January 25, 2016

NEW KETTLES: plus a recipe for apple crisp

We are happy to introduce a line of kettles to Breeo’s product inventory.

These kettles and dutch ovens are the perfect match to our smoke-reducing, wood-burning fire pits. Their heavy-duty, fire-resistant build makes them the perfect accompaniment to any grilling fest. Whether you cook a stew, try out this baked bean recipe, or put in a little desert after the steaks are grilled, you’ll be sure to love these kettles, big and small.

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Breeo’s new kettles hang perfectly from the Kettle Winch accessory for our Zentro and Ablaze fire pits, or it settles nicely onto the Swing Away Grill accessory or the Double Flame Grill.

Even if you have no accessories, you can always make an oven environment right down in the coals of any of our smoke-less fire pits.

If you’re ready to try it out on one of Breeo’s smoke-reducing fire pits, following is a delicious Apple Crisp recipe we have tried out in the Double Flame fire pit.

Dutch Oven Apple Crisp for Campfires

Ingredients

1-1/2 sticks of butter
1 pound brown sugar
1/4 cup cinnamon
9 oz quick oats
4 pounds apples
1/4 water

Directions

Make sure you have a hot bed of coals in your fire pit to begin. See this how to guide here.

  • Core and slice the apples.
  • Layer the apple slices in the bottom of the kettle.  (Throw in a bit of lemon juice to prevent browning, if you’d like.)
  • Mix the cinnamon, oats, and brown sugar a separate bowl. Cut in butter.
    The mix should be fine and crumbly.
  • Pour the mix evenly over the apples.
  • Sprinkle water over the top.
  • Put on lid, and place the kettle down in the coals in your fire pit.
  • Cook for about 45-55 minutes.
    Check every 10 minutes or so. If the crust is drying out, add water as necessary.
  • Top with ice cream or whipped cream and enjoy!
July 8, 2015

Campfire Seafood

Being able to live independent of grocery stores and electricity is something that holds at least a little fascination for most of us. We wonder about what is possible, and wonder what may one day be necessary. This concept is one that I have been toying with for years, especially with regard to food and heat.

With that in mind, I decided to shell out the necessary $145 for a non-resident fishing license for while we are in California. My thought was that if I can catch enough fish from the rocks and surf, the savings in the grocery bill will offset the cost of the license. And plus, I really wanted to give Double Flame a test for campfire seafood.
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It turned out that the most readily available species of fish to catch from the coast was what is known as Surf Perch. These remind me of crappie or sunfish, and are caught using Gulp sandworms or Motor Oil Grubs on a #4 hook. You want to weigh down the jig with about an ounce of weight, and keep the hook at least 12-18 inches away. Its really a very simple setup.

When we arrived in Pismo Beach, CA my first cast resulted in a perch! Since then, we have been eating perch in some form or fashion pretty much every day.
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Here is one recipe
1. Scale and gut the fish, leaving the head attached.
2. Get a cast iron skillet very hot over the fire. This is much easier with the consistant heat and stability of the grill on any of Breeo’s smokeless fire pits. I use the Double Flame for beach camping because of portability.
3. Pour about a half inch of oil in the skillet, and let it get hot before adding the fish.
4. Season the fish with sea salt and pepper. Or you can do cajun, old bay, or lemon. Depending on the flavor profile you are going for.
5. CAREFULLY put the fish in the hot oil
6. Turn once they start to turn brownish. Its a very quick cook, only a couple minutes max.

Enjoy!
Surf-Perch-over-the-fire-cooked

If you have ideas for other types of fresh or saltwater food over the fire, shoot me an email at Jonathan@breeoindustries.com

 

June 15, 2015

Plain ‘Ole Burgers over Fire

Sometimes the mood is right to cook something quick, easy and cheap. But still very, very yummy!
This was the case last night on the Rethinking Fire Tour in Central California. So what was the solution? Some boring old frozen burger patties!

Here’s what you need:
-Double Flame smokeless wood fire pit with grill
-Frozen Burger Patties
-Montreal Steak Seasoning
-BBQ Sauce of your choice

1. Build a hot fire in Double Flame wood fire pit (I used some dead branches lying around the campsite) and let it die down a bit so the flames are lower.

2. Set the grill as HIGH as it will go and lay the frozen burgers above the flames until they are thawed and starting to cook (2-4 minutes )

3. Heavily sprinkle each patty with some Montreal Steak Seasoning and lower the grill into the flames. Sear until done.

4. Right before you take them off, hit them with some BBQ Sauce on the top of each patty and let it sort of ooze into the meat while its still over the flames.

And thats the trick to cooking plain ole burgers over fire!

I then did some whole wheat sandwich thins with some olive oil and singed them over the wood fire pit. The one burger I made had two patties on it with three sandwich thins, freshly sliced tomatoes, spinach, BBQ Sauce and mushrooms.

What I really love about recipes like this is the simplicity of it. Prep time was zero. total cooking time was 5-7 minutes. Boom. You are munching down!
The other thing that was fun is that I just made a quick fire with some dead branches that were lying around the campsite. This helped to clean the campsite up, but also made a hot fire very quick. I think I started the fire at most 5 minutes before I put the burgers one. And because the wood was so small, about the time the burgers were done, the fire was dying out. It was great! Also, the whole meal cost me next to nothing.

Sometimes its fun to pull out all the stops and cook up a feast fit for the most royal of kings. But other times, you just can’t beat fast, easy and cheap!

June 4, 2015

Fire Pit Cowboy Cooking in Wyoming

This past week the Rethinking Fire Tour took us through southern Wyoming on I-80. On Friday night we stopped at Medicine Bow National forest an hour or two before dark.
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Wyoming Scenery

We were hungry after traveling all day, so I decided to make a real cowboy-type meal to fit the setting that we were in. First I gathered some wood from some fallen trees and branches about a quarter mile away using my trusty double bit axe.
Chopping-wood-with-double-bit-axe

Next I hit the steaks with roasted garlic seasoning from McCormick and put them on the grill for a couple minutes. One of the keys to Fire Pit Cowboy Cooking is consistent heat, which is much easier to control with a secondary combustion system. The heat is projected evenly upward and is distributed across the grill in a uniform way. Controlling the grill surface temperature is made easy but just adjusting the height of the grill over the flames. Normally I sear steaks with the grill as low to the flames as it will go, and then bring them up about 10 -14 inches off the flames to finish them off.
Fire Pit Cowboy Cooking

No cowboy meal is complete without beans! We just set the can of beans on the grill to heat it up. Remember to punch a whole in the top of the can! Otherwise you may have a bean explosion.
The finished meal had that rustic, wood-fired feel to it that fit our surroundings perfectly.
Grilled steak in Wyoming Steak and Beans

After the meal was done and the sun was set, we made some tea and sat around the fire. As the moon rose higher in the sky, coyotes started to bark and yip far out in the sage.
campfire and moonlight

June 1, 2015

Canada, Northern Pike, & Adventure!

This past week the Rethinking Fire Tour took us through northern Minnesota and into the far northwest tip of Ontario.

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On Saturday night some friends and us hiked back to a semi-remote and uninhabited lake. It was somewhat of an impromptu event and we had no food with us. All we had was several fishing poles, a knife and Double Flame.

Random-Canadian-Lake

Some of us were starting to get rather hungry, so I threw a line in the water with a “spoon” spinner lure attached. On the fourth cast, this happened:Catching-Northern-PikePike

We had no spices or seasonings, but we decided that we would try grilling it fresh on Double Flame. First step was to filet it:Flaying-Pike

Then we built a nice hot fire in Double Flame, and put the fillets directly on the grill.
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It was delicious! What was so fascinating about the whole evening was that everything we needed was right there in the wilderness. The wood for the campfire was fallen branches and the food came from the lake.

After dinner we had a sat around Double Flame, with no one in the smoke, and talked for a long time.
Evening-Campfire

Double Flame even provided us with some more entertainment!
Love-with-Fire

 

 

 

April 28, 2015

Tour: A Bump in the Road

Three weeks ago, on the afternoon of April 6th, we were in an unfortunate accident with our Casita travel trailer. We did not have enough hitch weight which caused the Casita to sway back and forth, eventually spinning us around as Janessa drove down a hill. We took a slide down the road and a bump into the side of a mountain, but thankfully we are perfectly healthy and unharmed! No one else was involved, and both the car and the Casita were fully repairable.

We spent a few days in Altoona, PA,  40 minutes away from the scene of the accident, getting our Subaru’s left rear subframe replaced. There we received gracious hospitality from one of Breeo’s clients, Tussey Mountain Mulch, who put us up with a bed and meals while we waited on our car to be road worthy again. By that Thursday afternoon we were able to get back to the Casita in the little town off Rt. 22 where the accident occurred.

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Casita travel trailers are different from regular RVs because they, like their Scamp & Boler cousins, are made of molded fiberglass. Instead of shattering into many pieces across the highway like other RVs would have, the Casita’s fiberglass just ripped. Thankfully, this can be rebuilt with some hard work.

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The first step was to remove the interior cabinets, rip off the carpet to provide access to the fiberglass, and remove the two broken windows. That muck you see on the cabinets was a combination of all of our seasonings flying through the air and landing with flour and water atop everything we owned. Thankful for laundromats!

phprrtWU0AMJonathan’s father has experience with mechanics, RV’s, and fiberglass. It just so happened that his parents were only 4 hours away, so they took a detour on their trip home to Canada and came to our aid! We are so grateful for the careful restructuring of the Casita’s back end that Jon’s dad headed up for us.

These braces needed to be left in place for a few days while all the fiberglass hardened.

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Jonathan’s mother even managed to sneak a belated birthday cake into the ordeal!

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Fiberglass and hardener mixing.
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Sanding in preparation for fiberglass repair.
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Placing matting for fresh fiberglass. 
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Applying the fiberglass mixture over the matting.

Watch below to see Jonathan rebuilding the fiberglass on an outside area:

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Here you can see a before and after of the most damaged area, which needed to be restructured with braces.
– Left: Ripped fiberglass immediately after the accident. This end was sagging down, and the window was bent.
– Right: Completely remolded area with new window inserted. Structurally as good as new!

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One of the final steps was to sand the finished fiberglass down and add putty in any necessary areas.

We also fixed a few plumbing pipes, removed the broken air conditioning unit from the top and replaced it with a Fantastic Fan (which we determined is better for our off-grid boondocking), and made a few fixes to the inside cabinetry and bathroom wall.

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And the final step: painting!
Our ‘Little House’ had been in need of a fresh coat of paint for a long while anyway.

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The final product. Looking fresher than we’ve ever had this Casita!

We are thrilled, and incredibly grateful. We know how fortunate we are to have come out of this experience completely healthy and with such minor damages that we could fix ourselves.
We have taken all precautions to make sure this will not happen again by installing sway bars, lessening our weight in the back, and being very careful to ensure the correct hitch weight at all times.

Boondocking-&-Smokeless-Campfires
This experience definitely shook us up a bit at first, but it did not harm our love of this lifestyle. It has served as a reminder that life is a precious gift, that dreams can be stripped away suddenly, that hard work is necessary, and that we are immensely fortunate to have this beautiful, wonderful life.

Our many thanks to all for your support and kind words through this experience.
We thank God that this has ended up as a tiny, little bump on a long, adventurous road.
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April 27, 2015

Boondocking & Smokeless Campfires

Boondocking is the practice of camping in remote locations for free and off the grid. There are a variety of different types of land that are available for Boondocking legally, ranging from State Forests to Crown Land in Canada. The goal of Boondocking is to experience nature and solitude without constant interruption from other humans. On the Rethinking Fire Tour, we prefer Boondocking to other forms of camping because it allows us to explore and discover, undisturbed. During some of the last week we were boondocking in the Michuax State Forest in Central PA. Of course our trusty Double Flame fire pit was along! There is something great about smokeless campfires when you want to remain undetected.

Another reason that Double Flame is well suited to Boondocking is because of its efficient wood burning. Whether you are bringing wood in or responsibly harvesting local dead wood, using less wood for your campfires really cuts the work down! You wont need to rely on propane or charcoal as much for your grilling if you can forage locally to fuel your cookouts. If you are interested in trying out boondock camping, contact us on Facebook at the Rethinking Fire Tour for some tips.

Rethinking-Fire-Tour-Caravan---Smokeless-Fire-PitsOld logging roads make great access points! Green-Egg,-Axe,-SunFinishing up some chicken on the Big Green Egg MiniMax after giving it a good sear on Double Flame! Sunset---Smokeless-Fire-Pit

 

February 15, 2015

TOUR: Caves in Southern Spain

Over the last several years, Spain has experienced an economic crisis on-par with the American Great Depression in the 1930’s. Unemployment rates are staggering, hovering around 26% over the last several years.
Hiking in the region of Almeria near the Mediterranean, we discovered a series of caves above the cities. DSC01205These mountains are completely deserted. No tracks or signs of human activity, even though they are situated right over one of Europe’s largest greenhouse operations.
The thought occurred to me that this would be an ideal off-grid living situation if things got really bad. DSC01334
A key part of this lifestyle would be a source of undetectable fire to provide heat, light, and as a cooking source. The fire would also have to be very efficient because the wood supply would be smaller twigs and branches. A Double Flame or Ablaze Smokeless Fire Pit tucked up under the ledge would be the perfect solution. DSC01331A solar panel rigged on the overhang would take advantage of Spain’s 300+ days of sunshine per year. DSC01369Water could be collected from a reservoir situated a little ways down the mountain. DSC01401Food? Easy. The valley below has thousands of greenhouses and all the fresh veggies you can eat at fantastic prices right from the greenhouse owner.DSC01290
If economic conditions got even worse and the situation turned violent, you would not want anyone from the valley to know where you are. In the clear air, smoke can be seen from a long ways away. 

 

January 14, 2015

Thanksgiving Dinner Over the Fire

This past thanksgiving, my wife and I decided to attempt making Thanksgiving Dinner with the Double Flame fire pit, using wood gathered from the forest.

Location: Elk State Forest, Penslvannia

Date: Thanksgiving Day, 2014

Menu: Turkey, Stuffing, Sweet Potatoes, Green Beans, and Apple Crisp Desert

First, I got a good roaring fire going.

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Then, I let it burn down to a good bed of coals. Once I had a good base of coals, I added the Sweet Potatoes in tin foil, along with the green beans. After those had been in for about 20 minutes or so, I added the Turkey on the grill.

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Then I added some Greek Potatoes in a cast iron skillet. 

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Once everything was done, I put the cast iron dutch oven into the middle of the fire pit with the apple crisp desert (Left it in a little long, so it was definitely CRISP).

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Here is how the final result looked! The only part of the meal NOT made on Double Flame was the stuffing.

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January 13, 2015

Mountain Pies

Making Mountain Pies on Ablaze

All you need is a pie iron. You can find various options here.

Whether you prefer eggs, meat, pizza, or dessert, you can use almost any ingredients to make a mountain pie.

1. Butter two slices of bread. Tuck the first slice into one side of the pie iron.
Make sure the butter is on the side of the iron.
2. Pile all ingredients on the slice of bread. Add the second slice on top, butter-side up.
3. Close the pie iron and remove any excess bread.
4. Place in the campfire coals for 4-6 minutes.
5. Remove carefully and enjoy!

You can use almost any ingredient you like, but here are some of our favorite mountain pies:

Pizza Mountain Pies
Ingredients: pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepporoni, sausage, mushrooms, peppers, etc.

Directions: Create a bar of your favorite pizza ingredients on a nearby picnic table.
Heap your preferred assortment onto the slice of bread.
Close the pie iron, and place into campfire coals.

Pie Filling Mountain Pies
Ingredients: Fruit flavoried pie filling of your choice, cream cheese.

Directions: Cover your bread in cream cheese and top with your favorite fruity pie filling.
We recommend blueberry, cherry, or peach.
Close the pie iron, and place into campfire coals.

Mountain pies are a delicious and easy addition to any fireside evening or camping afternoon. Let us know your own favorite recipes on the Ablaze fire pit!