More Exotic O.O.E.E. Cooking Configurations
My Favorites Identified (Part I)
At this juncture, you may want to lay out your cooking equipment configuration using this chapter and the prior one. I will be giving you my preferred layout in the future, but you need to start thinking about what you’ll need and the order that food can be served from multiple cooking stations, as you learn more.
With the majority of our Outrageous Outdoor Eating Events (OOEE) we need to be cooking with embers, not flames, unless those flames are under a plancha (hot metal plate which provides a high heat cooking surface for say, Teppanyaki or for cooking a fish under a thick salt crust.
So, we use a bunch of different hardware and techniques for cooking with embers.
Hardware Needed for the Cooking Area
Now, that you have a design concept laid out on graph paper, we can get down to the most important hardware which will be used for cooking. I list these items in the order that makes sense if you’re going to add cooking hardware in stages, like the most of us.
Wrought Iron Grate – The first item to get is a heavy duty wrought iron grate. The size of 14” X 14” is small, but adequate for cooking in a fireplace in the winter as well as cooking in your backyard fire pit in the summer. The legs are 4-5” high which is a bit low, but this height gets you used to waiting for the right-sized embers (small ones) that are necessary for cooking purposes. The cost for a heavy-duty grate like this is about $50. In order to use the grate, you need to build a campfire 1-2 hours ahead of the start of cooking. As embers become available you need to rake the best embers over to, and under, the grate. Once you have positioned them, you’re ready to cook.
Ember Rake – Because the wrought iron grate is low and relies on the use of hot embers under it, it makes sense to purchase an ember rake. You will be using it continually. You’ll need to rake out fresh embers from your campfire under the grate. Note that a “brasero”, which is the name for the U-shaped South American wrought iron basket on legs, is the device needed to generate embers for cooking. You can also talk to a blacksmith to have an ember rake made for you, or create a tool of your own design.
More cooking configurations and equipment coming.