FDO’s How-To Guide: Cooking with Your Fireplace
With the modern convenience of stoves and outside grills it can sometimes be easy to forget that fireplaces were once the primary method of preparing meals. Historically a fireplace served two purposes: keep the home warm and keep it fed.
Though modern advancements reduce the need for a fireplace during the most rigid winters or a functioning grill, it’s still nice to have one and when the power goes out, it’s absolutely essential for the fireplace, now an ornamental part of the home, to be fully functioning!
In this blog post we’ll answer one big question that most people have: Can I actually cook in my fireplace?
Can you cook in your fireplace?
Yes, yes you definitely can! The primary purpose of a fireplace hasn’t changed in the many, many years that homes have been built with them. You can still cook in your wood burning fireplace! But, there are some things you should do before throwing your favorite cut of beef over the open fire.
Before you start cooking, it’s important to note what kind of wood you are using. Make sure to use seasoned wood. And, what kind of wood you use can affect your cooking temperature and the flavor of your food. Our blog post ‘The Best Firewood for Your Fireplace’ goes over what kind of wood works best for your fireplace and your needs.
It’s also important to remember that a wood burning fireplace doesn’t distribute heat evenly. The idiom ‘you’ve got to crack a few eggs’ applies here. When it comes time to cooking on your fireplace, try to cook a few food items that you don’t mind sacrificing to see what cooks best where.
Remember to check meats with a thermometer before eating them to ensure that they are thoroughly cooked.
The How-to’s of Cooking in a Fireplace
Go over how you’ll need something to put the food on and why putting it on the firebox isn’t really an option. Start with racks and accessories, but only briefly before going into the DIY of it.
We have some products that make it a breeze to cook in your wood burning fireplace but, if you are not in the market for a new fireplace insert, maybe this DIY method is ideal for you!
For this, you’ll need:
- A cast iron cooking pan
- Fire resistant gloves
- Fire resistant tongs
- A set of fireplace tools
- Bricks, or a cast iron pot
- Rack for fireplace (such as from your outdoor grill)
- Something to put your cooked food in
With fireplace cooking, you don’t cook directly over the fire. As neat of a thought as it may be that your steak has been touched by fire, you actually cook it with indirect heat. Using the bricks and grill, or alternatively a cast iron pot turned upside down, setup your cooking area in front of the firewood and grate.
Be sure not to forget that you need fireplace gloves to safely use your cooking utensils when cooking with your fireplace.
You can use a stove fireplace shovel or the one you use for your fireplace (sanitized, of course), or you can use a pair of tongs designed to handle the heat of the fireplace to handle your food and ensure even cooking. Be sure to practice safety first and use fireplace gloves!
Once your food is cooked, you can then transfer it to a safe pan for cooling and serving. We recommend a rack in a baking pan and a folded up towel either on the floor if you don’t have a hearth, or to place it on your hearthrug.
Our Fireplace Cooking Accessories
But what if you want to cook a lot in your fireplace and taking down a setup like that is just too much of a hassle? We have a solution for that!
Several of our fireplace products come with a grill and a swinging pot holder option that’ll allow you to cook with your fireplace anytime you want. The best part about these wood burning fireplace inserts is that they look great too, so you can upgrade your fireplace and make it look good at the same time!
We’d love to help! Use one of the methods listed below to get support from our knowledgeable staff or from the expert himself!