Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Varieties of Fire Pits

The huge variety of fire pit styles, prices, and sizes will amaze even the most seasoned veteran of the home amenities market. Whether you want to build your own fire pit or buy one, be sure to do a little bit of research about the types that are available. For homeowners who construct their own pits, the job is neither costly nor exceedingly tricky. For buyers, you can expect to discover a gigantic price differential between the cheapest and most expensive fire pit models. For more than 8,000 years, human beings have been enjoying the community bonding that is engendered by fire. The safest fire pits are topped with fire pit covers.

Wood-burning fire pits are great for cooking. Whether you want to prepare large or small food portions, wood is the way to go. Some wood pits even have rotisseries attached that let you get just the right result from your culinary expertise. Some aficionados claim that wood-cooked food tastes better than any other kind. Portable fire pits are similar to wood pits, but are typically set in huge metal dishes and mounted on wheeled frames for ease of movement. In either case, wood or portable, fire pit covers are an ideal way to enhance the safety of your new backyard appliance.

Among the most popular of all modern day fire pits are cast iron and copper models. Copper obviously costs more than cast iron, and has a shimmering, beautiful appearance. The price differential is justified due to copper’s fantastic look and its long life. Cast iron is not necessarily inferior, but does have a lower melting point than copper and a grainy exterior. Homeowners on a tight budget often opt for cast iron as a first foray into the world of fire pits.

Simple stone fire pits, also known as campfire pits, are probably the most oldest of all yard amenities. The ancients used the hole-in-the-ground system, where wood logs were set aflame and surrounded by large stones. With a bit of elbow grease and imagination, you can even build a makeshift cooking grate or spit to go over the campfire pit. Some users cook rather large portions on these pits, even entire animal carcasses in some cases.

Gas pits are the most convenient style on the market, featuring natural gas or propane as fuel, and obviously no ashes or mess to clean up. Fire pit purists might consider the gas pit a sacrilege, but the gas models are indeed popular with many homeowners. As you begin to search for your fire pit, don’t be shocked when you discover the enormous variety of models available.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Why Should You Cook Over a Fire Pit?

When you consider that cooking over an open fire pit is a flashback to the past before gas grills became the norm, it's easy to see why cooking over a fire pit has been gaining in popularity lately, especially with people spending so much more time outdoors in their outdoor living spaces. You can even talk to a swimming pool builder or a landscape designer to have them build a fire pit in your backyard. There’s no reason to completely give up your gas grill, but you can use a fire pit as a way to shake up both your outdoor cooking and your entertaining plans.

Fire pits were the favored type of cooking for decades until propane fuel grills came into the forefront of outdoor cooking. Propane grills were considered more convenient and they certainly cooked more quickly than did a charcoal fueled fire. What propane grills lacked though was the delicious taste of outdoor cooking that only cooking over an open flame of a charcoal grill can offer.

Smokers started gaining in popularity for outdoor parties and cooking and that seemed to be followed by a return to fire pit cooking. A fire pit, by definition, is an outdoor cooking apparatus that could be as simple as a metal legged charcoal grill, to a brick and mortar or chiminea structure. Cooking over the flames of an outdoor fire pit adds a more relaxed ambiance to the festivities. You will want to make certain once you’re done with your cooking though that you use a fire pit cover to keep dirt, leaves and debris from falling into the structure and keep it off of the grill rack.

From cooking meat to grilling fruits and vegetables, cooking over an outdoor fire pit is something that can be done by almost everyone. You don’t need any special cooking talent and any special fuel other than charcoal. However, you may opt to cook in your fire pit over wood rather than charcoal briquettes. Imagine cooking with cherry wood or other fragrant-type woods to add flavor and interest to the meat you cook.

Fire pits also lend themselves to your guests pulling up a chair and lingering around the warmth of the structure long after the meal is over. Imagine the kids roasting marshmallows over the open flames while the adults relax and keep a watchful eye on the proceedings – it is fun for all! Constructing a fire pit will certainly add to the number of months that you can utilize your outdoor living space.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tips on What to Burn in Your Fire Pit

Autumn is here and time to fire up the fire pits! But what can and can't you burn in these trendy new additions to porches and backyards across the country? You don't want to lose the fun of having your own fire in your backyard, yet you want the event to be safe for all. Fear not, however, as we have some great tips to help you out. So whip off those fire pit covers and start grilling, cooking, or just enjoying warmth on a cold evening with these tips!
  • Avoid burning solid matter. You don't know what kind of odors or fumes trash will put out when burned, or what you're going to inhale when you and your family and friends gather around the fire pit. 
  • Only burn wood. It's safer and more reliable!
  • Never burn wet wood. Gathering your own wood might sound like fun, but chances are it will be wet. Wet wood will cause enough smoke to water any eye, and make it impossible to cook anything over the fire pit.
  • Choose your wood wisely. You will want cured or seasoned/dried wood. Either season it yourself or buy it done already. Also, be sure you know the difference between hardwood and soft wood. Hardwood burns longer and hotter, ideal for sitting around, while soft wood burns faster and at a lower temperature, making it ideal for cooking.
  • Always use fire pit covers when the fire pit is not in use. This will prevent most things from getting inside, such as dirt and leaves, and keep your fire pit read for use!
So get that wood ready, strike up the matches, and bring on the marshmallows, because now is the time to enjoy your outdoor living space via the warmth and attraction a fire pit brings.