As the mercury in the thermometer begins to rise we find ourselves looking forward to staying home and grilling out. There’s something so satisfying about hanging with friends in a backyard oasis with drinks in hand and good food on the grill. If you’re looking to add an element of entertainment to your backyard gatherings we suggest trying your hand at grilling over an open fire.
If you’re looking to add a fire pit to your backyard, we recommend the Dude from Cowboy Cauldron. Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, Cowboy Cauldron was born after Mike Bertelsen found himself receiving multiple requests from his friends to make them a fire pit just like one he had made for himself. He ended up receiving so many requests that it became his full-time gig. His functional, durable, and beautiful fire pits are all about living well, sharing, and enjoying things that are made to last — all notions we agree in full-heartedly. They are also the perfect rig for outdoor cooking. Don't forget our other campfire essentials here.
If you lack the outdoor space for the Dude, then the All In One Cast Iron Grill from Barebones Living might suit your needs better. It’s an outdoor cook’s dream. A cast iron base and domed lid, grill grate, baking steel, tripod stand, and coal tray combine in countless configurations to expand your outdoor dining options, and pack down into a single self-contained bundle to minimize what you carry or for easier storage on an apartment balcony or closet.
When setting up your Cowboy Cauldron for cooking you should consider the type of wood being used in your fire. You can add some unique flavor to your meals by feeding cherry wood, hickory, or mesquite wood something BBQ pit masters have been doing for ages. Once you’ve built your fire into a low, hot flame you can add the grate and begin to prep your meat and vegetables.
For seasoning, there’s no need to be fancy about it. Liberal use of salt and pepper on each side of a steak with some dashes of garlic powder will do you just fine. For your vegetables such as peppers and onions, chop them into large pieces so they don’t fall through the grate. Then throw them in a bowl with some olive oil and similar seasoning to your steaks and give them a good toss. If you prefer more finely chopped veggies or to cook them in flavored butter you can always add them to a cast iron skillet and place that over your grill. Check our our outdoor kitchen essentials, including knives and cutting boards, here.
Once your food is over the flame it’s all about patience and observation. Open fire cooking can be temperamental. One moment all could be fine and the next some drippings from your food could catch fire and require immediate attention. This however is part of the charm. It’s a more active and engaging form of cooking that can aid in involving and entertaining your guests.
As for timing, keep an eye on your watch or a clock giving the steaks around 5 minutes on each side, rotating them 90 degrees halfway through to get those perfect grill lines. This should give you a good medium rare and you can add or subtract a few minutes to accommodate your guests’ preferences. For your vegetables, keep an eye out for some light wilting on the outside to know when they’re ready to be plated. As you’re watching and being patient for consistently cooked meat there’s no better way to pass the time than with a cocktail in hand.
The fire pit provides the perfect gathering spot for your friends and family on a hot summer’s night as well as a fun, engaging, and primal way to prepare the meal. There’s no better way to connect with friends and family than outdoors and over good food and drink.
Explore the Grilling collection here.
Written by Connor Roe.
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