And Most Importantly – Should You?
Early humans may have harnessed the power of fire as early as 1 million years ago, did you know that? Since then, we have been able to be quite creative with fire in various ways, such as with the creation of fireplaces. But when it comes to fireplaces, you might be wondering if cooking on a fireplace is a good idea.
Actually, it can be a great idea as long as you know what you’re doing. Keep reading and learn more about how fireplace installation in Ottawa can lead to some delicious, smoky meals over your home’s fireplace.
Yes, You Can Cook On A Wood Fireplace
People have been cooking over their fireplaces for hundreds of years. It is only in the last hundred years that fireplaces have become more decorative than functional.
However, that shouldn’t stop you from cooking with a fireplace if you want to try it. You might even find that there are several benefits of cooking over a fireplace that you might not get when cooking over a stove.
Benefits of Cooking on a Fireplace
The main benefit of cooking on a fireplace is that it is much cozier than cooking on a stove. A stove is very mechanical and, despite the heat it gives off from its burners, it has a relatively cold personality. On the other hand, a fireplace is full of character, and looking at the dancing flames can give a boost to your mood as you cook.
More than that, you might be able to give your food an extra smoky flavour from the flames. This is especially true if you use real wood logs like hickory or oak. The smell of the fire will also appetize you so you’ll be able to eat every bite of your meal once it’s finished cooking.
Things to Consider before Staring Cooking
As when you cook on a stove, you can’t just jump into the process of fireplace cooking. Instead, a little preparation is in order. For example, you will want to be sure that the fire won’t be able to spread out of the fireplace.
To prevent this, you will want to make sure that anything flammable is far away from the fireplace. Even if the fireplace has doors to keep the fire contained, you still shouldn’t hang clothes or towels near the fireplace. You should also make sure you have all your food and ingredients on hand before you start.
This will make the cooking process much easier for you.
Tips For Cooking on a Wood Fireplace
The main thing you will want to avoid when cooking on a wood fireplace is burning your food. A fireplace can get very hot very quickly, so you will want to keep a close eye on whatever you decide to cook.
For example, if you are cooking meat like a steak, you might want to turn the steak over a few times to make sure that one side doesn’t burn. But there are still more things to consider than that.
Don’t Use Food with a Lot of Fat
Why might this be, you ask? The problem with fat is that fat tends to drip when it heats up. Since you’ll be cooking over a fire, the fat will drip into the flames and cause some problems.
Mainly, the fat can increase the size of the flames and also increase the smoke. This can make the process of cooking over your fireplace less pleasant.
Choose the Right Wood
When choosing firewood, you will want wood that is completely dry. If the logs even have a bit of moisture left in them, they won’t burn well and your fire won’t get hot enough to cook.
Both hardwood and softwood logs are good for fireplaces. However, hardwood is more expensive, although it does burn longer and hotter. If you plan on letting your fireplace burn for a long time, you might want to opt for hardwood logs.
Think about the Drips
As mentioned before, when food cooks, the fat will drip down into the flames and cause problems. This can happen even if you are cooking low-fat meals. For that reason, you will want to try and catch the drips.
There are some devices that are designed for this. That way, you won’t have to deal with the consequences of fat drips.
Use a Dutch Oven For Extra Flavour
A Dutch oven is ideal for cooking over a fireplace because you won’t have to worry about drips at all. Instead, your food will be contained in the secure metal container that is the Dutch oven.
More than that, because the oven is an enclosed space, your food will be able to simmer in its own flavours. You also won’t have to worry about the food drying out.
Grilling indoors can be a little bit tricky, but it is doable. However, safety is extra important when you cook indoors. You won’t want a piece of hot wood to jump onto your carpet and start a fire.
You also don’t want your house to fill up with smoke. Keep these things in mind when you cook indoors.
Do Not Cook On A Gas Fireplace Indoors!
You should never try cooking on a gas fireplace indoors for several reasons. One of the reasons is that the risk of fire hazards is much higher. More than that, the gas inside the fireplace is toxic.
As you cook, your food will absorb some of this toxic gas which you would then consume. Not only will the food taste bad, but it won’t be good for you either.
Roasting Marshmallows Outdoors
Roasting marshmallows outdoors can be a fun and simple pastime and a great way to use your fireplace. The main thing you will need to consider is keeping your marshmallows from burning.
You can eat the marshmallows right from the fire, or, for a bit more flavour, you can make s’mores out of them.
Cooking on a fireplace can be a great way to switch up your meals. Not only will you be able to enjoy your warm fire, but you will be able to experiment with different cooking techniques too.
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