Open Fire Grilling
Author: Urban Paleo Chef
Prep time: 60 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 1 hour 20 mins
Wondering how to make a night of open fire grilling work out just right? Check out these step here for the delicious smoky flavors of an open fire grilling session!
  • Two large logs, chopped to size to fit in your fire pit.
  • A grill, and suitable supports for the grill.
  • A medium pile of 1 to 2 inch thick sticks. This should be just about as much as you can reach your arms around.
  • A medium pile of fully dry twigs, about the thickness of your pinky finger. This should be just about as much as you can reach your arms around.
  • A medium pile of fully dry tinder. These are the small, very dry twigs, leaves, grass, bark, and anything else that's easily flammable. This should be slightly more than you can grab with your two hands.
  • Lighter, matches, or other tool to light the fire.
  • A suitable, legal, and safe fire pit.
  • A large bucket of water to use to control or extinguish the fire, as needed.
  • Some fire logs or split wood.
  • Your meal. Steak, sausages, pork chops, loins, some fire-resistant vegetables. Higher starch veggies are best for this: carrots, zucchini & yellow squash, pineapple, onion, turnip, beet, etc.
  • Some friends and/or family.
  1. Lay the two large logs into the fire pit so that they are close enough to hold the grill up themselves. With these in place, the grill supports that you plan to use can be more for control than necessity.
  2. Build up a small mound in between the two logs of the tinder. On top of this, place a few of the twigs, and a few of the sticks.
  3. Light the tinder.
  4. Carefully tend the fledgling blaze until it has started to spread to the twigs and stick. Build this up in the tepee fashion, encouraging the fire to grow strong quickly. What you want is a fast, hot burning fire with moderately small fuel.
  5. Add the twigs and sticks onto the fire as it grows.
  6. Carefully press the fire down, compressing it as it burns. This will keep it hot, keep the heat concentrated on the available fuel, and help to ensure that it burns down to coals sooner. Do not do this in a way that may cause injury to yourself or others.
  7. Continue to build the fire with the sticks and twigs, and compressing it down as you can, to keep it burning hot and fast.
  8. If done properly, this should burn down to embers in approximately 60 minutes from when the fire really got going. If you used slightly larger sticks, it may be more like 90 minutes.
  9. Once the flames have mostly died down (there should still be some flames dancing around), and there is an intense heat radiating from the remaining fire embers, carefully and slowly spread the embers out so that the heat is reasonably evenly spaced.
  10. Lay the grill down on top of the two containment logs, using your support for stabilization. This could be other sticks to support the edges of the grill. Be very careful, the fire should still be putting off an intense heat.
  11. Put the steaks and other meats down in the middle of the grill, and the veggies around the edges (if there's space).
  12. Grill these for about 10 minutes per side, or longer for a colder fire.
  13. After 20 minutes of total cook time, Serve and enjoy!
  14. If you want to continue to enjoy the fire, I recommend adding the fire logs and/or split wood to the fire pit as soon as possible after you're done cooking. The embers should still be plenty hot enough to re-kindle a respectable fire, and the larger fire wood should burn slowly, allowing you several more hours of enjoyment, socializing, and even perhaps other fire-roasting for subsequent meal courses.
  15. If you're removing the grill from the fire, be very careful. It is very hot, will burn your hand, and may cause damage to any surface it touches. I recommend using tongs to take it off the fire, and putting it into your water bucket (if the bucket is metal) or onto bare earth to cool.
If you're a minor, please only follow these steps this under the supervision of an adult.
If you're an adult, please exercise caution, care, and follow all applicable laws, regulations, and general guidance practices concerning fire in your area.
Recipe by Urban Paleo Chef at