Outdoor Cooking: A Quick Guide for Beginners

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There is something about food prepared and eaten outdoors that adds to the taste. Somehow, it seems more fresh and authentic when you cook outdoors surrounded by wilderness. It is a highly valuable skill to understand how to operate a grill, and prepare it for cooking. 

While it can seem a little intimidating at first, this guide has been designed to encourage you to try cooking outdoors, and show you that it is much easier than you may think.

Whether you have a grill that you want to prepare different foods on, or if you are keen to use your open campfire for cooking, these are some useful tips that will help you feel more confident with outdoor cooking.

High Quality Tools

Firstly, one of the most important things to note is that you should invest in high quality equipment. This is because it will last much longer than budget items, and it’s worth spending a little more money on something that is durable because you can rely on it when you are cooking outdoors. 

If you are unsure about how to find a high quality item for outdoor cooking, you can check out this flat top grill griddle review.

Grills, barbecues, and tools are all essential items needed to cook and prepare food outdoors, so it’s worth investing in some high quality equipment. 

Start Off Small

Try to avoid jumping straight into the deep end for your first time cooking outdoors.

While this can be a great way to learn a process and appreciate how everything works, it can be dangerous when it comes to cooking.

Not only that, but many will find this approach intimidating due to the excessive amount of moving parts to manage. 

There is nothing wrong with starting to cook outdoors by preparing a single type of meat, because it can allow you to spend more time focusing on what variables affect the color, and how the over taste is affected by the fuel used to add heat. 

From this, you can easily begin introducing multiple types of food until you feel confident and ready to prepare entire meals for your next gathering. 

Plan Ahead

Another thing to remember is that you should plan ahead. This can help you feel more prepared, and take away some of the anxiety that you may have surrounding overall cooking time and preparation. 

If you are cooking meat , you can be more prepared by seasoning it, or letting it sit in a sauce ahead of time. This can allow you to focus on the cooking process without having to spend additional time preparing food. 

You should also consider planning ahead so that you do not take up too much space on the grill or barbecue pan. An overcrowded grill is more likely to cook food unevenly, so it could be worth thinking about which foods take longer to cook and what can be added at a later stage. 
It is also worth considering that grills and campfires take a certain amount of time to heat up. The temperature needed to prepare food on is higher than the yellow flame used to roast marshmallows, so you should plan when you want to eat ahead of time.

This should be used to count backwards, and allow the correct amount of time for your grill or barbecue to get hot enough. 

Test Run

In addition to planning ahead, you should try to do a test run of your grill, open flame cooking, or barbecue. This is especially important if it is new, and you are less familiar with how it works. 

Keep the temperature consistent by adding the right amount of fuel. A test run can show you how long each type of food takes to cook without burning.

This can allow you to feel more comfortable cooking outdoors, which will make the entire process more enjoyable. 

When you are managing a flame or heat source, it is worth comparing different types of fuels. These include coal, wood, and even gas. Try to see which works best for your grill, and how easy it is to manage the cooking temperature. 

Confidence Is Key

As with in the kitchen, you are more likely to cut or injure yourself if you are afraid of the equipment. Of course, sharp knives are easy to be wary of, but those who are more confident using the right tools are less likely to burn or injure themselves. 

Planning ahead and doing a test run of your equipment can allow you to feel more confident around the grill and show you that there is nothing to be afraid of. 


Cooking outdoors can be highly rewarding, and it is definitely worth taking the time to practice once in a while to make sure you are cooking food in the right way. There are plenty of resources available to compare high quality grilling equipment, but the link above is easy to follow and great for beginners.

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