Barbecues, Fire Pits, Gary, How To, Recipe

Cooking on firepits

It’s been a long hot summer, and we’ve been rushing to rescue our barbeques from the depths of the shed. With the heatwave finally on its way out, but a warm autumn predicted we have a few more weeks of pink sausages and overcooked burgers to look forward too. But does the barbeque risk becoming a bit – samey? Is it time for a new way of cooking outdoors? Perhaps one that has been sitting there unnoticed all along – the humble fire pit.

The Pit vs the BBQ

The BBQ is as synonymous with a British summer as ice pops and Wimbledon. So, why would we want to change this staple of our year ?

It all comes down to adaptability- the pit is not only a way of cooking, it’s a social experience.You might just want to bask in its glow with a bottle of wine. On some nights, You might want to invite the family round and cook over the open fire – on the best nights you’ll do both. Cooking over an open fire is an inherently social and primal experience that lends itself perfectly to a party where everyone sits, talks and cooks their own food.

The versatility of food you can cook on a firepit is impressive. Anything that can be cooked over a grill can be cooked on a firepit and if your pit comes with a lid you open up the world of roasting . You can also sear steak, hot dogs, and burgers over the fire as well as throwing a pan over the flames to fry seafood, vegetables and more. Some fancier pits will come with a rotisserie bar which allows you to cook whole poultry and game-birds and if your pit is big enough – suckling pig and lamb.

Sausages
by NPS Photo / Mackenzie Reed

The Basics

Cooking on a fire pit is probably alien to a lot of people. It’s not something we are used to doing, and it can be daunting to consider learning a whole new way of cooking and everything that comes with it . If you are willing to give to give it a go you are in for a culinary treat, but as with all forms of cooking there are a few rules that need to be followed:

Keep Water Nearby – This one may seem obvious, but it always worth reiterating. Open flames can be very dangerous and unpredictable, you may have pets and children to consider and some wood has a habit of spitting . Make sure that you always keep a bucket of water within easy reach of the pit just in case of accidents.

Prepare the Fire Correctly – The instinct may be to begin cooking as soon as you see flames, don’t do this. The ideal fire for cooking over will be mainly made up of hot coals and a few logs of burning wood. Light the fire and wait for 30-40 mins for the fire to burn down and the coals to start glowing – this is when it’s ideal to cook on.

Use the Right Fuel – The best fuel for fire pit cooking is a combination of coal and wood. The coals will be your main heat producer and can be bought from specialist retailers. Your choice of wood will decide flavour: If possible, use shop bought almond, cherry, hickory or mesquite wood for the best burn time and flavour. If you can’t find these near you charcoal can be used as a substitute. Do not use artificial firestarters or logs.

Use the Right Equipment – Your new outdoor kitchen will need some equipment before you get started. If you are planning on a more traditional selection of food then this toolset is a fun place to start. However, if you want to be a bit more adventurous then this Dutch oven cooking set is ideal.

The Cooking

So, both you and the fire are prepared; the beer is cold and the family are nattering – it’s time to cook. As soon as the coals are red hot you’re ready to go. But how do we actually go about cooking on the pit?

Grilling

Grilling

The firepit can still be used to cook our garden party faves, this familiar way of cooking is the best place to start since you already know the basic timings and method. Some fire pits will come with a grill, but you can buy grill racks to fit over the top of your pit. Another option is to lay out the raw ingredients and let your guests cook their own food in a grill basket – it frees you up to host and provides a bit of theatre and socialisation to the evening.

Skewering

We ’ve all seen it in the films – people toasting marshmallows on a stick over a fire. This quintessential camping practice is a great way to end an evening and get the conversation flowing. But smores are not the only thing you can cook with a skewer. Sausages are a given but small chunks of meat and veg are also great when cooked like this. This method of cooking is simple, you need nothing but the skewer – just make sure it’s metal.

Roasting Marshmallows
By cyrusbulsara from Flickr under CCBY2.0

Pot Cooking

This kind of cooking requires the most equipment, but really expands the repertoire of what can be made. With the right recipe, you can be cooking a variety of foods that would not be possible on a barbeque. This method is best utilised with one-pot dishes like stews or curries and is a homely way of serving pre-made dishes whilst keeping them warm.

Cooking in the pot can be done in a few ways:

For keeping food warm or slow cooking. Hanging your pot from a tripod is the best option – You keep the heat constant and serving is easy (this is a great way of making and serving mulled wine). Or, if your fire is cool enough you can put the pot directly on the coals.

Pot over fire
by Roland Balik, 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

For frying – Put a pan or pot on the grill and cook as normal.

For faster cooking dishes – Rake the coals and wood to one side of the firepit, and put your pot in the empty space. This is a good method for dishes that require boiling.

You can really let your imagination be free with this one. If you have a Firepit Table or a spare pan, why not have a fondue for afters, or bake bread on a quiet weekend.

Spit Roasting

This way of cooking has been around for over 8,000 years and strips cookery back to its core – fire and meat. Yes, it can be time-consuming, but as soon as you take the first bite of tender, slightly smoked chicken you’ll never want to go back to the oven. Spit roasting can be a complex way of cooking but guides can be found online.

Glazed Duck
Image source

Most firepits won’t be big enough to do a full hog roast, but some get close. You will get your best results from poultry and game birds to start off with, but as your confidence and skills grow you can attempt small suckling pigs and larger birds like turkey. Just remember to turn the spit regularly and adhere to standard roasting times and you’ll be fine.

Cooking on the firepit needn’t be something to fear or shy away from, and this is just a very basic guide on how to start. Once you gain confidence you will keep finding new ways to push your skills. Cooking on a pit is great but they are also great ways to just relax in your garden. For whatever reason a firepit may appeal to you Primrose has you covered.

Gary ClarkeGary works in the Primrose product loading team, writing product descriptions and other copy. With seven years as a professional chef under his belt, he can usually be found experimenting in the kitchen or sat reading a book.

See all of Gary’s posts.

Barbecues, Garden Furniture, Guest Posts, How To

A beautiful garden is something every outdoor lover should have. And while spring is approaching, it is the perfect time to start getting your garden ready for entertaining. If you want to enjoy your garden comfortably and be a host your guests will remember, check out these tips.

entertaining in garden

1. What Is the Occasion?

Are you planning an intimate dinner with your closest friends and family, or perhaps you are inviting your coworkers to discuss business strategies on a Sunday afternoon?

The occasion determines the type of guests that are coming, and you should make plans according to them; after all, you want to impress and entertain them. Once you think about the occasion and the people that are arriving, you can move on to other things.

2. Determine the Style

Before you decide on seating and decor, you should probably determine the style of your garden even if you never set one before. Rozzane & Friends suggest the following styles: Japanese, modern, Mediterranean, eco-friendly and so forth. This choice can be based on your personal style, occasion and budget. Regardless what your choice is, make sure that you can arrange everything, and if this is your first time doing it, perhaps going with something simple is the best choice.

4. Seating

Now that you took care of the “abstract” things it’s time to become practical and decide on accommodation; after all, your guests will probably want to sit somewhere, especially after they have a couple of drinks. Homify suggests a patio because it usually comes with a table, four to six chairs (depending on your choice) and a parasol.

Furthermore, make sure that the seating is aligned with the style (if you decided on one). If you do not have a particular style in mind, then make sure that everything fits in the overall environment of the garden.

garden decor

5. Decor

Your guests have the food, the drinks and are in their seats; now you want to focus on the atmosphere. Believe it or not, a single rock can change the way you perceive a place, so you can start decorating by adding some stones in your garden.

Again you have to think about the style. Do you want to create a calm or rustic atmosphere? Will your garden be a place of peace (which gardens usually are) or you want to breathe more life into it by adding colourful figurines or decorative lights? If it is a party, you should try to create a cheerful and friendly atmosphere.

6. Music

Speaking of atmosphere, you will probably want music. As Martha Stewart said, “music can make or break the party.” You do not have to complicate things too much, but you can if you know what you are doing.

Perhaps opting for live music is preferable if you are trying to impress someone. Then again, if you are throwing a casual party for your friends, just play the music of your choice. The benefit of playing your music on your device is that everyone else can pitch in and play the song they want.

7. Activities

What do you have in mind for your guest when it comes to activities? If it is a formal dinner, than conversing and sipping wine is probably all you need to have a pleasant evening.

However, if it is informal, then you can come up with something fun, something. Simple activities dancing or playing Pictionary, can bring things to another level. Again, it all depends on the type of guests that are arriving at your home.

garden activities

8. Enjoy Yourself!

If you do not enjoy the party, then others will not enjoy it. All that planning can tire you so much that you forget to relax and enjoy yourself. If you have problems with planning your party, you can always ask your friends and family to pitch in.

Someone might bring a bottle of sweet wine, while others might bring a dessert with them. The whole purpose of organizing the event is that everyone enjoys it, and that includes you.

Abby DrexlerAbby Drexler is a contributing writer and media specialist for Jackson’s Home & Garden. She regularly produces content for a variety of lifestyle and home blogs.

Amie, Barbecues, Fire Pits, Lighting, New Products, Outdoor Heating

The sun is setting, and the evening is cooling.
The sausages upon my BBQ have left me drooling.
With water and squash, and a dash of fizz,
Topped off with cake, this evening is bliss.

The wood upon the pit is crackling for hours,
Alongside the beauty of the summery forest flowers.
Easy to construct, robust and sturdy,
We’ll be sitting by the firepit until at least 1130.

The next morning has come, and it’s time to clean,
Which is easily done, now my firepit is pristine.
Back into it’s zipped bag, stored away for now,
My Primrose Firebowl has been has been nothing short of wow.

Get yours for only £39.99, with next day delivery available.

AmieAmie is a marketing enthusiast, having worked at Primrose since graduating from Reading University in 2014.

She enjoys all things sport. A keen football fan, Amie follows Tottenham Hotspur FC, and regularly plays for her local 5 a side football team.

Amie also writes restaurant reviews on Barnard’s Burger Blog.

Amie, Barbecues, Events, Gardening, Gazebos, How To, Marquees, Media, News, Outdoor Heating, Primrose.co.uk, Solar Lighting

Over 200,000 revellers will descend upon Worthy Farm for the annual Glastonbury Festival today. Whilst they will be rocking out to the likes of Ed Sheeran, it is also inevitable that they will encounter a lot of rain and mud too. Yes I know, we’re in a heatwave, but it’s Glastonbury – it ALWAYS rains. Not to mention the fact they will be unable to shower for almost a week, will be slogging it on a camping mat and will be void of all the amenities you appreciate with every day life.

So, how do you enjoy Glastonbury without actually slogging it with the masses? Well bring Glastonbury to your garden of course! Whether you’re listening on the radio or watching on the TV, you can easily recreate that feeling of being there.

We’ve a few products to make your ‘Glastonbury Garden’ even better.

Gazebos
Recreate that feeling of being in a tent, but with a lot more space and freedom. I’d recommend the yellow party tent; it’s funky colours will help create that festive vibe. The majority of our gazebos are waterproof too, so you don’t have to worry about getting soaked!

Outdoor Rugs
Relax in comfort with a vibrant outdoor rug. Not only are they 100% waterproof, but they’re also really easy to clean thanks to their polypropylene material. You can sprawl out, and use these as a picnic blanket if you wish also (or even as a place for your pets to lay and join you).

BBQs
When you’re at a festival, chances are you’ll either be eating beans off a small stove, throwing gone-off burgers onto a disposable BBQ or will simply divulge in a liquid-only diet. However, now you have the opportunity to cook up a fresh feast, and eat like royalty in comparison to the campers.

Outdoor Heating
Leading on from the delight off freshly cooked, warm food, why not keep yourself warm too in the cool evenings? Avoid layering up and wrapping yourself in blankets, and opt for a heater or firepit instead. It will provide you and your guests with ultimate warmth throughout the evening, and no longer will you have to worry about the cold British weather. If you opt for a firepit, you can recreate that festival feeling of sitting round a campfire, singing to your hearts content too!

Solar Lighting
Add an enchanting glow to your Glastonbury Garden set up with solar lighting. Whether you want to stake them into the ground, or hang them up on your gazebo (or nearby trees), you can create a beautiful scene which will help guide you back your bed when it’s getting dark.

Bean Bags
Perfect for lounging around in your garden, why not sit back and relax whilst you enjoy the sound of  Barry Gibb or Stormze. Why stand up on your feet all day, draining yourself at the main stage when you can sit back and crack open a cold one. No more sore feet. No uncomfy bottoms.

Image result for Outdoor Mighty Bean Bag Aqua(photo credit to bigfire.co.uk)

So there you have it. Enjoy Glastonbury this year without the hustle and bustle of leaving your garden! And if you are planning on going to Glastonbury, let us know how you get on!

AmieAmie is a marketing enthusiast, having worked at Primrose since graduating from Reading University in 2014.

She enjoys all things sport. A keen football fan, Amie follows Tottenham Hotspur FC, and regularly plays for her local 5 a side football team.

Amie also writes burger reviews on  Barnard’s Burger Blog.

 

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