A fire pit of any kind makes a wonderful addition to any outdoor living space. Not only does its warmth extend the useful life of the space but the flames add a visual appeal that make the area look and feel more like a real living room, especially if you are gathered around it seated on just the right outdoor furniture.
You can choose to do more with your fire pit than just look at it though. Another great use that you can put even the most basic fire pit to is to prepare some rather tasty food. You do not need to be a culinary whiz, or even much of a chef at all to impress a gathering of friends with a meal to remember and there really is nothing quite like the taste of food prepared over an open flame.
If you have never tried your hand at fire pit cookery before, here are a few very simple ideas to start off with:
This delicious anytime dish is one that can literally be tweaked and adapted to suit even the pickiest palette. All you really need is a fire pit grilling grate, long skewers and the right ingredients. Although anything that will fit on the skewers is an option, some of our favorites include:
Cubed meats – chicken, beef, lamb, veal and turkey all cook up beautifully over an open flame.
Mushrooms – Portobella mushrooms are an excellent choice as they have a dense, almost meaty texture that does nor degrade too much as they cook.
Assorted vegetables – cherry tomatoes, cubed peppers, onions, squash and even whole baby potatoes are all excellent choices.
To really give guests just what they want consider laying out all of your various ingredients uncooked and allow people to build their own shishkabob that you can then impressively cook to perfection before their very eyes!
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Quesadillas
A simple grilling basket (with a sufficiently long handle) is a must for a budding fire pit chef. Such utensils are inexpensive and will allow you to prepare ingredients that would normally be quite hard to handle over an open flame.
That go to kids favorite, a grilled cheese sandwich, is easy to prepare in this way. The bread and cheese can be prepared in exactly the same manner as you would in your everyday kitchen and then the uncooked sandwiches can be slotted into the grilling tool and after just a few minutes will become hot, golden brown treats .
For a slightly more grown up offering, why not try preparing quesadillas instead? They too will only take a few minutes to cook and make excellent finger food appetizers when sliced into smaller portions and served as a part of an outdoor buffet.
A number of different fruits will cook up rather well over the open flame of a firepit but a fresh, juicy pineapple produces a satisfying grilled fruit treat that can be eaten alone or served as a garnish for meat dishes. Large fresh pineapple chunks work best, and if you sprinkle them with a little cinnamon before cooking they will taste even better.
No one who owns a fire pit could probably resist the idea of cooking up some deliciously gooey s’mores at least once in a while. To add a new twist to yours though try substituting graham crackers for ginger snaps, or creamy white chocolate for the more commonly used milk chocolate.
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