Grilling in the winter? In the fireplace?! Sure! Why not! After all, it wasn't really too long ago that home cooks did almost all their cooking in the fireplace. And it sure beats huddling around the outdoor grill while gazing at a vista of snow banks...
All the same techniques that apply to campfire cooking apply equally to fireplace grilling. Use dry, seasoned wood - this will burn hotter and cleaner than wet or "green" wood. Most of the time, you'll want to build up the fire and then let it die down into hot, glowing coals. This provides a hotter and more consistent heat for cooking.
There are actually grills specially made for fireplace grilling. The grill rests on a stand that slides in and out of the fireplace. On most models, the height of the grill can also be adjusted to be closer or further away from the hot coals. We found a company called SpitJack that sells fireplace grills for between $160 and $210.
The same company also sells some pretty fancy-looking rotisserie sets. These are cast-iron and motor-powered spits, and can be used to cook chickens, skewers of meat, or even fish.
If you're not quite up for investing in a lot of fancy equipment, you can always fall back on favorite campfire dinners: roasted potatoes wrapped in foil, hot dogs on a stick, stews cooked in cast-iron dutch ovens, and of course, s'mores.
Now we all just need to make friends with someone who has as fireplace...
• More Information on Fireplace Grilling and Safety from SpitJack
• Fireplace Grills from SpitJack
• Fireplace Rotisseries from SpitJack
• Camp Dutch Ovens from Lodge
Related: Outside Cooking: Build Your Own Grill
(Image: Flickr members powerbooktrance and majorbonnet licensed under Creative Commons)