Nowadays, outdoor cooking is very popular among urban younger generation. Because they don’t have enough time to get in touch with real nature like the elders, so they can get satisfaction and excitement when they drive and cook aside campfire with their friends. But dealing with the occurrence and problem in cooking like, how to identify the breed of the best wood combustible is not very clear to majority.
Today we will give you some advice to help you manage to set a perfect campfire. And also some typical recipes of campfire will be introduced so you can make some delicious food while out cooking. The necessary equipment of out cooking you can choose from my article can be found at Amazon. I truly believe that you will be a good cook after reading this article. Some other information like how to kill the campfire and deal with the ashes can be found on our website.You cannot say you have had a fun outdoor cooking experience without Outdoor Cooking using wood.
- 1 Good choices of wood
- 2 Advantages of Cooking with Wood
- 3 Disadvantages of using wood for outdoor cooking.
- 4 Cooking with Wood Fire
Good choices of wood
First of all, we should have ability to identify the type of wood. Not only because the wood will influence the flavor of roasted food, but also for avoid some bad choice of wood to prevent your camp is full of smoke seem like a bloody battle just processed. The wood truly add different flavor to food and I got the experience by thousand time of trying firewood type. Here come my best three recommendations. I hope you can carry with them to outdoor campfire, there won’t be anything better you can meet them on the ground in wilds.
Why we choose the natural wood instead of modern energy like propane or no-smoke coal? An important aspect is the feeling of the experience. The coal or propane is too fast and convenient for those who want to be exposed in the nature like a true hunter
Almond is one of the firewood I prefer, although it is not so popular like oak, but it still has it’s special advantage which make it still an excellent choice. This hardwood burning characteristic is same as oak. And it is long last heat producer without too much ashes generated. And the seasoned almond wood only need one years to grow, not like the oak normally take about two years to be qualified the requirement of burning properly. The only disadvantage of the almond firewood is that it is not very easy to gather in some area. It is plentiful in California and the Central Valley region which is the largest almond tree producer in the whole world.
We’ve already determined that almond is a great choice for heating, but is it any good for cooking? of course there is. The wood will give your food a sweet, nutty flavor that’s absolutely delicious. Whether you’re looking to heat your home or prepare a delicious meal, almond is an excellent choice. The long lasting heat generated by the wood and its sweet, mild flavoring makes it popular for both cooking and heating. Overall, it’s an excellent “all purpose” wood.
The apple firewood is liked by many people, and due to the high-quality coaling process it can generate long-last heats. Something more magical is it can add some soft sweet aroma on your meat like it just sank in sea of apple for a long time. And if you are hooked up by this special hardwood you can burn it every day only if you are fortunately enough to be supplied by a large amount of apple wood. But one disadvantage is that the price you pay to gain this fuel is higher is higher compared with other hardwood.
The apple tree originated in Central Asia thousands of years ago. Since then, the tree has spread throughout most of the world. The apple tree itself is a relatively small with several low hanging branches. The low branches make obtaining the apples easier and several hybrid species have been cultivated to achieve this effect. A orchard is probably the most easiest place to have the apple tree, and If you don’t live near an orchard. Maybe you should abandon the idea to campfire with apple wood. But you can purchase it from the internet and there exist some specific businessmen who sell it for toasting. The flavorful smoke is mild and not overpowering but still contains enough sweet flavor to complement almost any meat. If you want to cook your food with wood, I highly recommend the apple wood. Apple wood can offer the sweet flavor to food and attractive aroma when it burned, so you better have a try and I promise it will not make you disappointed.
The best characteristics of the mesquite wood is it burns clean and generate minimal sparks to reduce the risk of fire spread, so many people choose it as a oven or hearth coal. The wood come from mesquite tree which growing in dry climate and have strong ability to tolerate the drought. Due to it’s vigorous ability to survive, many ranchers consider the tree a pest and are concerned about its ability to compete with native grasses for water. Because this type of wood only exists in certain region, not everybody can obtain it.
Honestly, I am really jealous for those who can get fully supplied of mesquite wood. When you want to cut the wood to proper size for firing, it may spend more time than other wood due to the twisted and irregular branches and harder fabric. For those who like smoky taste, the mesquite wood may be the best choice. It can add sweet heavy smoky aroma on food after you roasted it with mesquite wood. So be cautious when you make some food lighter, the great smoky may not fit for it. here is another trick, if you don’t want the aroma to heavy but still longer for smoky you can mix the mesquite wood with some other combustible and liquid fuel, it is more easy to lit up. But the best proportion of each material need some tries to get. And you can buy some bagged mesquite wood on internet if you live in wet climate area.
- How to Cut and Split Firewood
- How to Properly Store Firewood
- Firewood Types：Which Firewood Types Should you Use?
Advantages of Cooking with Wood
The debate of cooking with wood has never gone down, some people say that cook with wood is not fit for environmental reasons waste of energy. But we still have some evidence to show that cooking with wood has it’s own good aspects in terms of the food being cooked.
No one can deny that the food is totally different after it be roasted by wood especially some wood come from fruit tree like almond tree or apple tree. The sweet soft aroma is attractive to every spirit once has a try. And the smoky flavor can not be copied by any other method to cook the food like use propane except you do it with a smoke box or some equipment like that.
Natural gas and artificial charcoal are generated by chemical processes. Some of us want the 100 percent natural process when cooking food. So the natural combustible like wood or coal is best choice. In fact, this kind of idea is too idealism because the burning process just a simple chemical reaction. They are all same in essential. But if you want the real perfect natural without any component artificially made, you can choose this way.
I do believe most of people who love outdoor campfire is because it’s interesting process and fun of DIY. The natural wood will add more elements to fun- finding, you will search the area to gather the wood and a fit place to start a fire. And watching the fire grow from little spark to hot flame is not only an interesting thing but also give satisfactory from the actions.
Disadvantages of using wood for outdoor cooking.
It Takes too Long Time
For some people who just squeeze precious half day from working, the time that start wood fire is too much to accept. All they want just a convenient lunch kebab and a glass of wine. For those groups the best choice is the liquid fuel and charcoal and propane oven.
Maybe You don’t Want the Smoky Flavor
For some beginner of outdoor cooking, they may not know what they want at all. So I suggest you try different flavor before you decide to make yourself a grill. The smoky flavor is good and delicious but maybe someone doesn’t think so.
It can be More Expensive
Depending on the area you live, the price of wood will be totally different. And in this situation, cooking with wood will not be a wise choice. If you live in city, the condition will be better because the production and transporting system are more available for city. The season is another element to decide the price of embers, the demand of wood embers reaches the highest point when winter comes.
The heat that the wood campfire avoided is not very stable as some other heat providers. When it comes to special recipes that have serious requirement of temperature even you need a digital thermometer to deal with, the wood fire is not the best choice.
Cooking with Wood Fire
Campfire cooking can be a useful skill for urban teenagers, but it needs many things to be learnt. From the necessary equipments to specific recipes, it almost has a series of theory of itself. And I will show you one by one.
Cooking with Skewers
Skewers include many ware like hotdogs fork, this cookware allow you to deal with some little pieces of ingredients at one time. And also remain a safe space from be hurt by flames. I sincerely advise you prepare a set of skewers for outdoor cooking because the multi-functional ability can deal with many occurrence.
Smores is a common snack for western people, and it can be made yourself in wilds if you master the right way to cook it.
First you should put some marshmallow on the fork then roast them upon flame, pay attention to the marshmallow to prevent it from being burnt too much. And then put some chocolate to a little bowl, provide enough heats so that the chocolate can melt to proper degree. And pour some chocolate on two inner sides of two biscuits, then put the marshmallow that you just roasted inside them. The best time to do it is the on 10th of August in each year.
And of course you can add some other ingredients as your wish.
Dutch Oven Cooking
Dutch oven is another convenient and easy operated cookware. And it has already existed in the wild camp for 300 years. You can boil water or some other ingredients with a dutch oven. A dutch oven have three legs to support it and leave enough space under the oven for heat sources. After using the dutch oven there are some thing need to be cared like the way to clean it. If you are interested in the dutch oven recipes, you can search it on our website, there is another article will give you some information in detail.
Campfire Pie Iron
The campfire pie iron will make the process of cooking easier whatever snacks you cook. To prepare a snack, simply place 2 buttered peices of bread inside the cooking compartment butter side out. Next, place your desired ingredients (usually cheese or pie filling) between the 2 pieces of bread. Close the iron by locking the 2 handles together and place it over the fire. After about 4 or 5 minutes of even roasting your done! Open up the handles to view your delicious golden creation.
Campfire Foil Cooking
Foil cooking is very simple and delicious. The most advantage of it is you have not to wash any plate or pan after making it. The key to make foil cooking is choose the fitful foil according to the ingredients, the vegetable need thicker foil to remain the liquid in texture. Spray the inside surface of the foil with cooking spray or simply use oil or butter to prevent the food from sticking.
And the cooking time don’t has an exact standard, the time depend on the ingredients and the placement in fire. You need several test to get the rule.
Of course you can buy some special equipment designed to cook popcorn, but you can learn another simple way to cook popcorn in here. And all you need just an outdoor fire and heavy duty aluminum foil.
You need an aluminum foil and then pull it up, then put about two spoon of popcorn on it and take a fold. Don’t forget add some seasonings like salt or sugar depended on your preference. Remember leave some space for the popcorn so don’t fold it too tight.
It should only take a few seconds for the corn to finish popping. When you hear the popping slow or stop……you popcorn is done.
There are so many kinds of campfire grills available, my first grill is a delicate metal grill which can be folded into a small one. And I think it is a good choice for beginners. But if you want go farther more, something better and professional is necessary. The fold structure is not very stable and it hard to keep the device open without the legs shifting and collapsing on itself.
I suggest you purchase a grill like the picture. A metal surface made by twisted iron wire and hung upon fire by a hook. This is more convenient but the amount of ingredients you can place on it is truly declined. It is more fit for cooking some tiny snack or delicate kebab.
Cooking Fish Over a Campfire
Cooking fish upon a campfire is easy and funny, you can just penetrate the fish by a branch and put it on fire like a savage or you can first severing the body and pick up torso you want to eat and make it seasoned with salt or spice then cut some crave on it to make the aroma slip into the texture finally put it in to hot oil with accurate time standard to get a delicious fish.
But no matter how you choose there are some problems you need to fix. Fried fish really require hot oil so keep your fire temperature high as possible. If you want to roast the fish, then not let the fire to hot or it will burn out all grease make fish eat like a cable. Frying fish over a campfire is a lot of fun. Plus, it’s a great way to add excitement to an outdoor event by passing around a plateful of hot filets. To create the perfect meal just to remember to make a good cooking platform, create a HOT fire and use a cast iron pan. Then just fry and enjoy!