cooking over an open fire

cooking over an open fire

The good thing about preparing food over an open fire is that you can usually easily find all the necessary materials in nature. If you manage to find food without having to pay for it, you will have a stylish and good meal that you can prepare completely without having to pay for it. So here are a few tips and tricks on how to make a barbecue for free or how to get grilled food in a natural way.

barbecue on the campfire

The classic barbecue usually consists of a bed of embers, which generates the necessary heat, and a metal grate above it, on which you place your barbecue food. To create a suitable embers bed, it is best to make a fire from rose hip, oak, ash, maple or elder wood. These types of wood burn very hot, leaving a glowing embers that will last for a long time. Spruce and larch, on the other hand, burn almost completely without leaving a usable bed of embers at all.

Embers grill

When you have your barbecue embers, the next step is to find a method to get your food at a reasonable distance above them. The oldest and simplest form that works mainly with potatoes, beetroot, root vegetables and meat is the so-called embers barbecue. You simply put the food directly into the embers and make sure that it does not burn by turning it regularly. At the end you knock off the adhering ashes and voilà: ready is the barbecue plate.

Different methods for grilling over the fire

But there are of course a whole range of other and more sophisticated methods. For example, you can make a barbecue grill from fresh willow branches. These contain enough water so that they do not burn while you cook your food on them. Alternatively, fresh twigs can also be used as skewers to hold your food over the embers. You probably know the principle from making stick bread, but it also works with meat, sausages and various fruits and vegetables.

Cooking with the aid of a rotary spit

If you want to grill larger food, such as a roast hare or something in that direction, you can stick two sturdy branch forks into the ground to the left and right of your fireplace. Then skewer your food and place the skewer on the forks so that you only have to turn it slowly. If you cook whole animals in this way, it is usually a good idea to sharpen the skewer and then push it through the animal's mouth and through its entire body so that it comes out at the anus. Depending on the species of animal, you can then stick it through the Achilles tendons to keep the legs up.

Survivalexperte Heiko Gärtner bereitet einen Kaninchenbraten am Spieß über dem offenen Feuer zu.

Survival expert Heiko Gärtner prepares a roast rabbit on a spit over an open fire.

cook fish on the spit

If you want to cook a fish in this way, you should first make a little preparation. The fish flesh becomes very soft and loose during cooking. This will allow you to turn the rod at some point without the fish moving. To prevent this, drill two holes in the spit with your knife, just before the head and tail end of the fish. Then carve two small thin sticks that are a good bit longer than your fish is thick. When you have put the fish on the spit, push the small sticks through the fish, the spit and out again on the other side. In this way you fix the fish in such a way that it can be turned until the end.

Grilling on aluminum foil

Another building material for a good barbecue that is easy to find for free is aluminum foil. Here you usually only have to ask for it somewhere and normally nobody will deny it to you. You can use the aluminum foil to build a kind of stove, for example, if you lay it in two or three layers directly on the embers. Just make sure that the covered area is not so big that you suffocate the embers. Alternatively, you can make a pan from a branch fork and wrap the aluminum foil around it. With such a pan you can make excellent fried eggs, for example.

Cook or dry fish and vegetables on the fire

If you want to prepare vegetables or fish especially carefully or dry them out and preserve them rather than grill them, you can also store them right next to the fire and then build a kind of reflector shield to concentrate the heat on the food. Aluminum foil is also very suitable for this. However, we would like to mention here that aluminum technology is not recommended because it is unfortunately not very environmentally friendly and because aluminum is toxic to the human organism and can cause allergies and dementia, among other things.

Filetierter Fisch lässt sich gut garen oder trocknen, wenn man ihn auf gespaltenen Ästen oder Stämmen neben dem Feuer aufbahrt.

Filleted fish can be cooked or dried well if it is laid out on split branches or trunks next to the fire.

Building an improvised stove

A good alternative are therefore hotplates made of thin steel plates or thin stones. Unlike stones, metal plates are of course very rarely found in nature. Unless you are near garbage dumps. Here you can (if it doesn't disgust you) actually find some useful auxiliary materials. The good thing is that you are planning to make a fire anyway, so you can clean and disinfect them right away

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