to do is take the pan and clean the pan, all ready for your next fireplace cooking session.
Shop for outdoor fireplaces and accessories
An outdoor fireplace is an amazing addition to any property. Not only is it a great tool for cooking delicious meals but it also allows you to socialize and get your family and friends together.
At Feu Ardent, we sell a wide range of outdoor fireplaces which are perfect for cooking. You will be sure to find a fireplace that suits the aesthetics of your outdoor space. Whether you are looking for a relatively small, more contained fireplace, or one that is designed to deal with huge gatherings, you’ll be able to find the fireplace that suits your needs. We can also help you pick the perfect fireplace accessories so that you can make the most of your outdoor experience.