Fire Starting & Management

We have had many years’ experience with cooking over fire and coals and we have decided to show you in our first video these basics. We will give a quick tutorial in both to help you maximise your coal usage and therefore help with optimal cooking temperatures and times. While people may be familiar with lighting charcoal on their various different bbqs and smokers, open fires tend to be very different to operate. This is where we will start. We have found that open fires need constant attention and it is very much a hands on and visual type of fire management. We begin by building a big fire, we use bbq lighters that are made entirely from natural wood and wax, and of course you can use any method you wish. But as a rule we find these are great and can be found online or in most supermarkets. We are not picky about the timber we use for this method of cooking, we are not looking to get flavour from timber as you would for smoking meats. We do recommend that only hard timber should be used. Soft timber has a lot of impurities in it and burns too quickly. Once you have lit your starters and have a good bed of flame from your kindling start to place on the larger dry timber pieces onto the fire, the timber we are use is about 2 foot long and a couple of inches in width, this size helps with moving the fire along timewise and will burn down into the type of cooking fire we are looking for.

Once the flames begin to die down you can see the larger timber begin to look like large lumps of charcoal at this these timbers are running at about 5 – 600 degrees Celsius. Directly under these timbers we should see the beginning of the smaller embers that you are looking to use to cook over. These chunks should now have a white / red hue and be anywhere from about 1 inch sq to 1 inch by 4 inches in length, remember this is not an exact science and if there are coals a little bigger or smaller that you deem correct for use then use them. This is where a major rule of open fire is now use, MOVE THE FIRE TO YOUR GRILL/SPIT NOT THE GRILL /OR SPIT TO THE FIRE. The reason for this is that you can control the fire and heat needed for cooking far better than if you had the fire being tended directly under the grill/ spit.

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