There are many different methods of outdoor cooking, and choosing the best approach depends on the desired flavors and the amount of work one wants to do. Popular options include grilling and cooking over open fires. Other possibilities include the use of portable ovens and ranges.
Grilling is a popular type of outdoor cooking, and the two most common types of grills are charcoal and gas. When grilling with charcoal, there are different types of charcoal that can be used to add flavor to foods. Many people like to use naturally scented hardwoods, such as mesquite, to create interesting flavors. The choice between the use of wood chips and charcoal is mostly a matter of personal taste, and it may be a good idea to experiment.
Many people use grilling strictly as a form of summer outdoor cooking. It is possible to grill all year in areas that do not have exceptionally cold winters, but a partially covered outdoor area may allow year-round grilling even in colder climates. An area with a roof and three walls is perfect for winter outdoor cooking because it provides optimal wind resistance and prevents some snow accumulation. To allow smoke to escape, it is important to leave one wall open.
Campfires provide another popular option for outdoor cooking. Using an open fire is a good option while camping, but many people also enjoy using a fire put in their backyards. Some people like to use a spit, or a turning rod, to hold a piece of meat over an open flame. Use of a spit is an old-fashioned method of roasting that remains popular because cooking over an open fire can create a unique flavor.
Grills and campfires are probably the most common forms of outdoor cooking, but there are other methods. For people who enjoy camping, portable ovens and ranges are popular because they allow people to cook outdoors without building a fire. Most types of portable cooking equipment use some sort of liquid or gas fuel, but it is also possible to find solar-powered models.
Another method of outdoor cooking involves the use of a cooking pot, commonly referred to as a Dutch oven. The cooking pots have thick walls and are placed above or directly in the open flames. Traditionally made from cast iron, modern Dutch ovens are sometimes manufactured from other materials, such as aluminum. People enjoy using Dutch ovens because they slowly cook foods, creating unique and savory dishes.
Some people believe that outdoor cooking has extreme limitations, but people can accomplish many types of cooking in an outdoor setting. For example, it is possible to boil water over a campfire to steam foods. Some people like to fry foods over an open fire as well.