How To Grill Food on Your Firepit
When you grill food on a firepit you don’t really want a roaring fire. I like to light a fire with just two or three pieces of wood, get them burning really hot and then separate them. This way after a little while the open flames will back down and nice hot embers will appear on the wood. It may not look that hot –but believe me it is.
Be sure and spray the grill with PAM Grilling Spray before putting it on the grill. Don’t spray PAM on the grill over the fire. The stream could catch fire and when you release the button, the flame could be sucked back into the can and explode it. PAM actually makes a product for barbeque grills that is designed for very hot surfaces.
Wood versus Charcoal
Never use freshly cut, green wood that has not had the moisture dried out of it. The resins and other constituents have the effect of tainting the flavor of your meat. Charcoal, on the other hand has most of the wood flavor cooked out. Not all flavor, but considerable. The smoky flavor you taste comes as much from the fats and juices dripping on the coals and then rising in the form of smoky flavor. Always burn the wood down to red hot coals before adding to the fire.
When you use charcoal, I like to toss in a few chunks of real wood such as mesquite, hickory or apple wood. This will add to the flavor. Heck, I know one master griller who tosses a handfull of sawdust onto the charcoal just before he puts the meat on.
Grilling with Charcoal
When I do use charcoal in my firepit, I use those disposable aluminum roasting trays you get at the supermarket. This way I don’t have to use as much charcoal. I place one of those in the firepit, fill it with charcoal and light it off. This contains the heat so it goes upwards. This is more effecient and uses less charcoal.
Using cookware on your firepit
You may want to cook something other than meat in your firepit. Things such as beans, stuffed onions, sweet potatoes, rice or even grilled pesto pizza!
The best cookware for a firepit is cast Iron with enamalware a close second. But if you dont have that you want to be careful using your good aluminum or stainless steel cookware.
If you use a standard stainless or aluminum pan, it will come away very dark brown and difficult to clean. The easiest thing to do is use some heavy duty aluminum foil folded over twice. If that is too light duty, then take your aluminum pan and wrap it in foil. When finished, simply discard the foil.
We recommend lightly coating cut up vegetables with a light olive oil to protect the skin from drying and burning. Then sprinkle the veggies with your favorite seasonings. Some great seasonings for veggies are: rosemary, parsley, garlic, oil- n-vinegar salad dressing, black pepper, salt, basil, thyme and the list goes on. I even often use some flavored combos such as Johnny’s Seasoning or lawry’s Seasoning salt. A grilling wok or shaker basket makes it easy and quick to grill vegetables to perfection! Besides, the pieces don’t fall through the grate into the fire!
Cooking With Barbeque Sauce
You slather some delicious barbeque sauce over your chicken, cook for thirty minutes and you get blackened chicken on the outside, raw chicken on the inside.
Obviously, the sauce takes much less time to cook than the meat –so give the meat a fair chance. If you think it’ll take 30 minutes to cook the chicken, then give it 25 minutes before you put on the sauce.
I also heat a pan of sauce over low heat off to the side of the grill. When the meat is finished, I then pour some of this heated sauce over it just before serving.