There’s nothing quite as tasty as food cooked outdoors. Why is that? We thought it’d be fun to explore the subject and, while we’re at it, tell you about the chiminea cooking crown, a deceptively simple accessory that delivers more food awesomeness than you can shake a proverbial stick at.
Why does food cooked outdoors taste so good?
Why, exactly, is alfresco food to delicious? Take a look online and there are plenty of articles on the subject, and while there’s no scientific insight to be had, most agree it’s partly down to a simple sense of occasion, the fresh air itself and the fact that we tend to eat alfresco when the weather’s good.
As far as a sense of occasion goes, most of us who cook and eat outdoors in this country do it on special occasions. You might hold a BBQ for someone’s birthday, cook alfresco on a camping trip, break out a beach barbecue while you’re on holiday somewhere gorgeous or attend a summer wedding with an outdoor buffet. Either way they’re all memorable occasions, times we think back on with fondness, rich seams of happy memories.
Fresh air seems to work a special magic of its own. Science tells us that trees and other greenery give off special, highly potent chemicals that we can’t actually smell, but which affect humans profoundly. Spend time in the great outdoors and you’ll get a nice little natural high from those chemicals, a health-giving, happiness-promoting feeling that works wonders to soothe tired minds, releases flurries of ideas, and makes you feel physically better. Magic.
In Britain the weather delivers a constant emotional rollercoaster ride. We despair at endless days of heavy rain and nasty chills, we get totally fed up with high winds, we hate getting snowed in, and our summers are so short and unpredictable that every single hour of sunshine is precious. All this means the time we spend outdoors is time we tend to remember very fondly indeed, time we look forward to and value.
All about the chiminea cooking crown
So how can you capitalise on all this good, positive stuff? Our chiminea cooking crown is designed to make cooking outdoors even more of a pleasure, even simpler, even more effective and more fun. Seldom has something so intrinsically simple proved such a great idea.
You can cook inside your chiminea. But even a giant chim only offers so much cooking space. The solution to cooking more fab food outdoors on your chim is to use the chimney itself. If you stick a pan or kettle straight on top of the chimney, no air can get out and you’ll end up with masses of smoke. To avoid smoking yourself out, pop a cooking crown on top of the chimney, add the steel grill on top and you’re ready to rock ‘n’ roll. Just bear in mind that because heat rises, food often cooks faster on top of the chimney.
The crown fits in the chimney of your chimenea, transforming it into a handy hob, perfect for cooking since it doesn’t block the draw of the fire underneath. You can either cook directly on the grill or stand flame-proof cookware on top of it to create stir fry, casseroles, curries and more.
3 cool cooking crown recipes
Set the fire at least 20 minutes before you want to cook, and prepare the food in advance so you’re ready to go as soon as things are hot enough. Here are three beautifully simple yet incredibly tasty basic cooking crown recipes.
- Fab kebabs! A cooking crown is the perfect way to create beautiful, succulent kebabs. Create your ideal kebab using metal skewers, for example chunks of fish or chicken interspersed with onion, peppers, mushrooms and any other veg that floats your boat, then sprinkle on some mixed herbs, freshly ground pepper and sea salt, and sit the kebabs on top of the grill until they’re cooked through and tender.
- Excellent cheeseburgers – Because your burgers sit on top of the chiminea they’re really easy to reach, and even easier to embellish. Whether it’s a chicken, fish or beef burger, cook it to perfection on your chim crown grill then add your choice of toppings before sealing the flavour in with a fat slice of cheese. Pile up herbs and spices, sliced mushrooms or tomatoes, thin slices of pepper, chunks of chilli relish or even tangy Branston pickle on top of the burger once it’s cooked through, pop the cheese on top and watch as it bubbles beautifully, melting over your toppings to make the flavours zing.
- The best bacon butties in town – There’s nothing quite so good as a bacon buttie served outside, and a chiminea crown makes creating the perfect buttie as easy as pie. Using the crown, which is easy to reach and control, means you are the boss of the way your bacon is cooked, either succulent and moist or crispy and brown, tailored to the exact taste of the person you’re making it for. Tomato ketchup is the all-time classic topping but garlic cream cheese, herb cream cheese or generous dollops of fresh mayo make an unusual, equally delicious accompaniment. Nutty, seedy wholegrain organic bread makes a lovely change from white sliced and comes with a whole lot more flavour
If all that sounds too tasty for words, grab yourself a chiminea crown here.