By Kyle Gray :
An outdoor fire pit can enhance your home in many ways. It’s a great way to get family and friends together, and to cook up much more than just s’mores. And it has some surprising uses for the rest of your home. In fact, ash from the fire can be used to clean your home and fertilize your garden naturally!
Family Night: Few things bring the family together better than gathering around a fire. It’s a tradition that predates history! Whether you’re in your backyard or on a camping trip, a fire gets the kids out of the house, away from distractions, and lets your family enjoy each other’s company under the stars.
An outdoor fire pit that comes equipped with a grill can serve as a source not only of entertainment, but delicious food as well.
Grilling over wood is a little more difficult than grilling with a gas or charcoal grill, but the added flavor from the smoke and the delicious contrast of a crunchy and salty charring (just a little bit) will have everyone coming back for seconds. Anyone who wants to take wood fire cooking to a new level should get Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way by Francis Mallmann, a world famous chef and master of the Argentine Asado. Recipes extend far beyond a simple steak and will ensure you’re never short of ways to impress your neighbors at your next BBQ.
Grow Your Garden with Ash: The fun doesn’t stop once the fire has burned out and the guests have gone home. Your fire pit is now full of valuable natural fertilizer. Wood ash can lower the acidity of soil and provide rich nutrients for your garden. This is particularly great for tomatoes! Make sure to check the PH level of your soil: if it is above 6.5, you won’t want to use wood ash.
Photo Credit: Robert Pernett
Insect Defense: You can also use the ash to defend against insect invaders that are eyeing your thriving garden. Sprinkling a line of it around the perimeter of your garden will keep out bugs like ants and snails.
Natural, Affordable Cleaning Supplies: The ash in your outdoor fire pit has a few nifty uses for
your home as well.
- Polish & Scrub: Ash is a very fine abrasive, which makes it very good for scrubbing! You can polish metal objects. (Just make sure to test it in an inconspicuous spot first.)
- Drain Cleaner: Another great trick is to mix the ash with water and pour it down a drain. It will break up grease and hair that have gathered, and keep your pipes clean without using the heavy chemicals from the grocery store.
- Deodorizer: A stinky pet is never any fun. A bit of ash rubbed into its fur then rinsed out can remove odors and leave a nice, shiny coat.
- Ice Melting: During the winter, ice can build up in dangerous places. Sprinkling ash onto ice can melt the ice and also create a much less slippery surface. A good natural alternative to rock salt, chemicals or sand, ash will not harm the environment.
There are many more ways a good outdoor fire pit can add value to your life and home. With a bit of creativity, you can go far beyond simply telling ghost stories!
Kyle is an outdoor enthusiast and connoisseur of world cuisine, who loves to mix recipes for unique tastes for both home and wood fire cooking. Learn more at Outdoor Fire Pits Now