Cooking on wood is an ancient art that infuses your food with unique, rich flavours, making it a favourite among outdoor cooking enthusiasts. However, if you’re new to this method, it can be challenging to know where to begin. That’s why we’ve put together this quick guide on key considerations:

  1. Choosing The Right Wood

The type of firewood you use significantly impacts the flavour of your food and the way it cooks. We highly recommend kiln-dried firewood because it:

  • Provides A Consistent Heat: The low moisture content ensures a reliable and steady heat, crucial for even cooking.
  • Minimizes Smoke: Produces significantly less smoke than seasoned wood, creating a pleasant cooking environment and preventing overly smoky food.
  • Enhances Flavour: Wet wood can create a bitter taste that spoils food. Kiln-dried wood imparts the natural wood flavour to food without bitterness.
  • Is Easy to Light: Lights more easily than seasoned wood, making the process quicker and more efficient.

TIP: Avoid using softwoods like pine or cedar, as they contain resins that can produce unpleasant flavours and harmful smoke.

Pizza Oven Logs

2. Preparing the Fire

  1. Build a Fire: Arrange your wood in a fire pit or grill. Use small kindling and fire starters to ignite the wood. Avoid lighter fluid, as it can impart unwanted flavors. Our eco-firelighters are perfect for cooking since they are completely natural and are quick to light.
  2. Create a Bed of Coals: Let the wood burn down until you have a substantial bed of glowing coals. This process can take 30-45 minutes, so make sure to get started in time!
  3. Manage the Heat: Once you have a bed of coals, spread them out evenly for a consistent cooking surface. Add larger pieces of wood to maintain the fire and create more coals as needed.

Eco Firelighters

3. Cooking Techniques

Depending on what you are planning to cook on wood, will change the approach you take:

  • Direct Heat: Ideal for searing steaks, burgers, and vegetables. Place the food directly over the hot coals for a quick, high-heat cook.
  • Indirect Heat: Perfect for larger cuts of meat that require longer cooking times, such as whole chickens or roasts. Arrange the coals to one side of the grill and place the food on the opposite side. This method prevents burning and allows for even cooking.
  • Smoke Roasting: Combines smoking and roasting, suitable for adding deep flavors to meats. Use a mix of direct and indirect heat, and add wood chips or chunks to the fire to produce smoke.

4. Controlling Temperature

Maintaining a consistent temperature is crucial for successful wood cooking:

  • Adjusting the Airflow: Use the vents on your grill or smoker to control airflow. Opening the vents increases the temperature, while closing them lowers it.
  • Adding Wood: Add small amounts of wood periodically to keep the fire burning steadily. Too much wood at once can cause temperature spikes.
  • Using a Thermometer: Invest in a good meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of your food.

5. Safety Tips

  • Stay Attentive: Never leave the fire unattended. Keep a close eye on the flames and the food to prevent accidents.
  • Have Water Handy: Keep a spray bottle of water nearby to manage flare-ups.
  • Use Proper Tools: Long-handled tongs, heat-resistant gloves, and sturdy grill tools make handling food and managing the fire safer and easier.

6. Cleaning Up

After cooking, let the coals burn out completely or extinguish them with water. Once cooled, dispose of the ashes properly. Clean your grill or fire pit to remove any leftover residue so you are prepare for your next cooking adventure!

Conclusion

Cooking on wood is a rewarding experience that infuses your food with rich, smoky flavours and connects you with traditional cooking methods. With the right wood, proper fire management, and a few safety precautions, you can master the art of wood cooking and elevate your outdoor culinary skills. Happy grilling!

Heat Resistant Gloves

 In The Garden Range

Check out our in the garden range for some inspiration and perhaps treat yourself to some new outdoor cooking equipment!

Delivita Pizza Oven

These beautifully designed, versatile ovens offer superb performance when it comes to cooking on wood.

Hemi Fire Bowls

These elegant fire bowls have been hand crafter in the UK are a great option to start off your cooking on wood journey.