Ahhh, the depth of flavour, the beautiful caramelization, the slight char that can be produced and the smoky infused crusts and skins with just that hint of live fire. There’s nothing like the taste of cooking on an outdoor wood burning fire.
For thousands of years stones have been piled up, heated with a fire and then buried with the food to slow cook. In Hawaii it’s an imu, in central Asia a tandoor and here in New Zealand the Māori call it a Hāngi.
With each of these traditional cooking styles the secret is the stones, they retain heat and allow for steady uniform cooking. The same principle applies to the Flare Fires masonry fireplace. The bricks and concrete act as a ‘thermal mass’ and absorb the heat and evenly radiate it into the fire cavity.
Yes the flavours you get from cooking over wood are amazing, but the magic really happens when you cook with a ‘thermal mass’.
With a Flare Fire there is no steel firebox to get in the way of delicious, wood fired pizza, succulent smoked fish, slow cooked pork, amazing smoke infused breads and desserts. Yum.
Good, dry wood can easily burn at 400 – 500°c. With a masonry fire you can sink this heat into the bricks and concrete allowing you to achieve much higher temperatures than you can in a steel oven. For example, it’s easy to cook pizza at 350 – 400°c in a Flare Fire compared to your kitchen oven which at best can achieve 250°c.
This temperature difference is key. Being able to achieve high temperatures is perfect for pizza, think thin crust, it will bake and finish with the crust and toppings done at the same time, in just a few minutes.
The other part of the magic is the consistent radiant heat of a masonry fire. When you’re cooking breads and roasts you can start the fire early in the day and cook for many hours by just maintaining a little fire. The ‘thermal mass’ of the Flare Fire provides steady, uniform cooking.
I love smoked lamb, add a little lemon juice, olive oil and plenty of salt. Oh my goodness.
With a Flare Fire you can Rotisserie, smoke, cook steaks, pizza, desserts and more.
Check out the different cooking options above. And see Al Brown’s outdoor fire here.