7/12/14

Steaks over a Campfire and using my Solar Oven = "cool" cooking this summer




We grill out a lot... no really.  A lot.  Year round.  So it's no wonder we go through grills fairly often.  I won't invest in an $800 grill because I know we will be buying a new one by the end of the 2nd or 3rd season. This Spring I knew our current grill was on it's death bed and about 6 weeks ago, I deemed it unsafe to use any longer.  Where we previously lived we could put it out to the trash, but here in the South they don't like to have to 'get out of their truck' so they don't actually pick anything up.  (The customer service rep actually said that, I didn't make that up.)   If it's not inside the trash bin and they can't get it with the mechanical arm of the "new style" truck, they don't pick up.  You have to pay to bring it to a landfill...  so it's still sitting on our deck unused.  (And there is a reason I bring that up... which I'll get to in a moment).

We also like to have backyard bonfires.  Since we have a wood deck, we were using our fire pit on the grass area in the backyard.  However, we installed a patio last Spring of 2013 with concrete pavers.  This allowed us to put our firepit on the concrete and it's been getting heavy use ever since.

We enjoy grilled steak, seafood, vegetables, chicken and burgers... but cooking them under the broiler when you don't have a grill just is not the same.  So one night I decided to cook over our fire pit as if we were camping.  The first night was simply jalapeno hot dogs.  The next night we made steaks and grilled veggies in a grill basket.  A couple nights later it was chicken.  We've been 'grilling' over our patio fire pit about three times a week all summer... and it's wonderful!  The flavor of the foods cooked over a fire is incomparable to the taste of being grilled in a propane grill.

My 'camping' cook gear is up North with my son so I didn't have my camping grill, skillet or any of my pans.  I improvised the first time with a wire cookie cooling rack over some flat rocks.  The veggies were grilled in a grill basket   I cooked the steaks in the mesh grill basket the next time before we realized;  we have a grill sitting on our deck unused... and in that grill are 2 heavy duty grilling racks!  (DUH?).  So I'm thankful we didn't get rid of it when we did!

Now I simply get the fire going, let it burn down (about 30-45 minutes) and lay the grill rack across some flat rocks to raise it about 5-6 inches from the heat.  If it's not level, I can just add a new piece of wood or a few more rocks (the photo above has a 'fresh' log I added to the bottom to level out the rack - although the steaks are cooking over the hot coals).

So simple. So easy. So GOOD tasting!  And when the days are 95 degrees, it's wonderful not to heat up my kitchen so between an outdoor fire and my solar oven, cooking and baking has been 'cool' this summer!





You might be interested in these patio fire pits:
Hex Shaped Outdoor Fire Bowl with Lattice, Oil Rubbed Bronze
Square Natural Slate 34-Inch Fire Pit with Copper Accents
DeckMate Luna  Outdoor Firebowl

     







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