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Fire Pit Cooking & Safety Tips



 

Turn Your Backyard Into A Kitchen

  1. Introduction
  2. A Fire Pit Turned Cook Top
  3. Essentials and Tools You’ll Need
  4. Food Safety Tips
  5. Fire Pit Cooking Recipes
  6. Fire Pit Safety

 

Introduction

Spending time outside is the best part of warm weather. Maybe it’s a baseball game, planting your garden, or gathering around the fire pit, there is no doubt that fresh air and the sun on your skin is appreciated. Expand your outdoor living space by making your backyard into a kitchen and dining room in just a few easy steps!

 

A Fire Pit Turned Cook Top

Give your grill and propane tank a rest. Follow these instructions to create a cook top over your backyard fire pit: 5 Simple Steps!

 

Essentials and Tools You’ll Need

The proper cooking tools will help you use your open flame cook top safely. The most-used cooking tools include a grilling fork, grilling spatula, grilling tongs, and a heavy-duty grill brush. A handle length of about 15 inches allows you to control your food while not exposing your hand to too much heat or flame. Invest in tools that have non-slip gripping and are made of durable stainless-steel construction.

Keep plenty of plates on hand to allow for contamination free cooking. We like to keep a large tub of soapy water near our grilling station to place dirty dishes in once we’re finished with them. This helps keeps insects away, allows grease to break down before washing the dishes, and keeps your cooking area neat and tidy.

 

Food Safety Tips

Protecting your family from food-borne illness is crucial when cooking outdoors. Warmer temperatures and limited chilling resources create obstacles for cooking outside, although the right steps and precautions can make these situations manageable.

Transport your food properly. Until you begin cooking you’ll want to place cold foods on ice or frozen gel packs to be chilled at 40 degrees or below. Meat can be transported frozen so it thaws over time and stays colder longer. Keep meats wrapped separately and make sure their juices don’t leak to other foods. Cross-contamination is one of the quickest ways to spread food-borne illness.

If you’re marinating your food for grilling, make sure to do so in a refrigerated environment. Do not reuse marinade for flavoring cooked foods. Reserve a portion of the marinade before adding to the meat and use the separated amount later in cooking.

Cooking temperatures and thorough cooking greatly reduce the risk of food-borne illness. Keep a food thermometer on hand to make sure grilled foods reach their proper temperatures. The FDA suggests the following temperatures for your foods:


Food

Temperature

Steaks and roasts

145°F

Fish

145°F

Pork

145°F

Ground beef

160°F

Egg dishes

160°F

Chicken breasts

165°F

Whole poultry

165°F

Shrimp, lobster, and crabs

cook until pearly and opaque

Clams, oysters, and mussels

cook until the shells are open


When it comes to serving your food your focus should be maintaining the proper temperature. The FDA urges that “the key is to never let your picnic food remain in the "Danger Zone" - between 40° F and 140° F - for more than 2 hours, or 1 hour if outdoor temperatures are above 90° F. This is when bacteria in food can multiply rapidly, and lead to foodborne illness.”

Using these FDA appointed guidelines will help you to have an enjoyable and fun outdoor dining experience without the side effects associated with poor food preparation.

 

Fire Pit Recipes

Try some cook top recipes, such as these Campfire Crescent Dogs, Biscuit Campfire Doughnuts, and Grill Top Chicken Dinner.

 

Fire Pit Safety Tips

Your backyard cooking enjoyment will depend on the safety measures you employ while using your fire pit. A safe fire pit environment allows you to maintain a safe area where you, your family, and friends can cook outdoors without worrying about causing danger to yourself or the environment.

Follow these tips to keep danger at a minimum:

  1. Fire safety for kids should always include a well-planned escape route and meeting place
  2. Don’t allow children too close to the fire pit and never leave it unattended
  3. Do not place the fire pit in an enclosed area or around hanging branches or unsteady surfaces
  4. Start your fire pit fire small and never with gasoline
  5. Never use a fire pit when it’s windy. Also keep a screen nearby to prevent sparks from causing fires
  6. Make sure to extinguish your fire pit fire completely before walking away

To learn more about fire pit safety, check out this infographic!

The proper cooking techniques mixed with sensible fire pit safety will create a fun outdoor environment for you, your family, and your friends to enjoy all warm weather season long!

 

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