Posted by admin in Cooking & Heating

On The Warm Summer Days Why Not Do Some Outdoor Cooking

On The Warm Summer Days Why Not Do Some Outdoor Cooking
On The Warm Summer Days Why Not Do Some Outdoor Cooking

When the weather gets hot, a great way to save energy and money on air conditioning is to create an outdoor cooking area. This can mean everything from an outdoor kitchen and grill, to an outdoor smoker, to a barbeque. Personal style, space and money allow for different options. The slow food movement is based on bringing quality and pleasure back to our meals and lives. What better way to slow down and be in the moment than outdoor cooking.


Using an Outdoor Cooker

An outdoor cooker uses propane fuel with a variety of burner systems. A standard sized two burner set-up is good for meal preparation. Cooking a turkey requires an extra large burner and a pot. Always, always use an outdoor cooker outdoors, for safety. Because the fuel requires refilling, this type of cooker is best for campers or occasional outdoor cooks. It is the system for choice for turkey deep fryers. Campers and fishermen enjoy the taste of fresh caught fish with an outdoor cooker.


Outdoor Cooking Styles

Outdoor cooking can be simple and easy, like hot dogs and hamburgers, but regular outdoor cooking lends itself to variety and experimentation. An outdoor kitchen and grill is the best of both worlds. If the outdoor kitchen has a refrigerator, oven, countertop space and gas grill, there is no need to prepare food indoors before cooking outdoors.  Keep the mess outdoors for easy clean-up. An outdoor grill with charcoal does not require gas hook ups. Also, people love the barbecue taste from outdoor cooking with charcoal or an outdoor smoker. People who enjoy outdoor living also love outdoor cooking. Grilling vegetables is a great way to enjoy seasonal and local fare. Almost any vegetable can be grilled, from peppers, onions, garlic, corn on the cob, zucchini. A dash of olive oil and salt and pepper are enough. Outdoor cooking includes fish, poultry, and meat, pasta and soup and salads. Taste is the limit.


Using an Outdoor Smoker

Nothing flavors ribs or jerky better than a smoker. Because an outdoor smoker cooks very, very slowly, plan to use it on holidays or weekends. A good outdoor smoker does not require constant attention, but does need occasional checking.  A digital cooker costs more but requires less monitoring. Experiment with hickory, oak, mesquite, or apple wood chips for flavor. When picking out an outdoor smoker, make sure it is easy to add wood chips and charcoal. Is it accessible enough to place the chips evenly? Are multiple shelves adequately spaced and can it accommodate a large roast? Check out the handles and shape for moving around on the patio. It is nice to use an outdoor smoker in cold weather, especially for smoked turkey at Thanksgiving time. Whether you smoke poultry, pork, beef or fish, the results are worth the time. Practicing with an outdoor smoker lets the cook learn how much charcoal or wood chips work for a particular size meat.

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