If you've recently bought a home in an area where the winter months bring cold, snowy weather, installing a custom fireplace is a great way to ensure access to heat even when the power goes out. Not only does a fireplace serve as a heat source, it can also be used to turn out dinners with ease, even when you're waiting for the lights to come back on. Here's a look at what you need to know about using that new custom fireplace for cooking.
Tips For Getting The Fire Ready
When you light the fireplace, the initial flames are often tall, hot and inconsistent. Don't try to cook on the fire when it's like this. Instead, you'll want to be sure that it's calmed, settled and consistent first. If you light the fire and let it burn for a while, it will create an even heat that you can cook with easily.
Once that fire has burned down to a low flame and a lot of coals, use a coal rake to distribute them evenly across the fireplace. That helps ensure radiant heat. You may even need to shift the coals around a little bit while you're cooking to maintain that heat, because the ones on top will eventually cool a little bit.
Using The Right Tools To Cook
Most of the tools you use in the kitchen aren't going to be safe for the fireplace. You'll need to find tools specifically made for open-fire cooking because they have long, heat-proof handles.
- Roasting forks - These are great for things like sausage, hot dogs and marshmallows. You can buy them in many different diameters and lengths.
- Baskets - Baskets are a great investment for popping corn and roasting larger items. You can buy them in wire and solid metal. Fill the basket, lock the top in place and put the unit over the coals. With the top secured, you can even flip the basket over to cook the contents evenly.
- Dutch oven - A Dutch oven is the best vessel you can pick for versatile, rustic cooking on an open fire. Cast iron Dutch ovens are durable and consistent. In addition, they heat evenly. This reduces the hot spots that lead to burns and sticking.
With the information here and these tools, you can prepare your home for a fireplace cooking session the next time that the weather takes out the power in the neighborhood. For more information, For more tips about fireplace options, talk to a company like Alpine Fireplaces.