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When you go round a friend’s house for a BBQ, the worst possible outcome is getting burnt food. We all know there is nothing more disappointing than cremated food and you judge a barbecuer by the degree of burning!

So it is ironic that the more you learn about cooking with fire, the more you realise that intentionally burning your food actually adds texture and an added flavour dimension. Part of learning about fire cooking is controlling the burning and making it part of your recipe.


Each food reacts differently to burning and learning which degrees of burning suit what food, is part of the learning curve.

I know I’ve shocked many chefs by burning food in front of them, it’s such the opposite of what they’ve always been taught. Fire cooking takes confidence and practice and there will be many mistakes along the way but the discoveries make this worth while.


Burnt: burning completely the outer layer, the burnt pieces can used as part of your recipe or peeled away.

Charred: burning your food in patches.

Seared: flash cooking over fire to caramelise the outer layer.

So once you learn how to outdoor cook without burning your food, your next journey of discovery is using burning to enhance your food.

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