Andy’s Fire Tips
The Big Grill Festival's Andy Noonan's top tips for cooking over a fire
Here are his tips on how to build a fire that makes for ideal barbecuing:
- Create a hole about 3-4 inches deep and at least a foot wide.
- Place wet stones in a horseshoe shape around the edges (dry ones will crack).
- In the arch you will build the fire and the open end will be your cooking area, but more on that later.
- Begin building your fire in the arch of your horseshoe shape.
- Place two large logs perpendicular to each other with a gap of approx 10-12 inches, and put tinder (e.g. wood shavings, dry grass) in the centre, covered with very small twigs and sticks.
- Spark the tinder and small twigs and ensure good airflow around it.
- As the flame builds, keep adding larger sticks gradually.
- Once you have a good fire going, add large logs into a criss-cross fashion on top of the perpendicular logs.
- This will protect your tinder from burning out too quickly, while still allowing air to pass through.
- The aim is to create a nice bed of embers to cook on.
- Now you’ve established your fire, you can start creating your cooking zone. Place two large logs at the edge of your horseshoe shape and drag the burning embers into the centre.
- Be careful not to disrupt your original fire, you need that to continue burning for a constant supply of hot embers.
- Rest an oiled grill on the two logs and you’re ready to start cooking. You can use the safe zone in front of the grill to keep food warm.
Find all of Andy’s tips, plus some delicious fire-roasting recipes from Imen McDonnell in the July/August issue of Image Interiors & Living, on shelves now!