What is a fireplace crane? Remember on Little House on the Prairie how they made their coffee in the fireplace? Well, a crane is that pivoting arm that is secured to the side of the fireplace which holds utensils over the fire. But beyond simply hanging a kettle to warm water over the fire (which is great for making coffee, hot cocoa, or tea in the winter!), you can do a lot of interesting fireplace cooking with a fireplace crane and a dutch oven!
The crane bolts into the side of your fireplace. The arm, which can pivot in and out of the fire, holds anything with a wire handle. An old water kettle with a handle works great to make hot beverages but for cooking food a classic cast iron dutch oven pot with a handle work perfectly.
How do a Fireplace Crane work?
Simply hang the dutch oven over the fire and cook in it like you would a pot on your stovetop. Okay, well it gets a little hot in there, so it helps to prepare your pot full of all your fixin’s beforehand.
This type of cooking is ideal for hearty soups, stews, and braises. Just put your ingredients in the pot, close the lid, hang it on the crane and let the fire do the work! Check periodically to maintain a gentle boil and to test for doneness. When your stew is done, simply pivot the crane out of the fire, lift off your dutch oven (with heavy-duty oven mitts of course) and serve!
Want more tips and info about cooking in a dutch oven over a fire pit, campfire, grill, or fireplace? Check out my Dutch Oven Cooking page!