It’s no secret that we love good food. Not only does it taste great, but delicious food brings people together and can provide comfort during stressful times.

But eating good food doesn’t require you to go to a restaurant. In fact, we think some of the best food can be cooked at home and over the fire.

It’s also no secret that we love great fires, and when you spend enough time around the fire you eventually get hungry. In this article, we’ll share 8 different recipe ideas for cooking amazing food outside and over the fire. Whether you use a grill, smoker, or pizza oven there is something here to love.

And of course, if you want the best flavors then don’t forget to use the best cooking wood available. We deliver and ship all across the United States!

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1. Pulled Pork

When I think barbecue, my first thought is pulled pork. It takes a long time to cook, but when done right it is unbelievably juicy, tender, and delicious. It reminds me of my childhood: our family ate a lot of pulled pork sandwiches at family reunions and birthday parties.

It’s also a great way to cook a lot of food. One pork butt can create enough food to feed 10-15 people, or one person 10-15 times!

When I got into smoking and grilling, pulled pork was one of the first things I tried. It’s a great intro because it’s harder to mess them up than just about anything out there. It does take time, so make sure you pick a day when you can be around for 8-12 hours!

We put together a great article that explains how to cook pulled pork. Check out the article for recipe and tips for first timers, or you can watch the video below:

Recommended cooking wood: We love using cherry cooking chunks or apple cooking chunks to add a bit of sweetness to the pork.

2. Reverse Sear a Ribeye

One of our favorite ways to cook steaks is to reverse sear them. This method allows you to cook the steak slowly, bringing it to the perfect temperature. Then, to give your steak a crispy exterior you turn the heat way up and cook the steak for a few seconds.

I almost never order steaks at a restaurant – I simply got tired of receiving steaks that were not cooked to my liking. But in my own backyard, I get to make the best steak possible. I used to think this was a mystical and impossible task for professionals, but the reverse sear method is remarkably doable.

Reverse sear ribeye

Craig Tabor is a live fire chef who uses Cutting Edge Firewood. He has a great blog and recipe guide for reverse searing a ribeye.

Recommended cooking wood: We love using oak cooking chunks for their amazing heat and subtle flavor with steak.

Who is Cooking with Cutting Edge Firewood3. Cook a Pizza from Scratch

If I had to choose one food to eat for the rest of my life, then it would be pizza. It’s got everything you need and can be incredibly delicious.

And of course, the best pizzas in the world are cooked in wood fired ovens. You can make your life easier by using pre-made pizza dough and pizza sauce, or you can go all-in and make everything from scratch.

Emeril Legasse has a basic pizza dough recipe that’s pretty simple and has some nice ideas for adding unique flavors to the crust. For homemade pizza sauce, using San Marzano tomatoes makes for some incredible flavor – we like this pizza sauce recipe. I also blend the tomatoes because I like my pizza sauce smooth, but you can keep it chunky if you prefer. It’s your home, cook what you want!

Recommended cooking wood: If you have your own wood fired pizza oven, then you definitely want to try our pizza cut firewood. It was designed with and for pizza chefs to cook at the perfect temperature. If you want to try cooking a pizza inside your ceramic grill, then we recommend our oak cooking splits.

4. Smoke some Ribs using the 3-2-1 Method

Ribs can be glorious. They can also be tough and chewy and dry.

Fortunately, there is a really easy way to ensure your ribs are glorious: the 3-2-1 method. This keeps the ribs juicy and ensures they will fall off the bone. You can read more about the 3-2-1 method here (including recipe, tips, and tricks). You can also watch our video below to see how easy it can really be:

In summary, the 3-2-1 method  involves the following steps:

3: Smoke spare ribs over indirect heat for 3 hours (or 2 hours if you’re using baby back ribs). This gives the smoke flavor from your wood a chance to cook into the meat.

2: Wrap the ribs in aluminum foil and smoke them for 2 more hours. It’s popular to add some kind of liquid inside the foil to give it extra moisture.

1: Remove the foil and coat the ribs in barbecue sauce. Smoke for 1 more hour.

Recommended cooking wood: I love my ribs to have bold flavor, so I  recommend using our hickory smoking chunks.

5. Next level burgers and bratwursts

I used to cook burgers and bratwursts on a gas grill and thought it was fine.

And then I cooked them over charcoal and cooking wood and my world was changed. I had always heard the flavor was better, but I was floored by how much better it tasted. In fact, my very first cook over the Primo grill was simple burgers and bratwursts for the 4th of July. I even cooked some turkey burgers because someone brought them along.

One of the turkey burger eaters couldn’t stop talking about how good it tasted. “What did you do differently!?” It was simple, I used the reverse sear technique for the burgers and brauts (smoked them for about 1 hour at 235 degrees and then turned up the heat to give them a crispy exterior). Smoking the burgers and brauts first allowed the hickory smoke to absorb into the meat and produced amazing flavor.

Recommended cooking wood: Every wood is great with bratwursts, so why not try the smoking chunks variety pack? It has 4 different species of wood and gives you the freedom to experiment.

6. Make Jalapeño Poppers

There is more to cooking over the fire than just cooking your main course. Lots of sides can be added to the grill, especially when you’re using a large one like the Primo XL400.

jalapeno poppers cooked over wood

Jalapeño Poppers add awesome kick to any meal and only require 4 ingredients: jalapeños, bacon, cheese, and cream cheese. You can also add garlic, pepper, and salt to taste. You will want to be careful when making these – consider wearing gloves when you hollow out the jalapeños (or at least wash your hands extensively when done). Getting jalapeño seed heat into your eyes is definitely memorable, but not the kind of memory you want.

This recipe adds some unique flavor by including turkey stuffing, this recipe adds the jalapeño poppers inside some chicken breasts, and this is a nice and simple recipe (just cook inside your ceramic grill instead of the oven so you get the amazing smoke flavor!)

Recommended cooking wood: Odds are you’ll be cooking the jalapeño poppers alongside of something else. You can use that wood or use some maple smoking chunks to add a little sweet to the spice.

7. Grill some salmon

Salmon is our favorite fish to eat, and it tastes awesome on the grill. It has a great natural flavor that becomes even better when cooked over wood. It’s the foundation for a healthy meal as well, so you can feel good about cooking it more often!

You can smoke salmon on a cedar plank or you can smoke it directly on the grill. It’s a flexible fish and can taste great using a variety of methods. I also like marinading salmon for extra flavor, but it can taste good with just a bit of salt or pepper as well!

Recommended cooking wood: Salmon pairs really nicely with pecan smoking chunks, so we recommend those!

8. Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread

By now you have probably noticed that we like things with a little kick! Cornbread is a staple around here and has just as many memories as pulled pork for me.

Once again we’ll turn to Craig Tabor for an excellent recipe on cooking cornbread in a cast iron skillet inside your ceramic style grill. Cooking inside a cast iron skillet gives the cornbread a perfect crispy exterior, while maintaining a perfectly moist interior.

Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread in a Ceramic Grill

Cornbread is an excellent side to just about everything, but it is a dream match when paired with some delicious chili.

Recommended cooking wood: Bread tends to absorb lots of smoke flavor, so we recommend something more subtle like our oak cooking chunks or our whiskey infused smoking chunks.

Learn more at Cooking With Wood U

If you want to learn more about cooking with wood, make sure you check out our free resource: Cooking with Wood U. You can also subscribe to our cooking with wood newsletter below to receive recipes, how-tos, videos and more directly into your inbox!

And of course, if you’re looking for the best cooking wood available then be sure to visit our online store. We offer complimentary shipping nationwide on all cooking chunks and cooking splits!

Shop Products Mentioned in this Article:

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  • Smoking Chunks Variety Pack

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