When the weather starts to brighten up, and there are more opportunities to get outside, you can start cooking outdoors again. This is one of the best things about spring and summer, so you need to do it! If you have never done this before, there is much for you to learn about. It’s something that anyone can do if they’re willing to make the effort, so it might be time for you to try it.
Whether you are an who cooks outside, or you want to try it for the first time, here are some top tips for Outdoor Cooking.
1. Cook Outside at Every Opportunity
The first thing to say is that practice makes perfect. You should take every opportunity to cook outside if you really want to get good at it. It’s not like cooking indoors. You can’t rely on the oven and the other electronic gadgets that you have in your kitchen. It is much more stripped back, and it allows you to return to the basics of cooking.
You don’t have to be out in the countryside to cook outside either. You should cook in your own back garden. Or you could host a summer street party with all the neighbours when the weather is nice. Once you have been doing it for a while, you will gain confidence and start to try new things.
2. Try Different Appliances
There are many different forms of outdoor cooking you can do. If you are cooking in your garden, you will want to use a good barbecue. But it can be just as much fun to cook food over an open fire. And that doesn’t require as much money. But barbecues can be very useful when you’re cooking for a lot of people.
Then there are also more complicated pieces of equipment that can be fun to use. Lots of people are starting to use pit barrels to cook in, for example.
3. Buy the Right Tools and Clothing First
There are plenty of tools that you need in order to cook food outside the correct way. You should definitely have plenty of high-quality spatulas and a set of tongs. You will be turning the food a lot when you are cooking outside, so these utensils are essential. If you don’t have them already, you should invest in a set of them.
You will also need to have a small thermometer that can be used to test the temperature of meat as you are cooking it. This helps you to make sure that it has reached the right temperature before you take it off the heat. You will also need to have a good apron and a chef’s hat if you really want to look the part!
4. Perfect Meat Cooking
The staple of any outdoor cooking session is the meat. This is what people are most interested, so you need to get it right. It’s one of those skills that you will master and perfect over time. So, you need to start practicing and trying to different techniques as soon as possible if you’re new to all this. There are so many different ways to cook different types of meat.
The best meat to start with is steak fillets and sausages. Once you know how long to cook these meats, you can adapt your technique to other kinds too. You could even try cooking a large joint of meat over an open fire once you get really accomplished with your meat cooking skills.
5. But Don’t Stick to Meat
There are many other things aside from meat that you can cook outside. Yes, meat is the main thing that people think of when they are deciding what to cook outdoors. And there is something distinctly tasty about meat cooked over the grill. But you need to open your mind to new things as well. There are plenty of things that you can cook that are not meat-based.
You can even cook sweet things over an outdoor fire. Who can resist the classic toasted marshmallow? That’s just one example. Potatoes with some added spices can be really nice if they’re left to roast over a fire. They get a distinct taste that you can’t get from sticking them in the oven. They do take a while to cook though.
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6. Minimise Washing Up
One of the key advantages of cooking food outside is that you don’t have to be civilised. You don’t have to sit down at the table and use a knife and fork. Outdoor Cooking wouldn’t be half as fun as it is if you want to do all that kind of stuff. So, don’t worry about things like plates and cutlery. It’s a waste of time, and it makes the whole experience worse.
Instead, you should be using things that can just be thrown away when you’re done with them. The best thing to eat with is your hands though. You can put the meat between some bread and then that’s all you need. If you really want to, you could buy some paper plates and cups, but that’s the most you’ll need.
7. Make Sure the Fire is Hot
This is one of those key preparation tips that everyone forgets to take notice of. It might seem pretty obvious, but it’s so important to get the fire hot before you start cooking food over it. It’s best to get the fire started and let it warm up well in advance before your food goes anywhere near it. If you put the food on too soon, it could be a disaster.
You want to cook over the embers, so it makes sense to leave it. Embers are much hotter than smoke and fire. So, if the fire is smoking too much, then wait until it dies down a little. This makes it easier to cook over, and it will cook the food quicker when you eventually do start to cook it.
8. Wrap Fish in Fresh Leaves
Raw fish is a great food to cook outdoors. You could even take a fishing trip and then cook it by the side of the river. It’s a great way to spend a nice summer’s afternoon, so you should try it. But even if you decide not to catch the fish yourself, it’s still a lot of fun to cook it outdoors. The best way to do it is to wrap the fish in some fresh leaves before cooking it over a fire.
So, what are the best leaves to use when you are cooking this kind of thing? Well, if you ask me, there is nothing better than cattail leaves when you are cooking fish. Or, if you’re cooking trout, walnut leaves are really good options too. This helps to infuse the fish with a bit of extra flavour, adding a new twist to it.
9. Stay on the Safe Side
Outdoor Cooking can be a lot of fun, but you still need to make sure that you stay safe. You can never be too sure, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to cooking food. This is a particular problem when people are trying to cook things like chicken outdoors. Don’t take shortcuts and don’t serve chicken unless it is completely cooked.
I can be very easy to get impatient when you are cooking food for hungry people. But even if that food is taking a long time, it’s not worth serving it until it’s ready. The last thing you want to do is give people food poisoning or something like that. And make sure you keep any raw meat separate from whatever other food that you are serving.
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There is no limit to the things you can do when you are cooking outdoors. Sometimes, you don’t have much choice but to improvise if you’re on a camping trip or something like that. But improvising can actually be a lot of fun. It’s not something to be afraid. You often come across some really interesting cooking recipes and ideas when you are forced to improvise.
For example, if you want to cook an egg, there is nothing stopping you. You don’t need a frying pan to do it. One great idea is to cook the egg using a fruit peel as a holder for it. Peel and orange, and use that peel to hold the egg while you cook it over the fire. That’s just one example. But if you’re willing to improvise and try new things, you will find plenty of good solutions.
Now that you know how to improve your outdoor cooking, you can try it out as soon as possible. There is nothing better than cooking great food outdoors for your friends and family during the warmer months of the year. It gives everyone a chance to get together, enjoy the weather and eat some great food. What’s not to like about that?
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