View Full Version : grilling in your fireplace

12-06-2010, 05:59 PM
I just picked up a 1/4 of a processed cow and now have a rack of cow ribs and one of pork fro earlier this year. Have a condo with a fireplace, very small patio, no propane grill or other. It dawned on me that it should be possible to grill in the fireplace. Others have had this idea, and I found a place on-line that makes a grill rack that goes into your fireplace. Spit jack I think it was.

I'm picturing a 1-inch angle iron stand that will hold my 18-inch round camping grill, formed in the shape of a c. not adjustable though. Anyone have any experience in this. The exterior of the boat in the living room is painted and my other bike projects are almost done. And I need to get the ribs out of my freezer.

Good day.

12-06-2010, 06:07 PM
It shouldn't be difficult to design a stand (with slots at different heights) and grill arrangement that fits exactly to your fireplace that you can have welded up for a reasonable price.
I use local farmer friends for my welding needs. They don't tend to charge a lot. The downside is that they do it at their own convenience. No rush jobs.


12-06-2010, 06:18 PM
i should have added that the reason I'm interested is because some years ago I got a 110 VAC flux core wire feed welder for Christmas. So far it has survived one divorce and a major break-up. So I get to make my own stuff. I think I'll draw one up and then let people critique and add ideas.
The biggest problem is that I am not a welder by trade any more than I am a boat builder, so I am looking for simplicity in construction.

I am thinking on how the slots could be made right now with the angle iron, seems simple enough. The upright corners face outboard and the angle gets welded to hold the rack.

Ian McColgin
12-06-2010, 06:26 PM
When we were kids we had a nifty any open flame grill that we used in the fireplace and at the beach. Basicly it was two rectangular grills hinged by chain links and a slider that came down over the two halves of the long handle. You just held it over the fire as long as needed. A rock or something to rest it on helped. A taste for rare steak is mandatory. I've not seen anything like it for years - everthing now is so fancy - but it was hard to beat.

12-06-2010, 06:34 PM
Donn is correct that you should keep your flue clean and one way to help is to only burn hardwoods. Having the chimney cleaned yearly is another. Don't be scared away from the idea of cooking in your fireplace though. It's been done since people started living in houses with fireplaces.


12-06-2010, 06:43 PM
I would think the device you use to hold the meat would be of less concern than the grease layer you'll be adding to the creosote already in your flue. Roasting a hot dog in the fireplace now and then is one thing, but grilling large quantities of beef is quite another.

You would think that but it hadn't crossed my mind at all. Hmm, and I live on the bottom floor with two floors above me. I think I'll check with property management to see how often they clean flues. I have had wood stoves off and on for years, never a fire place. Still interested in the idea, but now I have a few other things to think about.

Paul Pless
12-06-2010, 06:48 PM
A rental. . . Perfect for this kind of experimentation.

Ian McColgin
12-06-2010, 07:00 PM
There are a number of outfits that make grilling gear of various types for fireplaces. Their web sites rather agree with my memory of fireplace grilling, the experience of the one person I know who does it fairly frequently, and logic - drippings can cause flare up, easily controlled by how you handle the grill. There is no additional risk of chimney fire but it should be pretty obvious that you don't clean your chimney less often than before you started grilling. If you heat or even suppliment heat with wood, you already are or should be cleaning annually anyhow. That's enough.


12-06-2010, 07:02 PM
Not a rental, the bank and I are sharing for few more years.

Gotcha Donn, as I'm starting to research this more most cooking in the fireplace is dutch over type stuff. The opposite of how I wanted to do the ribs.


The site I'm looking at. I may hold off on grilling pork ribs in the fireplace, but I do have some cast iron and I'm not afraid to use it. I still like the idea, if I'm going to light a fire it should heat and cook.

12-06-2010, 07:16 PM
We had a Franklin wood burning stove and it was great for grilling..

It came with a swing out grill.

Threw in some apple wood,cherry and it was nice.

Put taters in foil at the same time.

12-06-2010, 07:30 PM
Most meat that was cooked by the fire seems to have been with reflector-ovens unless the fireplaces were really big. (i.e. - away from the open flames and cooked with a pile of coals dragged out to the side where the meat was cooked.

12-06-2010, 07:48 PM
How 'bout a pooch powered rotisserie?


12-07-2010, 02:14 AM
I'd avoid fireplace grilling except for quick, low-fat meals like deer, elk, or antelope. But if you're using the fireplace for long periods, get a big dutch oven and slow-cook the beef: five or more hours with just a few coals on the lid, maintaining a temp of 200-225, so the juices don't boil and stick. You can give the cut a quick scorch before putting it in the dutch oven, but low heat for a long time yields moist and tender meat. If you've ever slow-cooked brisket for barbecue, this is the same idea.

12-07-2010, 02:29 AM
In addition to semi-burned grease going up the flue, you'll have un-burned grease falling down onto your coals, making another mess and causing flare-ups. A gas or charcoal grill burns a good deal hotter than an open fireplace with the even the best firewood. The fireplace cooking done since houses had fireplaces was usually done in pots, pans and kettles.The word "the" is superfluous.
Tsk tsk. :D