We’re starting to think about tackling outdoor cooking projects. It could have been Francis Mallmann, the Argentine celebrity chef, or the lesser known Almazan Kitchen and their pet owl Ramsay (See the sidebar for an explanation).
Whatever your inspiration here are three possible projects, from an ancient cooking method to an all-day, all-out extravaganza:
Ancient people from all over the world heated large flat stones in the fire to prepare them as a cooking surface. During your next camping trip or backyard bonfire, heat one of your own in the fire for 30 minutes. Pull it out, dust off the ash, rub it with oil, and cook bacon or steak right on its surface.
If you have access to a beach where you can build a fire, recruit some friends and hold your first clambake. Dig a pit in the sand, line the bottom with rocks, and build a fire on top of them. Once the rocks are burning hot, put down wet seaweed and place clams, new potatoes, oysters, lobsters, and corn on the cob on top. Bury and cook for about two hours before unearthing the feast.
Cooking a whole animal for the first time is a rite of passage, and one that needs planning: you’ll need to order a whole animal from a trusted butcher, decide when and how you’ll cook it, gather your equipment, and prep your site. You’ll also need a big guest list—or you could just invite the whole neighborhood. For tips on how to approach and plan, check out this Q & A.
Recipe and how-to links in this article:
Inspiration for outdoor cooking
Francis Mallmann-An Argentine Celebrity Chef we first came across on the first season of Netflix's Chef's Table. Aside from a fine collection of hats, he is known for outdoor coking and Patagonian methods of barbecuing food.
Almazan Kitchen-A YouTube channel based out of Serbia. Their videos are a complete departure from most of the formulaic and frenetic studio cooking shows. We'd prefer they use a bronze mortar and pestle but they do have a pet owl and The Ultimate Steak – Stone-Fried in the Forest recipe.
The Almazan Kitchen knife isn't available for sale but we think our Korean Cleaver is an excellent alternative. In fact we've had so many orders that it is currently on back-order