Outdoor Cooking 101: Everything You Need to Know from Prep to Cooking
Whether it’s campsite cooking or cooking outside in your backyard, cooking outside is fun and easy once you get the hang of it. Outdoor cooking provides a casual and relaxing ambiance as the grill sizzles, the aroma wafts in the breeze, and an ice-cold beverage quenches your thirst as you rotate the meat. Cooking outdoors is fun for the old and young, the solo chef, or the social grillmaster.
Though it can be overwhelming if you don’t honestly know how to cook outside or if you don’t have the right appliances, getting started is easier than you think. Here are some pointers to get you started.
The Perks of Outdoor Cooking
The benefits of cooking outside are practical, aesthetic, and social. Spill some sauce on the ground? The rain will wash it away, or a bird will enjoy it. Have a sleeping baby inside? Make as much noise as you want outside. Spread out and make a mess. The smoke alarm won’t go off if you overcook the meat in the oven. And you’ll entice neighbors to say hello with the wonderful aromas you cook up.
Cooking outside is fun because it’s different. The humdrum of the kitchen is your daily routine; cooking outdoors gives a change in scenery, which opens the mind to experiment with new flavors.
Plus, cooking inside can get noisy between the burners on high heat, the clanging of pots and pans, and possibly a cramped kitchen. That means it’s not always conducive to conversation. Outdoor cooking allows the sound to disperse. In addition, there is usually enough room for guests to mingle, allowing a more relaxed atmosphere for cooking and conversation.
5 Tips For Outdoor Cooking
Before you fire up your grill, here is some advice if you want to cook outdoors:
Gather the Basics. Keep it simple – you don’t need access to every kitchen tool in your cabinet. The essentials for outdoor cooking away from home include:
- A heat source, such as lighter fluid with coals and a portable grill, a kerosene heater, or a griddle
- A pot, pan, or cooking surface. (A cast iron skillet is handy for nearly everything you may want to cook outside, but it is heavy.)
- Aluminum foil
- Reusable utensils, plates, cups, and cloth napkins
- A cooler and ice packs
- A small bottle of all-natural dish soap and a towel
- Trash bags
You don’t want to end up out in the wilderness without a crucial piece of cookware, especially if you are cooking outdoors camping during a multi-day hiking adventure. Leave bulky sauces in glass bottles at home. Pick lightweight seasonings and meals you can quickly prepare, replicate, and clean up fast in case of a sudden thunderstorm.
Choose Your Delicacy. In other words, decide what you want to cook. Knowing what you want to eat will inform you what supplies you need and how to prepare them.
- To make omelets and quesadillas, for example, a cast iron skillet is great. You will also need a cooler to keep eggs, cheese, and other ingredients fresh.
- If you plan to prepare meat, freeze it the night before, so it can function as an ice pack until it thaws and you are ready to cook it the next day. Don’t forget drinks; they can also function as ice packs if you pack them cold.
- Prepare the Night Before. Chop vegetables, portion out everything in containers, and do everything you can ahead of time so that cooking outdoors is as simple as possible. You won’t have much room to do these tasks when camping and cooking. But this step will be less important if you have an outdoor kitchen on your property.
- Pack the Appropriate Appliances. After deciding what to eat, you will be aware of special equipment to pack in addition to the dining essentials. A little grill is all you need for outdoor campfire cooking. Always have oven mitts handy and insect repellent.
Packing is crucial for outdoor camping cooking, but for backyard cooking, it’s still helpful to have everything you need at your fingertips ahead of time. Going back and forth from your indoor kitchen to your outdoor one takes the fun out of it.
- Practice Fire Safety and Trail Etiquette. This is one of the most critical camping cooking tips. Fire season may restrict cooking outside, so check your local area before leaving. Clean up afterward, putting out your fire completely. Never put water over an oil fire. Put your trash in a bag to dispose of next time you see a trash can.
Gear Up for Outdoor Cooking with Grillscapes
Whether you want your own outdoor pizza oven, a firepit for s’mores, the grill of your dreams, or a freestanding griddle to take camping, Grillscapes has the best outdoor cooking equipment selections. From Lynx Grills to Twin Eagles Grills, browse our variety of brands and products to find what you need for your next backyard barbeque or camping weekend. Get in touch with any questions, and happy cooking!