Suburban Fire Craft (Part Two)

Back in early March I introduced my readers to my simmering big plans to upgrade my backyard fire pit set up.

For years we’ve not made campfires in our backyard a priority, mostly because we could go camping any time we wanted and evenings in the city were otherwise filled with social visits and travel. Backyard campfires were an occasional indulgence.

For half a decade we have had a small fire bowl which for basic purposes allowed us to have a small marshmallow-roasting fire in the backyard if we wanted, and I kept a bit of wood in the shed for a those handful of evenings a year when we kindled a flicker-filled gathering out our back door.

But the prospect of another summer of limited camping and sidelined travel plans… blah, blah, blah. You know the story. You’re all living it, too.

Since that post, I’ve made some purchases and done some setup work. Last night it all came together for an innagural (if small and simple) backyard cookout involving some sausages, marshmallows, and a beautiful evening watching the sunset beside some glowing coals.

First, I bought the family a new movable fire pit. It’s a much more elaborate setup than our old bowl, though. It’s a side-vented deep body steel fire pit, with a removable tray for charcoal burning, and two cast iron grill plate attachements. I can either cook on the grills directly, or it’s strong enough to hold a pan or a small dutch oven atop.

Second, I bought some cooking fuel in the form of both charcoal and smoking pellets. The tray insert allows us to have simple grilling fires which (unlike the gas grill we often use for backyard “barbecues”) is a more authentic cooking-over-fire option we now have.

Third, I stocked up on wood. Not only did my coworker chop down a bank of aging trees in her backyard and provide me with a few good chopping stumps and a truck full of logs, but I ordered a cubic meter of firewood from a local supplier, dried and ready for a summer of backyard fires.

Summer isn’t quite here, but I’m officially ready to tackle it with flame and iron… right in my own backyard.