Crisp air getaways are what autumn is all about, and with the limitations of large group gathering for Tukey Day, many of us will embrace the holiday as an opportunity to downshift and rev up towards the great wide open to see some fall colors, thus trading hotel keys for headlamps, recalibrating the compass, and reconnecting with the outdoors.
Until we can Bourdain ourselves to parts unknown again, might as well sharpen your culinary skills while you’re at it too. Set up your own grill outside the cabin or tent and create your own Argentinian Asado, South African braai, or Australian barbie. There is an indelible, primal link between ancient man and fire that still has a magnetic power that attracts the inner nomad in us today. And you don’t have to have the palette of a pyromaniac to admire the piquant, smokey flavors saturated into foods that have been slowly cooked over open flames.
This guide may not teach you how to kindle the fire, but it’ll help you infuse mouth-watering hints of hickory, mesquite, alder, cherry, maple, cedar, and other wood flavors into your grilled veggies, fish, steak, and TURKEY. Time to give that gas stovetop a break this Thanksgiving and give your taste buds something to talk about—flame on.
Lodge Cast Iron Cook-it-All
It means what it says—with only two pieces of iron, and five cooking configurations, this really does Cook-It-All. Bring endless culinary possibilities to your campsite with this super versatile rig. The reversible grill/griddle offers 14 inches of surface space and also acts as a lid if used as a Dutch Oven. The 6.8-quart bottom is a wok/skillet and can be inverted to become a domed lid for baking yourself a pizza. The stay-cool stainless handles make it easy to maneuver the iron while keeping your digits safe from the scorching heat. The Cook-It-ALL Includes a guidebook with tips, tricks, and recipes. Breaking news: it just won the annual Housewares Design Innovation of the Year award.
Don’t worry about the fact that this thing doesn’t compactfully fold up for transport—it’s still road-trip-ready. Instead, this inconspicuous grate hooks over your spare wheel mounted on the back of your SUV and takes up virtually no space. The ingenious grill top designed by Front Runner Outfitters is made of laser-cut 3CR12 stainless steel (the toughest utility ferritic out there) and welded to aluminum legs that fit into 29” — 35” tires.
Attach to one of Breeo’s compatible 24” fire pits or use the Outpost on its own. Its patent-pending Anchorpoint® allows you to firmly plant the system into the ground with its spearhead to give you a stable grilling surface anywhere, and a Postlock system for reliable stability. Built of high grade 304 stainless steel, the Outpost grill and stand also comes with a kettle hook and carrying bag to offer a simple solution for on-the-go campfire cooking in the backyard, at the beach or at a campground.
Produce hot coals in 10 minutes with just a piece of paper and a match. Made of a rust-resistant, galvanized steel base, and a wooden handle to shield against heat transfer, this nifty chimney starter holds about 100 charcoal briquettes so you can keep your food hot to trot. From cast iron cheese/chocolate fondue to roasted cedar-plank salmon and roasted Brussel sprouts, charcoal adds a deep, rich flavor to any recipe.
The legend of Over The Fire Cooking, Derek Wolf, brings an eclectic variety of Americana rubs in a collab with Spiceology. The variety Wolf Pack includes cooking seasoning and spiced rubs for your steak tips and barbecue ribs—including an all-purpose Tennessee Smoke blend, Chipotle Garlic, Nashville Hot Chicken Rub, Maple Bourbon Rub, and Hatch Chile Rub. Every flavor packs a punch so you can step up your shrimp taco and chicken wing game.
May look similar to your girlfriend’s curling iron, but this bad boy is actually a new way to light the grill using the power of superheated air. In the pursuit of grilling perfection, Looft ditches the lighter fluid, lighters, and matches altogether. Igniting your charcoal or firewood with a hefty wand that directs a 1100°F blast of air, expect a cleanly-lit blaze of flames in about 60 seconds flat. Say sayonara to the lingering flavor of lighter fluid in your burgers and never deal with the cursing frustration of pellets/briquettes that refuse to light in the drizzling rain. Bonus: features an integrated bottle opener in the base.
Complete your modern mountain man kitchen setup with Camp Chef’s three-piece BBQ Tool Set. Prepare condiments/sauces to lather onto some shish kabobs with the Silicone Basting Brush. Utilize the giant blade of the Grill Box Spatula to show your omelet who’s boss, and let the Heavy-Duty Tongs rescue ears of corn that have fallen into burning coals.
After a jam-packed day of hiking, climbing, and/or surfing, seek solace in knowing you don’t have to eat a granola bar or some freeze-dried mush out of a bag for dinner. Snow Peak’s Al Dente Cookset makes cooking gourmet meals at camp a breeze with two large, high-quality pots and a mesh strainer. The stainless steel construction disperses heat and liquid evenly whether you’re preparing pasta, steaming vegetables, or bringing that clam chowder you’ve been trying to perfect to a slow simmer.
With two-piece, quick, and easy assembly, Primus’ durable Fire Rack allows you to chill by the campfire and kick it while you cook. Set its uber-sturdy tripod legs down and adjust the grill grate’s height by moving it closer to or further from the fire. The solid stainless steel comes finished with a high-temperature powdercoat. The Aeril’s base/legs flat-fold into each other like a leatherman knife to transport compactly in its included bag.
Grab a handsome stick off the ground and clamp Grandpa’s FireGrill on. This wire mechanism contraption extends your adventurous backcountry menu with a portable cooking cage that’s easy to open, pack, and hang over the open fire like you did with marshmallows on a fire poker as a kid. Its adjustable opening accommodates most foods, and dual tension settings ensure your food stays in place for consistent grilling in a gridlock hold while roasting. Most importantly, its light, collapsible design makes it easy for Grandpa to carry to the car while you heave the heavy stuff.
There you have it, the gear and tools you need to get cookin’ over an outdoor fire. Whether one of these items becomes a gift for a loved one this holiday season or has you achieving the perfect chare on a sirloin, remember one thing… We didn’t start the fire it was always burning since the world’s been turning.