fireplace cooking


On account of several things we couldn’t set the grill on the usual firepit outside, and as the broiler is such a disappointment with things like meatballs, and seeing as lately I’ve been inclined towards the primitive, we found ourselves cooking in the fireplace the other night.

Let me tell you, I am sold.

I think I learned more about grilling in one hour than in the last five years of grilling on grills and open fires. And despite there being things I would do better next time (like making a deeper coal-bed and using the correct color-balance when taking a picture) these were perhaps the most satisfying meatballs I have ever cooked.

There will be more posts on this subject. Many more.

In the meantime, I suggest you try it. Rig some way to set up a rack in your fireplace, such as the bricks I used. Make sure you have a good, deep bed of coals. Put the rack on, wait until the rack is good and hot before putting on the food.

Have a glass of wine and a good pair of tongs. Lay around on an oriental rug bolstered by a few pillows and blankets. Eat the meatballs as they become ready, with the rest of your food, already thoughtfully laid out.


4 Comments on “fireplace cooking”

  1. Ma says:

    Will, this post is so cool. It sounds so delicious and sensuous and truly a totally William experience. Turn this into a book.

  2. s*kate says:

    Why was it different than using the outside firepit? Did they cook differently or was it about how you experienced it?

    Few people here in NZ have open fires inside now. Mostly they have woodburners. Which is sad in many ways (but understandable).

  3. Will Huenink says:

    The difference was the scale. A small fire cares a lot more how you treat it than a larger one. Also, I’ve never cooked on my belly before, with my nose right up in my cooking. Made me pay attention to grilling facts I’ve been putting off learning for, say, five years.

    As for the efficiency of heating with open fires, that is a pet cause of mine, and I’m writing a post. Should be up shortly.

  4. s*kate says:

    That makes a lot of sense, thanks. I look forward to the next post.

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