It’s no secret that we love good food. Not only does it taste great, but delicious food brings people together and provides comfort during stressful times.
Eating good food doesn’t require you to go to a restaurant. In fact, we think the best food you’ll ever eat can be cooked at home and over the fire.
It’s also no secret that we love great fires, and when you spend enough time around the fire you eventually get hungry. In this article, we’ll share 8 different recipe ideas for cooking amazing food outdoors and over the fire.
Whether you use a grill, smoker, or pizza oven there is something here to love.
And of course, if you want the best flavors then don’t forget to use the best firewood for cooking. We deliver and ship all across the United States!
1. Pulled Pork
When we think barbecue, our first thought is pulled pork.
It takes a long time to cook, but when done right it is unbelievably juicy, tender, and delicious. It reminds me of childhood: our family ate a lot of pulled pork sandwiches at family reunions and birthday parties.
It’s also a great way to cook a lot of food. One pork butt can create enough food to feed 10-15 people, or one person 10-15 times!
When we got into smoking and grilling, pulled pork was one of the first things we tried. It’s a great intro because it’s harder to mess up than just about anything out there. It does take time, so make sure you pick a day when you can be around for 8-12 hours!
We put together a great article that explains how to cook pulled pork.
2. Reverse Sear a Ribeye
One of our favorite ways to cook steaks is to reverse sear them.
This method allows you to cook the steak slowly, bringing it to the perfect temperature. Then give your steak a crispy exterior by turning the heat way up and searing the steak for a few seconds on each side.
We rarely order steaks at a restaurant – we simply got tired of receiving steaks that were not cooked to our liking. But in our own backyard, we get to make the best steak possible. It used to seem that this was a mystical and impossible task for professionals, but the reverse sear method is remarkably doable.
Recommended cooking wood: We love using oak cooking chunks for their amazing heat and subtle flavor with steak.
3. Cook a Pizza from Scratch
If I had to choose one food to eat for the rest of my life, it would be pizza. It’s got everything you need and can be incredibly delicious.
And, of course, the best pizzas in the world are cooked in wood-fired ovens. You can make your life easier by using pre-made pizza dough and pizza sauce, or you can go all-in and make everything from scratch.
Emeril Lagasse has a basic pizza dough recipe that’s simple and has some great ideas for adding unique flavors to the crust.
For homemade pizza sauce, using San Marzano tomatoes makes for some incredible flavor – we like this pizza sauce recipe. We also blend the tomatoes because we like our pizza sauce smooth, but you can keep it chunky if you prefer. It’s your home, cook it the way you want!
Recommended cooking wood: If you have your own wood-fired pizza oven, then you definitely want to try our firewood for pizza oven. It was designed with and for pizza chefs to cook at the perfect temperature. If you want to try cooking a pizza inside your ceramic grill, then we recommend our oak cooking splits.
4. Smoke some Ribs using the 3-2-1 Method
Ribs can be glorious.
They can also be tough, chewy, and bone dry.
Fortunately, there’s a super-easy way to ensure your ribs are glorious: the 3-2-1 method. This method keeps the ribs juicy and ensures near fall off the bone tenderness. You can read more about the 3-2-1 method here (including recipe, tips, and tricks).
In summary, the 3-2-1 method involves the following 3 steps:
3: Smoke spare ribs over indirect heat for 3 hours (2 hours if you’re using baby back ribs). This gives imbues the meat with smoke flavor from your wood as it cooks.
2: Wrap the ribs in aluminum foil and smoke them for 2 more hours. It’s popular to add some kind of liquid like cider vinegar, or beer, inside the foil to give them extra moisture.
1: Remove the foil and coat the ribs in a thin layer of barbecue sauce. Smoke for 1 more hour.
Recommended cooking wood: We love ribs with bold flavor, so we recommend using our hickory smoking wood.
5. Next level burgers and bratwursts
We used to cook our burgers and bratwursts on a gas grill and thought it was fine. Then we cooked them over charcoal and cooking wood and our whole world changed.
We’d always heard that the flavor was better, but we were floored by how much better it tasted. In fact, our very first cook over the Primo grill was simple burgers and bratwursts for the 4th of July. We even cooked some turkey burgers because someone brought them along.
One of the turkey burger eaters couldn’t stop talking about how good it tasted. “What did you do differently!?”
It was simple, we used the reverse sear technique for the burgers and brats by smoking them for about an hour at 235 degrees and then turning up the heat to give them a crispy exterior. Smoking the burgers and brats first allowed the hickory aroma to absorb into the meat and produced an amazing flavor.
Recommended cooking wood: Every wood is great with bratwursts, so why not try the smoking chunks variety pack? It includes 4 different species of wood and gives you the freedom to experiment.
6. Make Jalapeño Poppers
There is more to cooking over the fire than just cooking your main course. Lots of sides can be added to the grill, especially when you’re using a large one like the Primo XL400.
Jalapeño Poppers add an awesome kick to any meal and only require 4 ingredients: jalapeño peppers, sliced bacon, cheese, and cream cheese. You can also add garlic, pepper, and salt to taste.
You will want to be careful when making these – wear gloves when you hollow out the jalapeños (and wash your hands vigorously when done). Getting jalapeño seed heat into your eyes is definitely memorable, but definitely not the kind of memory you want!
This recipe adds some unique flavor by including turkey stuffing, this recipe adds the jalapeño poppers inside some chicken breasts, and this is a nice and simple recipe - just cook it inside your ceramic grill instead of the oven so you get the amazing smoke flavor!
Recommended cooking wood: Odds are you’ll be cooking the jalapeño poppers alongside something else. You can use that wood or use some maple smoking chunks to add a little sweetness to the spice.
7. Grill some salmon
Salmon is our favorite fish to eat, and it tastes awesome on the grill.
Salmon has a mouth-watering natural flavor that becomes even better when cooked over wood. It can a great foundation for a healthy meal as well, so you can feel good about cooking it more often!
You can smoke salmon on a cedar plank or you can smoke it directly on the grill. It’s a flexible fish and tastes great using a variety of methods. I also like marinading salmon for extra flavor, but it can taste fantastic with just a bit of salt or pepper as well!
Recommended cooking wood: Salmon pairs beautifully with pecan smoking chunks, so we recommend those!
8. Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread
By now you have probably noticed that we like things with a little kick!
Cornbread is a staple around here and brings back just as many memories as pulled pork. Once again we’ll turn to Craig Tabor for an excellent recipe on cooking cornbread in a cast-iron skillet inside your ceramic style grill.
Cooking inside a cast-iron skillet gives the cornbread an amazing crispy exterior while maintaining a perfectly moist interior.
Cornbread is an excellent side to just about everything, but it is a dream match when paired with some delicious chili.
And of course, if you’re looking for the best cooking wood available then be sure to visit our firewood for cooking. We offer complimentary shipping nationwide on all wood chunks for smoking and cooking splits!