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    1. Several years ago I was camping with my husband and a friend in the mountain wilderness and, while I had packed all the food we needed I had forgotten to pack the grill. I was mulling how to cook the chicken when we were out walking around taking in the sites from the mountain top. I looked down and noticed a lot of large, flat rocks. I picked out an appropriate size and we took it back to camp and set it up on other rocks over the fire and had a wonderful meal cooked on a hot, flat rock. It made a great grill and I learned that you can often improvise about anything when you have to.

  1. Great article. Timely too! In supplementation to other cooking options like gas stoves, charcoal grills, a smoker, and a solar oven, we have been working on ideas for a “fire pit” area for this very purpose. The Potjie pot is an excellent recommendation!

    Here’s a title that may be worth consideration… Cooking with Fire: From Roasting on a Spit to Baking in a Tannur, Rediscovered Techniques and Recipes That Capture the Flavors of Wood-Fired Cooking by Paula Marcoux

  2. Years ago, when I was a teenager, a rancher watching us grille some quail commented rather than opening the birds from the front, we should cut through the back bone from top of shoulder to hip so that the bird would lay flat on the grill. Removing the entrails that way was a bit more difficult, but he was right – the meat was more thoroughly cooked.

  3. Look for a show called Man,Fire,Food with chef Roger Mooking. He travels around the U.S. discovering the traditional cooking methods of all the crazy cultures that make this the best place in the world to live. The episode where he goes fishing for Salmon with a NW tribe and helps them cook the catch on wood racks over an alder fire is delicious…

  4. We have a fire pit at home and regurly cook meals outside. The African potjie or cast iron pot is really just another version of the Dutch oven and is hugely popular in South Africa. Lately we have had power outages again and then I am happy to make my food over an open fire. It is the most satisfying way to cook!

  5. Jas Townsend and son, an art historian, has programs on YouTube about 18th century cooking. He is well established in the reenactment community for the revolutionary war period.

    His shows depict life in the 1700s. So there’s often cooking on open fires, hearth fire cooking, I even seen a complete period German stile indoor kitchen. This program is a wellspring of period information.

    Once again there’s the disclaimer, that I am not in any way afilliated with JasTownsend and Son. I’m only passing on his youtube channel as information.

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