wood burning barbecue grill

The Dos and Don'ts of Cooking on a Wood Burning Barbecue Grill

There’s so much more to cooking on a wood-burning barbecue grill than most people think. Sure, switching on your gas stove gets the job done quicker, but that’s the point it’s not an experience. Sitting around the fire with your loved ones or buddies while the smell of grilled goodness wafts through the air now, that’s what we like to call pure bliss. If you’re new to this way of cooking and living, firstly welcome, and secondly, you have much to learn. But we figured we’ll start you off with a good ol’ dos and don’ts list.
Our Dos and Don’ts for Cooking on a Wood Burning Barbecue Grill
1. Do Use the Right Wood For Your Fire
We live by the notion that our food is only as good as our fire. And so, we have no choice but to make a great fire every time we grill. Building a fire is really quite simple, really, as long as you have the right firewood. Dry, seasoned wood is always the best. Never use wet wood and stay away from the poor trees too! The KUDU Grill will also be your best friend when cooking over the open fire.
2. DON’T Be Impatient
Remember, you’re not in front of your stove anymore; you’re out in the wild using natural resources. Okay, it’s not that dramatic, but cooking with fire does require a lot more patience than what you could potentially be used to. Keep in mind that, just because your fire is lit, doesn’t mean it’s ready to cook your food yet. The best heat for grilling and cooking comes from hot coals and a few logs of burning wood. And that takes a bit of chatting, snacking, and sipping before your grill is ready to go. Lean into the experience and enjoy! Crack open another cold one. There’s no rush to get the food on the table.
3. DO Build a Small Fire
Many wood-burning barbecue grill newbies make the mistake of building a massive fire and not having any firewood left to fuel the heat. Big fires often die out very quickly and leave you with coals that are too hot, which isn’t suitable for cooking much. Start with a small fire with smaller logs, letting that burn for about 30 minutes, and only adding bigger pieces of wood as needed. This will give you a warm base of leftover coals and wood to keep your fire burning all night.
4. DON’T Cook Over Direct Heat
We love roasted marshmallows, but that’s about the only thing you can cook directly over a flame and get away with it. This is where indirect heat comes in. Cooking your food over indirect heat is the best way to get that smokey taste you’re after while still making sure it cooks all the way through. You can create indirect heat by building your fire on one side of your fire pit and using the other side to move your hot coals around. This way, you can use the same fire to cook two or more different dishes.
5. DO Time Your Food
Open fire provides more heat for a longer period of time. Carry-over cooking is when food is taken off its heat source and continues to cook while it rests. So, food that has been taken off of the fire will have a longer carry-over cooking time. This means you must be mindful of how long your food stays on the grill. Pro Tip: Remove your food from the grill just before you think it’s done. This will give it more time to cool down from the heat.
6. DON'T Miss out on our Amazing Recipes
Many people still think that cooking over the open fire means burger and fries for dinner, but they couldn't be more wrong (but also, a good grilled burger never hurt anyone). You can cook the simplest to the most exquisite of meals over the open fire, and you can have fun doing it too. Our outdoor grill recipes offer a little bit of everything. There's something for the beginner and something for the seasoned outdoor chef. Give them a try and fall in love with cooking in your backyard.
Start Your Open Fire Cooking Adventure
If you’re ready to dig into food cooked over the wood burning barbecue grill, then you should (seriously) consider getting a KUDU open fire grill. Our grills are made to last, and to bring you years and years of lip-smacking meals that you can cook wherever you are, from your backyard to your camping site at the lake. Browse our range of KUDU grills and accessories, and you’ll quickly see what you’re missing!