New Home Page
Original Home Page
The Camp Store
Camp eBook Cookbooks
Welcome to South East Camper, We have upgraded our entire site to a blog format.
We hope you like it. By setting it up as a blog it will be much easier to update.
All the information seen on the old webpages will stay intact and will also be included
in our New SouthEast Camper Blog.
This has been a long time coming and since my last update.
I have plenty of new recipes, pictures and more to add.
I've moved into my new house and have settled in.
It is time to build a fire and start cooking.
Welcome to South East Camper,
My name is Dan and my wife is Katherine.
(photo taken on Lake Murray in South Carolina)
We thoroughly enjoy the outdoors, especially backpacking,
hiking and camping. Lately it's been day hikes with the
grandchildren. Along with those activities you need to eat, so we
took another one of our favorite things to do and that's
cooking and brought it outdoors. We especially like campfire
cooking and Dutch oven cooking using charcoal briquettes. Almost
any meal that's cooked at home can be transformed with
minimal effort and cooked outside. Many of the Dutch oven recipes
here at South East Camper have come from the home.
to read more
Dan & Katherine
Crowders Mountain State Park - Gastonia, North
Carolina - December 2006
-- Dutch Ovens --
* A Brief History of
the Dutch Oven *
The Dutch oven was developed in the early eighteenth century
in England and Holland. Some say the Dutch ovens got thier name
from the casting process, by the peddlers who sold them or by the
Pennslyvania Dutch who used them in everyday life.
When the first Europeans were coming to the America they
brought Dutch ovens with them, even Christopher Columbus, had a
cast iron pot listed on his manifest. The Pilgrims Dutch ovens
were so highly valued in early America, that George
Washington's mother supposedly had her Dutch ovens in her
Lewis and Clark brought Dutch ovens with them on their trek
through the Lousiana Purchase and onward to the Pacific Ocean.
The mountain men that followed them west used Dutch ovens for
cooking and trading with Native Americans.
The Dutch oven was a big part of the chuck wagon and cowboy
life during cattle drives of the late 1800's.
"These Dutch ovens were in many cases the only cooking
utensils used by the early settlers. The meat, vegetable, or
bread was put into the pot, which was then placed in a bed of
coals, and coals heaped on the lid." It was featured in an
article about Abraham Lincoln in McClure's Magazine in 1896
by Mrs. Ott, of Petersburg, Illinois.
Back to Top
* What kind to Buy?
Aluminum or Cast Iron …. *
Before you buy, decide what kind Dutch oven cooking you want to do and the
size that best fits your needs. If this will be your first Dutch
oven a 12" Dutch oven will do the trick as most recipes are
made for this size.
As with anything check your Dutch oven for defects and blemishes. The legs
on a Dutch oven should be straight. The lid should fit easily
with a small amount of play. The lid should be able to be turned
without sticking. I've found good cast iron Dutch ovens at
yard sales and flea markets.
See the chart below for sizes and weights.
Cast Iron Dutch Ovens:
Aluminum Dutch Ovens:
("D" = Deep, 1½ to 2 inches deeper than a regular oven)
The cast iron Dutch oven has been around for a hundred years
or more and about 20 or so years ago came along the aluminum
ones. The aluminum ones weight in at about two thirds less than
cast iron, so if weight is an issue, than aluminum is just fine.
Besides being lighter aluminum has other advantages, like being
easy to clean, can be washed with soap and does not need to be
seasoned. The draw backs are in cooler weather aluminum does not
retain its heat like cast iron and because of this the browning
of foods is harder.
May your coals burn hot and your kettles be black.
Dan & Katherine
Back to Top
* Seasoning of Cast
Iron Dutch Ovens and Skillets *
This will be the only time that that you will ever use soap
and water on your cast iron. Clean your new cast iron with hot
soapy water to get the film off that was applied for shipping and
storage. Scrub your cast iron and rinse thoroughly, then dry
Place your cast iron in the
oven and heat it up warm to the touch. This will finish the
drying process and will open up the pores in the iron to receive
the wipe down of a good vegetable oil. Wipe your cast iron with a
thin coating of oil and put it back into the oven, turn the
temperature up to 350° and bake it for an hour. It will smoke
during this process depending on how much you oiled it. After an
hour turn off the oven and let the cast iron cool to the touch,
but still warm and repeat. Do this process for a total of three
times and your new cast iron will be ready for cooking.
Resist cooking anything acidic like tomatoes until you have
used your cast iron four or five times. Many acidic foods will
eat the finish of newly cured cast iron.
The more you use your cast iron the darker it will get. You
should not need to season your cast iron again, unless a rust
spot appears or it goes rancid from lack of use or long term
I love my cast iron and use it daily for all my cooking needs
indoor or out.
Dan & Katherine
Old neglected & rusty 10 in. Dutch Oven and Lid, Scrubbed,
Cleaned and Seasoned, Just like new.
Back to Top
* Caring for your Ovens and Skillets *
A good Dutch oven or cast iron skillet will last a lifetime if
properly cared for. Once your cast iron is well seasoned clean up
is a snap. After cooking, wash it out with hot water (NO SOAP!)
and dry completely inside and out. While it is still warm wipe it
down with a thin, thin layer of oil, it should have a nice shine.
Don't over do it as pooled up oil will turn rancid and become
hard and varnish like.
Store your cast iron in a moisture free, low humidity place.
If it's going to be stored for extended periods, place a
paper towel in it to absorb any condensation or moisture that may
Now for aluminum oven, just scrub and dry, that's it.
I keep all my ovens in carry bags to keep the oiled finish
from getting on everything and collecting dust and dirt during
storage or transport.
These small steps will ensure a lifetime of service from your
Dan & Katherine
Back to Top
* Cooking with Charcoals *
How many charcoal briquettes do I use?
Where do I put them?
Well, that depends on what you're cooking and after some
time you will do it without thinking about it. Do not be scared,
it will start to come naturally.
The rule of thumb is 2 times the diameter of your Dutch
If you are using a 12" Dutch oven you would start with
24 briquettes. Then divide it back by two to have two amounts 12
& 12. Then take two from one and add to the other for a group
of 10 & 14. Use 10 on the bottom and 14 on top of your oven
for general cooking. Remember this is just a rule of thumb for
starting. If you are frying foods then add more to the bottom. If
you are baking add more to the top. Then by adding and
subtracting briquettes is just like turning the heat up and down
on your oven at home.
If you are frying bacon or meats start with 8 or 10 coals
underneath and add more if needed. Lay the coals out in a circle
evenly spaced with the oven legs with two or three spaced in the
center. After a short while give the oven a quarter turn to
spread the heat evenly. The coals could be laid out in a
checkerboard pattern, what ever suits your fancy. Have fun
with it. When sautéing remove a few charcoals after you
have the heat you need for a slower, lower cooking
For baking it is different, lay out about 4 to 6 coals the
same as above, then lay coals side by side around the rim of the
lid and a few in the middle next to the handle. While baking spin
the lid a quarter turn and the entire oven a quarter turn for
even heat distribution. When cooking biscuits or breads they can
be put right on the bottom of the oven. When cooking something
like stuffing, which has more moisture a few more coals could be
added to the bottom, but be careful. As for pie it is best to
bake it in a pie tin and on a trivet staying off the bottom and
it will bake more like your oven at home.
The following is not etched in stone, but is a good starting
Quantity of charcoal = 2 times the Diameter of the Dutch oven
= 325º ±.
With each additional charcoal adds 10-15º to Cooking
Bake = coals in rings 2:1 ratio top over bottom
Stew or Simmer = coals split evenly
Broil = coals in checkerboard 2:1 ratio top over
Fry or Boil = all coals on the bottom
Of course the number of briquettes used will vary depending on
the size of your Dutch oven, more for a big 16 incher and one or
two for a 5 incher.
The dutch ovens lid can be used as a griddle if turned over,
use a lid stand turned over to accommodate the lids handle. Then
place coals / briquettes undeneath and cook away. It can be used
for scrambling eggs, pancakes, french toast, bacon and more. The
advantage of this is that the lid is slightly bowl-shaped, so
even if it is not level your food will not run out.
Stack cooking is the practice of
stacking your Dutch ovens one on top of another, starting with
the largest to the smallest and cooking a different item in each
one. This conserves fuel, but you must be careful. The
disadvantage of stacking is that if the bottom oven needs to be
checked, all the Dutch ovens on top of it must be moved first. It
make a good site and everyone will be amazed.
In my world lighter fluid is a NO-NO!
I use a chimney
starter to get my charcoal briquettes started. All you need is
old newsprint, roll the paper from the edges towards the center
like you were making a pillow and put in bottom of chimney. Then
add the desired amount of briquettes plus a few spares and light
the paper. If it's windy or your briquettes are damp add a
small amount of vegetable oil to your paper. If you are cooking a
dish that will take longer than 1 to 1½ hours, put a few
briquettes in the chimney, add one or two hot coals, then top off
with more and you can keep coals going all day.
Remember, if you have a chimney starter, charcoal and paper
you can cook anywhere and no messy fluids the tote around.
Dan & Katherine
Back to Top
* Why Use a Fire Pan? *
The best way to build a minimal impact campfire is to use a self-contained unit known as a fire
pan. A fire pan is a metal tray or pan, like a metal oil drain
pan (new of course) or a hub cap at least three inches high.
It seems that everywhere you look these days at all the
outdoor recreation areas there is an old rusted , metal fire ring
of some sort, old blackened rocks with mounds of ashes and
half-burnt wood, YUK! and the ground has been
The use of a fire pan can reduce the impact of fire on the
ground, rocks and vegetation and it's relatively compact size
encourages the burning of less wood. A fire pan user can easily
dispose of the ashes without leaving behind the eyesore of old
coals and blackened rocks. In the "Leave No Trace"
style nobody will know a fire was ever there.
How to use a Fire Pan:
A Commercial Fire Pan is now available and very convenient for
camping, also a Metal Cook Table is excellent for Dutch Oven
Cooking. The use of these save the ground and your back, it keeps
you from a lot of bending over.
- Elevate your fire pan on bricks or rocks so the heat does not
sterilize the ground or damage vegetation.
- Burn all your wood or charcoals down into a fine, white
- Dispose of ashes by burying them in small hole or by
scattering in a manner that won't leave them visible to
- I suggest the garbage (after they have cooled) or pack them
For backpacking a lightweight stove is the lowest impact way
to cook your meals as opposed to building a fire.
Please, Enjoy the Outdoors Responsibly
Dan & Katherine
Back to Top
* Open Fire Cooking *
Preparing a place for open fire cooking should be away from
overhead power lines, tree limbs and dining canopies, basically
anything overhead and within 20 feet of your campfire placement.
You should only set up a fire pit in a place where it will be
There are three types of layouts we like for open fire
1. An oval shape ring of medium sized rocks with a cowboy cookset at one end for
hanging your ovens and a fire at the other end making more coals
to cook with. This is the ideal setup for your cowboy cookset and Dutch oven cooking
if you have a place in your yard. By hanging your ovens on hooks of
different lengths is how you control the cooking heat. The longer
the hook the higher the temperature and the shorter the hook the
cooler, it's like turning the heat up and down. Your friends
will be surprised.
2. In the ways of the old west would be to dig a rectangular
hole 18 inches wide, 12 to 16 inches deep and as long as needed
to fit your cook set. What I like about this type of pit is
laying five or six steel rods (rebar) across the pit spaced
evenly apart to support your skillets or other cookware that
cannot be hung from the cowboy cookset. After the fire has gone out the
hole can be filled back in just like the cowboy cook would do on
the cattle drive.
3. A keyhole fire pit looks
similar to its name. It is a large flat rock standing vertical in
the back. (See sketch) Then lay out medium sized rocks in a line
on both sides of the flat rock to resemble a keyhole. Make it as
wide as needed for a cooking grate. Build a medium fire in the
area in front of the flat rock and as you make coals push them up
against the rocks to hold in more heat. Push more coals up
against the flat rock tapering down towards to front. The back of
the campfire will be your high heat area and front being your low
heat area giving better heat control. The cooking grate can be
used for quick grilling, holding a fry pan and making coffee.
A campfire for keeping warm and a campfire for Dutch oven cooking
are two different things. To keep warm you want that roaring fire
that continues to burn with medium high flames. For open fire
cooking you want to start with a roaring fire and continue to
feed the fire for a while. The purpose is to feed the fire with
as much wood to make the amount of coals you will need to cook
over. The fire will die back as the wood burns leaving you with
hot coals. These hot coals are what you want to cook over, not
over fire itself. It is best to keep a fire going to the side,
continually making more coals for all your campfire cooking
As soon as we can setup our cowboy cookset in the new space, we
will replace the campfire cooking sketches with real pictures. (The sketches are
compliments of my grandchildren)
Dan & Katherine
Back to Top
-- Backpacking & Hiking --
* The Origins of Backpacking & Hiking *
Man has been roaming the world for millennia and carrying
their possessions with them.
The military used hiking as a
form exercise and training, so I guess we have been hiking for a
longtime. The modern term of hiking has come to be known as an
outdoor activity that is done while visiting a national park or
camping. The National Scenic Trail Act of 1968 made large areas
of land available for recreational use by the public. This
greatly contributed to the growth of hiking. The act help set up
the myriad of trails crossing this great country.
Short hikes taking less than a day have become known as
"Day Hikes". These day hikes only require some water
and maybe a snack. These longer hikes require additional gear and
food for extended stays outdoors is where the term
"Backpacking" was developed. To some you must spend at
least one overnight stay to say that you are backpacking. Many
backpacking trips are just weekend events while others can last
for weeks or more.
The original idea of backpacking will never be known. In
today's world backpacking is known as a cheap affordable way
to see the world. Many people backpack to see the country on a
small budget, but many more do it to escape the daily routines
and see nature up close.
Some people hike to enjoy nature, some people hike to achieve
inner serenity, some people hike for the physical and mental
Dan & Katherine
Back to Top
* Backpacking Stoves *
There is some question as to who invented the pressurized
burner stove. Most give credit to F. W. Linqvist, who in the
1880s was granted a patent for a kerosene-fueled burner. Some say
that he bought the design, but later went on to develop the
Primus brand of stoves we see today. W. C. Coleman was perfecting
the two burner camp stove in the early 1920's. This is when
the Coleman Company began according to historians and by 1972,
Coleman was making small single burner multi-fuel backpack
The simplest stove is a burner with fuel that burns till the
fuel is gone or snuffed out. The two most popular are solid fuel
(Hexamine tablets) and liquid fueled (methylated spirits).
The modern backpacking and camp stoves are pressurized burner
stoves that operate on almost any flammable liquid like white
gas, unleaded gas, alcohol or kerosene.
These stoves need
to be pressurized by a hand pump on the fuel tank. The liquid
fuel stoves are popular for backpacking in United States as they
generally operate well in cold weather. The liquid fuel costs
less than gas fuel and readly available. The disadvantages to
liquid fueled stoves require priming, thus some skill is needed
to operate them. Using liquid fuel stove in a tent is difficult
or even dangerous. The fuel does not burn as cleanly as gas
The newer, more compact and convenient stoves are gas.
The gas stove runs
on gas filled cartridges of propane, butane or a combination of
both. These stoves have the greatest variety of styles and sizes.
The gas fueled stove has many advantages; the fuel burns cleanly.
They are simple to use, open and adjust the valve and light. The
disadvantage is gauging how much gas you have. They do not
operate very well in colder weather.
The use of backpacking stoves widely spread as backpackers
became aware of the impact they had on the envioment. Before the
1960s backpackers would build a fire with what was available,
fallen limbs and leaf litter. This left black fire marks on the
ground that could take years to recover. These scars from fires
in heavily used areas led to even more backpackers using protable
Camp stoves and backpack stoves differ greatly as to size and
function. A camp stove is usually propane or liquid fuel with
multiple burners like at home, often having a lid for a
windscreen or storage. Camp stoves cook more traditional type
meals requiring longer cook times. A backpacking stove is minimal
in function and scale. Most backpacking stoves are designed for
heating water quickly or very quick type frying, making them
excellent for simple backpacking recipes.
Back to Top
* Preparing Backpack Meals and Backpacking Recipes *
Freeze drying is a dehydration process used to preserve foods.
The process makes them more convenient for transport and long
term storage. Freeze drying works by freezing the food and then
reducing the surrounding pressure and adding enough heat to allow
the frozen water to be transformed from a solid to a gas, then
the gas is removed. Today there are hundreds of freeze dried
backpack meals that can be purchased at any outdoor outfitter or
through the internet.
Dehydrating or drying is another way of preserving foods by
removing the moisture at a low temperature, usually between 90
& 145 degrees, which prevents or limits the spoilage due to
microorganisms and decay. The drying of foods in the sun and wind
has been around since the ancient times.
Both of the these forms of drying foods are great for backpack
meals. The use of a home dehydrator is more economical than
purchasing freezed dried meals. Both backpack meals and
backpacking recipes can be assemblied at home and rehydrated on
the trail saving time and money.
All the campfire cooking and Dutch oven recipes ingredients
can be dried and sealed for your next backpacking or camping
trip. Get your favorite recipe and prepare it, dehydrate it, seal
it and your ready, Yes, dehydrate the whole meal. For example,
make your mom's tomato sauce with meat, garlic, onions etc.
Dry it. The sauce will be like fruit leather. Tear it into pieces
and seal in a ziplock. Cook your pasta and dry it, this sounds
weird but it takes less time to cook than it would normally.
Break it up and seal it. On a day hike or backpacking trip bring
your water to a boil, add your homemade backpack meal and simmer.
All you need is ten minutes for really good eats.
We have dried things and prepared them on the trail that you
would not believe, spaghetti, burrito meat, chicken and tuna, not
to mention vegetables.
Dan & Katherine
Back to Top
* The "Leave No Trace" Philosophy *
Plan Ahead and Prepare
Read and understand the regulations and concerns of the area
you are visiting. Restrictions are based on past abuse by others
and the special conditions or needs of that area.
Camp and / or travel in smaller groups. They are quieter and
have less impact on your surrounding area.
Avoid the popular areas during heavy use times.
Learn how to properly store your food to protect it from bears
and other animals.
Repackage food to minimize waste.
Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
Damage to land occurs when visitors trample vegetation or
communities of organisms beyond recovery. The resulting barren
areas develop into undesirable trails, campsites, and soil
In high-use areas, campers should concentrate their activities
where vegetation is already absent. Minimize resource damage by
using existing trails and selecting designated or existing
In more remote, the less traveled areas, campers should
generally spread out. When hiking, take different paths to avoid
creating new trails that cause erosion. When camping, disperse
tents and cooking activities and move camp daily to avoid
creating permanent looking campsites and dead zones. Always
choose the most durable surfaces available: rock, gravel, dry
grasses, or snow.
Pack Out, What You Pack In
This simple saying motivates backcountry visitors to take
their trash home with them. It makes sense to carry out materials
taken there by you and others. Minimize the need to pack out food
scraps by carefully planning meals. Accept the challenge of
packing out everything you bring. If you see something on the
ground and you know it does not belong, be nice, pick it up and
pack it out.
Dispose of Waste Properly
Backpackers & Hikers create body waste and waste water
that require proper disposal.
Our waste water contaminates natural water sources. Strain
food particles from waste water and pack it out, properly dispose
of dishwater by dispersing at least 200 from any water source,
lakes, streams, etc. Use biodegradable soap 200 feet or more from
any water source.
The proper disposal of human waste helps prevent the spread of
disease and exposure to others. Dig a small hole 6 to 8 inches
deep and 200 feet from water, trails, and campsites are often the
easiest and most practical way to dispose of feces. Cover hole
back with dirt and cover with leaves to minimize any sign of
Leave What You Find
Leave rocks, plants, animals, archaeological artifacts and
other objects as you find them. It may be illegal to remove
artifacts. Minimize site alterations, such as digging tent
trenches, hammering nails into trees, tying ropes to trees,
permanently clearing an area of rocks or twigs.
Remember to: "Look with your Eyes, Not with your
Minimize Use and Impact of Fires
Use lightweight camp stoves, instead of fires, because the
naturalness of many areas has been degraded by overuse of fires
and the increasing demand for firewood. If a campfire is
constructed, use an existing fire ring in a well-placed campsite
or to use a fire pan or mound fire. True Leave No Trace fires
show no evidence of having ever been constructed.
If enough people approach or interfere with wildlife, it can
be disruptive to animal populations. Do not approach wildlife,
use binoculars, no matter how small, it is still a wild animal.
DO NOT FEED THE ANIMALS!
Be Considerate of Other Visitors
By following hiking etiquette and maintaining quiet allows
visitors to go through the wilderness with minimal impact on
other users. Choose hiking, backpacking, and camping gear and
clothing that are natural earth tone colors like green, brown,
tan, or black and reduce your visual impact. Most people get back
to nature for solitude and others like the sounds that nature
provides. Refrain from radios and televisions or use headphones
It takes all of us to keep the things we love intact, so
future generations can enjoy them too.
Dan & Katherine
Back to Top
-- Grilling & Barbecue --
* Origins of Grilling & BBQ *
The history of grilling begins shortly after the domestication
of fire, some 500,000 years ago. The backyard ritual of grilling
as we know it, though, is much more recent. Until well into the
1940s, grilling mostly happened at campsites and picnics. After
World War II, as the middle class began to move to the suburbs,
backyard grilling caught on, becoming all the rage by the
In suburban Chicago, George Stephen, a metalworker by trade
and a tinker by habit, had grown frustrated with the flat, open
brazier-style grills common at the time. Once he inherited
controlling interest in the Weber Bros. Metal Spinning Co, a
company best-known as a maker of harbor buoys, he decided the
buoy needed some modification. He cut it along its equator, added
a grate, used the top as a lid, and cut vents for controlling
temperature. The Weber grill was born and backyard cooking has
never been the same.
If man has been grilling since the Stone Age, he had to wait a
good long time before he got his first taste of
'barbecue.' Just how long is a matter of debate, but the
word's etymology has been traced via the Spanish
('barbacoa') to a similar word used by the Arawak people
of the Caribbean to denote a wooden structure on which they
roasted meat. (The Arawak's other contribution to the English
language is the word 'cannibal'.) Only the sense of a
wooden framework survived the word's transition to English;
the context was lost. So, in the 17th century, you might use a
'barbecue' as shelving or you might sleep on a
'barbecue' -- but you definitely weren't cooking with
Like so many of the most recognizably "American" of
foods and food ways - hot dogs, Thanksgiving dinners, even milk
on breakfast cereals-barbecue goes back to 18th-century colonial
America, specifically the settlements along the Southeastern
seaboard. The direct descendant of that original American
barbecue is Eastern Carolina-style pit barbecue, which
traditionally starts with the whole hog and, after as many as
fourteen hours over coals, culminates in a glorious mess of
pulled pork doused with vinegar sauce and eaten on a hamburger
bun, with coleslaw on the side.
As the settlers spread westward, regional variations
developed, leaving us today with four distinct styles of
Carolina-style has split into Eastern, Western, and South
Carolina-style, with variations largely in the sauce: South
Carolina uses a mustard sauce; Western Carolina uses a sweeter
Memphis barbecue is probably what most of us think of when we
think of BBQ-pork ribs with a sticky sweet-and-sour tomato-based
Texas, being cattle country, has always opted for beef,
usually brisket, dry-rubbed and smoked over mesquite with a
tomato-based sauce served on the side, almost as an
Kansas City lies at the crossroads of BBQ nation. Fittingly
you'll find a little bit of everything there-beef and pork,
ribs and shoulder, etc. What brings it all together is the sauce:
sweet-hot, tomato-based KC barbecue sauce is a classic in its own
right, and the model for most supermarket BBQ sauces.
Source "Food Network" (I did research on this and
could not write it any better, Thank you, Food Network)
Back to Top
* Grilling Methods *
The grilling methods noted below are for charcoal style grills
Direct - This method works by placing your food on the
cooking grate directly over the coals or campfire. This type of
cooking is true grilling because involves the quick searing meats
locking in juices and flavors. Foods requiring short cooking
times are best using this method. Be sure to stay close by as
foods cook very fast and beware of flare ups.
Indirect - This method is closer to roasting or baking
as you would do in your oven at home. For indirect cooking your
coals should be piled at one side or two smaller piles at each
end of your grill. Place a drip pan with a small amount of water
at one side or in the middle depending on what style of indirect
cooking you prefer. Indirect cooking is great for foods that will
take longer than 15 to 20 minutes, usually an hour or more like
chickens, roast and loins. The foods can be places over the coals
for searing and applying grill marks then moved over the drip pan
for slow cooking. During the indirect cooking wood chips can be
added to the coals for smoke or additional flavors can be added
to the water creating that special moister heat.
Multi-Level - This type of grilling is good for when
cooking meats that require a quick sear then finished with a
lower heat. This is done by stacking the coals thicker at one end
of the grill and thinner towards other end creating multiple heat
zones. This is a great way of cooking for large crowds where the
food can be seared, cooked and then remain warm at the low heat
end of the grill until needed.
Understanding these methods of grilling styles, Direct,
Indirect and Multi-Level are essential for creating wonderful
grilled meals. There are foods when both direct and indirect
methods are appropriate. The direct method sears the food
creating a flavorful crust, followed by indirect to prevent
burning the outer area of the food while cooking evenly.
Back to Top
* Knowing the Grill's Temperature *
"The Old Hand Test"
The universal way to measure the temperature of the grill
would be to hold your hand about three or four inches above the
grate then count how long before you're forced to remove
At two seconds or less (400 to 500 degrees) the fire is hot
and great for steaks and shrimp, three seconds (350 to 400
degrees) is a medium high heat and great for most fish, four to
five seconds (300 to 350 degrees) means a medium range heat which
is perfect for poultry and vegetables, seven to eight seconds
(275 to 300 degrees) the temperature is low for grilling more
delicate vegetables and fruits. Anything after that is the low
and slow heat for barbecue about 255 degrees, which lends itself
to large roast, brisket and pork shoulders requiring hours of
The thermometers that come on most grills measure the oven
temperature inside the grill when the lid is down. If cooking
over direct heat with the lid down a temperature reading would be
of reflected heat, not the actual grilling temperature on the
grate where the food sits. The top side of the food is cooked at
the grills oven temperature, while the bottom side next to the
fire is grilled at higher temperatures.
Be careful and don't touch the grate.
Back to Top