Casserole cooking on a chimenea – Delish!

Some people love to barbecue, others would rather spend less time cooking, more time eating, drinking and socialising. A cook pot is a delicious way to make hearty, tasty soups, stews, casseroles and one-pot wonders. Here’s some inspiration for you.

Large Tia Chimenea in Black, inc BBQ grill

Tips for heavenly cookpot cooking on a chimenea

So how do you use a cooking pot on a chimenea? It sits on the chimney part, right on top, the ultimate in simplicity. While you can use an ordinary pot, a tapered one is the best idea because it’s designed for the job. The tapered end reaches down into the chimney to keep it stable.

It works like this. The heat rises up the hot metal or clay chimney (metal chims tend to get hotter). The chimney itself is super-hot. The cook pot itself gets hot, as does the lid. Together they create a remarkably efficient cooking gadget.

You can either pre-cook or part-cook the ingredients beforehand to save time or do it from scratch. Either way the lidded pot keeps the heat in and seals the flavours. Basically, treat it like an indoor cookpot and it’ll do a great job for you.

A Chimenea with fire in the backyard with lots of plants in a well landscaped garden.

Mixing it up for Vegans and vegetarians

More of us than ever are going veggie or Vegan, making veggie dishes a must in many households. Serve a thick veggie stew in a deep dish, adding BBQ meat or fish on top for the carnivores and pescatarians, and everyone’s happy. Dish your casserole up with rice if you like, either popping a chunk of meat or fish on top or not.

Couscous is a great accompaniment to thick stews and veggie dishes. And a sprinkling of cheese works perfectly for the vegetarians at the party.

Iguana Large Mexican Chimenea in Grey
Iguana Large Mexican Chimenea in Grey

Fabulous flavour for everyone

The trick is to make it wonderfully tasty without any dairy, meat or fish. Then it’ll be perfect for everyone even in its most basic form. Stock cubes make a great basis for the flavour, as does tomato puree. Adding generous amounts of garlic works wonders for a soup or stew, and garlic granules are a cool short cut with no peeling and chopping.

A big dash of Tabasco or peri-peri sauce keeps things fiery. Fragrant mixed herbs add interest and black pepper brings satisfying heat without too much burn. Sesame oil gives things an exotic touch, as does good old Soy Sauce. A spoon of English mustard adds a kick to every casserole. Or just curry the heck out of it.

Chimenea questions answered
Chimenea questions answered

Go veg crazy

Take the opportunity to go a bit veg mad. Start with the basics: spuds are essential for the carbs, making things properly hearty. Root vegetables are a much-neglected treat, so maybe go find a turnip, beet, parsnips or carrot. Brassicas like cabbage, broccoli, cauli and sprouts are full of vitamins, fibre and iron as well as gorgeous in a stew. You can load loosely chopped fresh spinach into the pot generously because it cooks down to next to nothing. Use frozen veg if you like. The more variety, the better the results.

Oslo Steel Chiminea Fireplace in Green - Front view with Fire

Meat, fowl, fish and seafood

Meat, fish, fowl and seafood make fabulous casserole ingredients. And that’s the beauty of cooking in a pot. It’s so creative. Use any ingredients you like to make something tasty and satisfying. We have just tone tip born of experience. Add shrimp or prawns to the pot right at the end, otherwise they turn into tiny pink rubbery bullets. 😉

And serve it with…

It’s steaming away like a good ‘un and it looks like your masterpiece is ready to serve. Garlic bread is always a goodie, even when you’ve already used it in the casserole. Buttered sourdough bread is particularly good with soups. Tear off chunks of fresh, fragrant French baguette to dip into your bowl or warm up some chewy naan bread to go with your curried stew.

It’s easy on the washing up, makes the most of your time, and it feeds everyone really well. Next time you want to cook on a chimenea but can’t be bothered to barbie, make sure there’s a chimenea cook pot handy.

Colima Mexican Chiminea, real glaze red (large)