Your fire pit can be far more versatile than you think – sure you can go for tried and true recipes that just need a stick, or you can get more complex with fire pit accessories. See our top tips for making delicious campfire dishes right on the fire pit.
How to Cook on a Fire Pit
Fire pit cooking borrows much of its technique from cooking on a traditional grill – just with the need of some additional accessories for versatility. Generally, you’ll want to work with a traditional wood burning fire pit fueled by your choice of charcoal or wood. Keep in mind that grease from cooking may drip into your fire pit, so you may want to stick with a classic grill if you have a more decorative fire pit on your patio.
As a general rule, cooking on a gas fire pit is not recommended. Residue from food can clog burners, and the flames often produce additional soot that may affect the taste of your food. There are specialized gas fire pit options that are suitable for cooking, so if wood is not for you, take the time to seek out food-safe designs.
For basic cooking, a standard flame should be plenty to accomplish what you’re trying to do. For more advanced cooking, build your fire like you fuel a grill with direct and indirect heat sources. Fire pit cooking can be fickle – it’s possible your first few attempts may not work out as expected, so have a few extras of each item on hand to ensure guests have plenty to eat in case a few items come out burnt or take longer to cook than expected. Be sure to use a meat thermometer to check temperatures on any raw meat before serving and always have a bucket of water nearby in case you need to extinguish the fire quickly.
Top Foods to Cook on a Fire Pit
On a Stick
Sometimes the best outdoor cooking is also the simplest. Skewer hot dogs on a stick for a main dish and follow up with s’mores for dessert. Let guests customize their sweets by offering a variety of flavored marshmallows, candy bars, and cookie options for a DIY s’mores bar that’s anything but boring.
For an Easy Dinner
Feeling more ambitious? Try your hand at foil packet dinners. Fill aluminum foil with your favorite proteins, veggies, or even fruit, then seal them tight and place them directly on the fire. Check for doneness regularly. Some mouthwatering foil pack options: sandwiches, buttery seasoned new potatoes, Greek-inspired chicken with veggies and feta, or try your favorite shrimp boil fixings wrapped up for single servings.
In Your Backyard
If you’re ready to step up your game by bringing on the accessories, then the sky’s the limit. Add a grill grate to your fire pit for burgers, steaks, chicken, or kabobs. Place a cast iron skillet on the grill grate to cook side dishes, eggs, pizza, or delicate items that may fall through the grate.
For a Hearty Meal
Add a dutch oven to your arsenal for soups and stews, chili, or for baking desserts. You can place the dutch oven directly on the grill grate or hang it from a fixture to help regulate temperature.
For a Camping Dessert
Slice an unpeeled banana lengthwise and stuff with marshmallows, baking chips, coconut, or other favorite toppings, wrap them in foil and toss them on the fire for a kid-friendly treat.
Fire Pit Cooking Tools and Accessories
Whether you’re heading out on an outdoor getaway or just getting cozy with a fire pit out back, with these tips and tricks, all your guests will be happy campers.