There’s something truly magical about cooking outdoors, and nothing quite beats the smoky aroma and unique flavour imparted by using firewood as your fuel source. Whether you’re grilling, smoking, or simply enjoying a cosy campfire cooking experience, firewood adds a distinctive touch to your outdoor culinary adventures. Bittern Garden Supplies is a leading local supplier of high-quality firewood. Somerville and suburbs all across the Mornington Peninsula are serviced by our affordable firewood delivery.
Read on as we explore the art of using firewood for outdoor cooking, sharing tips and techniques to help you harness the full potential of this age-old tradition.
Choosing the Right Firewood
Selecting the right type of firewood is crucial for achieving the desired flavour and heat intensity. Hardwoods such as oak, hickory, cherry or red gum firewood are excellent choices, as they burn hot and produce a pleasant smoky flavour. Avoid softwoods like pine or spruce, as they can create unpleasant aromas and flavours.
Seasoning the Firewood
Properly seasoned firewood is essential for efficient cooking and a flavour-packed result. Freshly cut wood contains excess moisture, which can lead to excessive smoke and difficulty in maintaining a steady fire. Ideally, firewood should be seasoned for at least six months to a year, allowing it to dry and reach a moisture content of around 20%. Dry firewood burns cleaner, produces less smoke, and provides consistent heat that’s ideal for cooking.
Building the Fire
When cooking with firewood, building a well-structured fire is key. Start by arranging the firewood in a stack or a teepee shape, allowing for proper air circulation. Use kindling or smaller pieces of firewood to create a base and easily ignite the fire. Gradually add larger pieces of red gum firewood as the fire grows, maintaining a steady supply of fuel.
Controlling the Temperature
The heat control when cooking with firewood requires attention and practice. By adjusting the airflow and the size of the fire, you can regulate the temperature to ensure even cooking without over-charring or burning. For high heat, position the food closer to the flames, and for slower cooking or smoking, move the food away from direct heat or use indirect cooking methods.
Adding Flavour with Smoke
One of the significant advantages of cooking with firewood is the mouthwatering smoky flavour it imparts to your food. Experiment with different types of wood to create unique flavour profiles. For a mild smoky taste, use fruitwoods like apple or cherry, while hickory or mesquite provides stronger and bolder smoky notes. Soak wood chips or chunks in water for about 30 minutes before placing them on the fire to produce a more intense plume of smoke.
Experimenting with Cooking Techniques
Firewood offers a range of cooking techniques, from grilling and searing to slow smoking. For direct grilling, place the food directly over the fire for quick and intense heat that results in a delicious, char grilled taste. Indirect grilling involves positioning the food to the side of the fire, allowing for slower, more even cooking. This imparts a more subtle barbequed flavour and increases tenderness. Smoking involves low and slow cooking, using the smoke produced by smouldering firewood to infuse flavour into the food. Whichever technique you use, you’re sure to end up with a sumptuous meal that’s loaded with unique flavours and aromas.
Don’t Forget About Safety Precautions
When using firewood for outdoor cooking, safety should be a top priority. Ensure that you are in a well-ventilated area away from any flammable materials. Have a fire extinguisher and water source nearby, and never leave the fire unattended. Use long tongs or spatulas to handle the food and protect yourself from the heat.
By selecting the right firewood, building a well-structured fire, and mastering various cooking techniques, you can take your outdoor cooking and grilling experiences to new heights! Enjoy the smoky aromas, savour the delicious flavours, and create unforgettable memories around the warmth of the fire.
Looking for the Best Red Gum Firewood? Flinders Locals Rely on Bittern Garden Supplies
We harvest all own red gum firewood from locations in northern Victoria and Southern NSW. 90% of our red gum firewood supplies come from clean-up operations, meaning no green or live trees are harvested throughout our operations. For local delivery across the Mornington Peninsula, or any landscaping works reach out to us online or call 5983 9779 today.