Cooking over a campfire can be a really fun experience that feeds into our primal caveman nature. Make sure you enjoy a successful outdoor experience by following a few simple rules when it comes to building and lighting your campfire.
Prepare your site
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Firing up the grill is a great way to spend your leisure time while feeding family and friends. However, owning a grill involves more than simply lighting the fire. We call it S.L.C.
Follow these simple precautions to minimize the risk of injury or fire:
Selecting the right location for your grill reduces the risk of any surrounding items catching fire. Check that there are no buildings, trees, hanging laundry, etc. in your chosen grill location. Once you have selected your site:
It is all too easy to neglect grills during the winter months. We recommend getting your grill in shape by:
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Warm the grill to make removing grease and food easier. Once the coals are lit and the grate starts to heat up, use a long-handled wire brush on your grill to clean off any leftover food or grease. Don’t forget to scrape it again immediately after use. You’ll be ready for your next barbecue in no time.
Whether your barbeque is clean or dirty, lean foods with little fat may still stick to your grill. Rub Vegetable oil onto your food to keep your meat from sticking to the grill, alternatively oil the grill directly using a brush. Never apply oil directly from the bottle or from a spray, as this can cause unwanted flames and even smoke.
Don’t forget food hygiene outdoors when cooking. Remember to have separate plates for raw and cooked meat, different chopping boards for vegetables, etc. Also make sure to keep your food in the fridge for as long as possible and keep marinating meats in there too.
Flames flare up from your grill when fat drips onto the heat source and catches fire. This can char the outside of the food before the inside is cooked through. To reduce flare-ups, select lean cuts of meat, trim excess fat and remove the skins from poultry. As an added safety measure, it's a good idea to keep a spray bottle filled with water nearby to quickly douse any flare-up.
Bacteria in undercooked food can ruin a great event. That's why it's essential to make sure that your grill is at optimum temperature for killing any bugs and thoroughly cooking your food. A food thermometer is a great way to make sure your food cooks to the right temperature. Alternatively, you can pierce the food with a fork to allow the heat to cook the inside of the food faster.
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The easiest way to cook outdoors is on a grill placed over the fire using rocks to hold it in place. If you are the more adventurous type, use these 5 tried and tested ways of cooking food on your next camping trip.
You will need an egg and an orange. Cut the orange in half, carefully carve out the fruit segments from both sides. Be careful not to pierce or cut through the peel. Next, crack an egg into each of the two halves of the orange and carefully place them on the bed of loose coals at the edge of the fire. Stir in some cheese and you've got mini omelets!
This cooking method has been used by thousands of Scouts, Guides, and Brownies all over the world. It is simple to cook and makes a nice change to traditional grilling, it's a whole meal rolled into one dish!
Ingredients: Green vegetables, potatoes, cubed meat, herbs & spices, oil, and water.
Method: Lay out a large double layer of aluminum foil and combine evenly diced vegetables and potatoes with your meat. Season with a dash of herbs or spices and add a little oil and water (to help steam cook the food inside). Carefully roll the edges up tight so that nothing can get out, then place the whole package directly on the coals. The smaller you cut the food, the quicker it will cook through.
These are simple to make and can be enjoyed either as a sweet or savory snack.
Method: Mix flour, water, and a pinch of salt together to form a thick dough. For sweet twists, just add dark and golden raisins and some cinnamon. If you prefer savory, try adding some grated cheese.
Cooking: Roll the dough into a snake and twist it around a long thick green stick (with bark removed). Prop the stick over the glowing embers of your campfire, turning the twists occasionally so they cook evenly until they turn a nice golden brown. A favorite of scouts the world over!
If you love hot dogs but don't have a grill, then this is for you! Lay sliced onion on cabbage leaves, add a hot dog and then top with more onions. Wrap the cabbage leaf tightly and seal the edges with some small green sticks to keep it closed. Place the packet in the fire embers for about 7-10 minutes, turning occasionally.
For an authentic natural taste, try wrapping your meat, cheese, or freshly caught fish in wild leaves. For example, wrapping raw food in Cattails (Typha, readily found in marshes, swamps, and ditches all over Europe and North America) will produce a fresh earthy taste.
The best method is to wrap your food in the leaves, overlap the leaves around the raw food, and tie some wet twine around the leaves to hold it together. Carefully place the packets of food over the warm embers of your fire and wait for your food to cook.
If you have any of your own top tips for campfire cooking then we would love to hear them! Please share to our Facebook page, tweet us or send us an email.
Please ensure you read the safety warnings which are included on the packaging of all ZIP™ products before using.
If you have any of your own top tips for outdoor fire safety tips then we would love to hear them! Please share to our Facebook page, tweet us or send us an email.
Not only are we passionate about lighting fires, we really want to share our love and enthusiasm for all things fire.
Wood is a natural and sustainable choice of fuel for domestic fires and has been in use since the first fire many millenia ago. When we warm our homes with wood, we participate in a natural cycle that we share with our ancient ancestors. Wood fueled the open fires of the hunter-gatherers, the brick ovens of the first bakers, and, until the 19th century, all our homes.
Today, we still love to sit in front of a fire and coming in from the cold instinctively draws us towards it. We all know that familiar feeling of returning home after a busy day out to a cold, chilly house and desperately wanting a roaring fire to warm you up fast!
Whether it is gazing into the magical flames or unwinding with a glass of your favorite wine, ZIP™ firestarters and the right wood will help you achieve a speedy, toasty house leaving you more time to relax and enjoy your well-earned rest at the end of a busy day.
Aspen, basswood, cottonwood, chestnut, yellow poplar and spruce produce relative low amounts of heat and whilst easy to burn also pop, throw out sparks and produce a fair amount of smoke. They are most suitable for use as kindling.
If you have any of your own top tips for choosing the right wood then we would love to hear them! Please share to our Facebook page, tweet us or send us an email.
There’s no better way to prolong your time outside than by firing up the chiminea!
Always remember to take the lid off when making a fire, it sounds obvious but is easily forgotten! Leaving the lid on can be very dangerous as the pressure from the flames could cause your chiminea to explode.
Make sure that you do not put a chiminea directly on to wooden decking. It’s always best to place something underneath such as a slab of concrete or stone.
Equally, do not use your chiminea inside and make sure that there are no overhanging trees above the chiminea, as all of these factors are a fire risk.
Traditional clay chimineas are prone to cracks and are easily broken. A way to avoid this is by lining the base of yours with a thin layer of sand- this will prevent the hottest part of the fire from coming into direct contact with the clay.
If you have any of your own top tips for chiminea safety then we would love to hear them! Please share to our Facebook page, tweet us or send us an email.
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