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Fire Pit Ideas for Families

With the summer holidays looming, we’ve gathered together a few ideas to help spark some family fun around the fire pit. From bread sticks to chocolate toast, pineapple to popcorn, here are some simple recipes that will draw the whole family together.

Breadsticks

Not those brittle dippers that crumble in tiny fists, but practically proper bread baked over your fire pit, ready to turn your sausage sizzle into the hottest dog around.

First you need a green stick. By which we mean a freshly cut branch, the straighter the better. ‘Green’ wood doesn’t burn well, making it rubbish for your fire, but brilliant for our fire pit bread stick. Trim as many nobbly bits as possible, or select as smooth a section of branch as you can. Willow is particularly good for this job, and is very forgiving if cut during the summer. Aim for a branch that is about the width of your sausages and chop it long enough to hang over the edges of your fire pit.

Make the bread dough from 500g self-raising flour, 1 tsp sugar, 1tsp salt and 300-500ml of water. Add the water a little at the time, until a wettish dough is formed, reaching the consistency of a sticky play doh. Kids are experts in judging this.

Now, I’m not going to lie, wrapping the dough around the stick is a messy and unpredictable job. But it is also part of the fun. Just do the best you can, and try to get it as even as possible on the stick. Leave the two ends free to rest on the sides of your fire pit.

Then shove the fire flames off to one side, leaving a few smouldering embers underneath your bread stick.

Turn the bread often to keep it from getting too singed. Once you feel it getting crusty, but still with some give, take it off the fire. As soon as you can handle it, gently tug the bread off the stick. We’ve had varying degrees of success getting the bread off whole, but that’s all part of the fun. For every section that comes away intact, pop a sausage into the ready made hole and boom, you have yourself a breadstick hot dog.

There is no need to knead or leave to rise, this is a simple quick dough. We used a wholemeal ancient grain flour in the photo. Stodgy ancient grains like wholemeal spelt make brilliantly sticky doughs, so feel free to play with the flours you use. You can also fill the bread with jam or honey or cheese and melt it back over the fire pit. Anything goes, as long as you’re having fun around the fire pit.

Chocolate Toast

This is a really simply idea that could challenge the S’more for campfire supremacy.

It is an absolute crowd pleaser for the whole family, from sticky toddler to monosyllabic teen. And it can arguably be eaten at any time of day or night. If the French are allowed Pain au Chocolat, then who are we to judge if this becomes your fire pit breakfast staple. Or team it with a cup of tea to make it an afternoon snack. Perhaps if we call it bread pudding, we’d even be allowed Chocolate Toast as the sun goes down.

Grab yourself an unsliced loaf of bread. Cut a doorstop, by which we mean a very thick slice, at least the width of two slices of ‘normal’ bread.

Cut a slit in the bottom (pictured), creating a pocket to hold a few squares of chocolate.

We used four squares of milk chocolate, but really this bit is up to you. More, less, flavoured or plain, perhaps you’ll need to try a few different types of chocolate … whatever you decide, nestle your chocolate in your bread.

Melt butter on the hotplate side of your BBQ Swing Arm or in a frying pan. Toast your secret pockets of joy until the chocolate is melted, and the bread toasted a golden brown on both sides.

Don’t be fooled by its simplicity. This is definitely more delicious than the sum of its parts, but simple enough to prep while camping or when your fire pit is out and about with you.

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Fire Pit Pineapple

Moving on from fire pit carbohydrates, this is another super simple idea for some family fun around the fire pit which is completely elevated by fire and smoke.

Once you’ve cooked your meal or simply warmed up as you gather around your fire pit, throw on a few slices of fresh pineapple.

You can posh it up with a sprinkle of Demerara sugar if you like, but its sweet enough without. Warm your slices through, aiming for a bit of golden caramelisation. Then simply nibble your way around the core and be prepared to ooh and ahh your way around a humble slice of pineapple.

It has been said to turn the most ardent hater of the Hawaiian Pizza.

Fire Pit Pop Corn

As if it couldn’t get any simpler than slices of pineapple, this one is a doddle. It is all about whizzy bangs and pops to thrill the kids, but without the fireworks.

Popping your own corn is pretty fun anywhere, but on the fire pit it just doesn’t matter if you have an escapee. It is quite literally out of the frying pan, into the fire.

Coat the bottom of a lidded saucepan with a neutral tasting oil, and add one kernel of corn. As soon as this has popped, you know your oil is ready for show time. Now you can cover the bottom of the pan with popping corn and place the lid on the saucepan.

When you hear the popping start, why not lift the lid carefully and see the popcorn spring into life. As the popping dies down, give the pan a little shake and tip into a waiting bowl. Sure you can add salt, sugar, butter, but it’s also pretty good just as it is.

We hope these ideas ignite some family fire pit fun this summer. For hints and tips on fire pit safety, please see our guide or have a read of this handy guide from Netmums.

Stay safe and have fun!

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