How to Build a Campfire for Cooking
The object is to have all your wood turn into coals at the same time. This gives an even fire with no flames that could burn your food or blacken your cookware. We prefer to use only cast iron for our campfire cooking as it is the most durable cookware and is almost impossible to ruin. Making sure you have all coals before cooking will yield the longest cooking time from the coals.
Preparing Your Fire Site
* Select a fire site at least 10' from bushes or any combustibles. Be sure no tree branches are hanging over your fire site
* Make a U-shaped perimeter using large rocks or green logs. If using green logs make sure you wet them down from time to time. If it is a windy day, make sure the back of the fire pit faces the wind.
* Place a large flat rock at the rear of the fire pit to act as a chimney. The "chimney rock" will help direct the smoke up and away from your cooking area.
Laying the kindling
* Fill the fire area with crumpled paper or tinder.
* Lay kindling over paper/tinder in layers, alternating direction with each layer. Use thin pieces of wood or small dead branches. Do not put kindling down in a "teepee style". The whole fire area should be covered with the kindling stack.
* Light the paper or tinder to start your fire.
Building the Fire, grading the coals
* When the kindling is ablaze, add you firewood. The wood should be the same size, as much as possible. Use hardwood or hardwood branches if available. Distribute the wood evenly over fire bed.
* As soon as the last flames die down leaving mostly white coals, use a stick or shovel to push the coals into a higher level at the back end of the fire pit and keep a lower level at the front. This will give you “high“, “medium,“ and “low” cook settings. Or, just level the coals to your preference.
* To cook, set the grill on rocks or wetted green logs. Put food directly on grill or in cookware and prepare your meal. If cooking directly on the grill, a small spray bottle or squirt gun is handy for shooting down any rogue flames, that is caused by food drippings.
* As the fire diminishes, bank the coals to get the most heat from them.
After cooking, you can add wood for your evening campfire. Before you retire for the evening make sure you extinguish thoroughly with water.