Any ideas on fireplace cooking? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

We have a metal insert type of fireplace, 32 in. across, 16 in. deep, and 20 in. high. Does anyone have any ideas on whether a small fireplace like this could be used for heating/boiling water or cooking, and how that could be accomplished? We have a propane camping stove but if we could use the fireplace somehow (which would be burning anyway) that would help conserve our propane. Thanks for your ideas.

-- Another Programmer (, November 26, 1999


Get a thermometor for it - about $15, magnet sticks it on the top or side. Then you can tell what kind of temperature you're getting out of it.

Think tall and narrow pots - use percolators for heating water or for cooking soup. Whatever sits on the top surface. You can cook potatoes wrapped in foil in the coals, depending on the amount of heat. You can also heat water inside, in a small pot, but don't close the door while you're doing it, and pull the pot out soon as it boils. Then pour into instant dried soup mixes, etc.

Those dried mixes are good even if you don't use the fireplace - minimal cooking, minimal smells. Many stores sell them in the bulk goods section - instant pea soup, instant bean, etc.

-- bw (home@puget.sound), November 26, 1999.

You can place canned goods directly inside and heat right in the can. Think cast iron dutch oven for cooking. Our fireplace has a metal swing arm on top to hold pots over the fire, convenient...but for frying we also got a metal bracket meant to go over camp fires for cooking. Works fine, we've practiced a few times. You need super duper heat resistant gloves for putting things into and out of the fire. See for neat cast iron stuff and accessories.

-- kritter (, November 26, 1999.

If you heat anything thick, stir if often. Thick stuff can't circulate the heat well; the bottom will boil before the top is hot. I once launched 16 ounces of canned spaghetti straight into the air - pretty neat but not something I want to habitually do.

If you put it in the fireplace in a CLOSED can, you might have some real exciting moments when it all turns to steam at once.

-- bw (home@puget.sound), November 26, 1999.

Excellent 1-page "How To":

-- Hokie (, November 26, 1999.

bw thanks for my chuckle for today :-)

Regarding cooking in fireplace. If you know how to make bread you can bake it in there. Put the (I will be making biscuits as I am the south :-) bread in one pan place this in a larger pan with lid, making sure there are no parts on pan that will burn.

Do not set it directy in fire but to the side. If you have bricks you could place them in first to heat raking coals between them then sit pan on that will make it easier and faster using bricks. If top of pan is flat you can put coals on top too. After 10 to 20 mins. depending on heat remove coals with small shovel, remove pan and you have bread.

When cooking in a fireplace the cooking does not have to be done in the burning fire. Slow cooking can be done to the side. Place two bricks in the fireplace the width of the pan apart, set pan on bricks rake coals under pan as needed to increase heat OR put a small rack on the bricks (get a rack if you can make more cooking area, they are sold at ACE hardware) then rake coals between the bricks and it is like trench cooking when camping out.

For your sized fireplace think small pans, filling several times :-)

-- Obo (, November 26, 1999.

The best baked potatoes are ones wrapped in foil (you don't need foil but many adults don't seem to be into the "char" factor) and thrown into the coals. Nutty flavor. I started doing this as a kid in the country.

Of course, this asumes you have stored potatoes. You have, haven't you?


-- Todd Detzel (, November 26, 1999.

I'ved got a free standing Earth stove and I do a lot of cooking on and in it. I cook stews, etc. on the top in a dutch oven, and I also cook a lot right inside. I have cooked whole chickens, chops, steaks, etc. as well as side dishes inside the stove. The key is to let the fire die down to coals, rake them to the back, and put the food on a stainless steel rack in front. Food cooks fast in this environment so you have to watch it. It should be turned at least once during cooking. Of course, you can only do this with hardwoods.

-- woodstove (, November 26, 1999.

Two tongues up for the website on cooking. Read the rest of the site!!


-- Chuck, a night driver (, November 26, 1999.

I purchased a cast iron trivet. You place it on the top of the cookstove to provide indirect heat that won't burn food in the bottom of a pan. Also can use it to keep water in a coffeepot at a simmer.

-- marsh (, November 26, 1999.

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