Man Fire Food: The Coolest Ways to Cook With Fire

Cooking Channel's Man Fire Food explores some of the coolest ways people cook with fire, from small campfires to giant custom-made grills and smokers. Flip through photos of Chef Roger Mooking's fiery adventures in the American South.

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This Guy Is On Fire

Roger travels across the country to celebrate the inventive ways Americans use fire to cook. Check out some of the craziest cooking contraptions from Man Fire Food.

Burn, Baby, Burn

Three burn barrels are set ablaze at Perini Ranch Steakhouse in Buffalo Gap, Texas.

Three's Company

Roger shows off a giant barbecue trailer and two steel "tripod grills" at 44 Farms in Cameron, Texas.

Hanging in There

At The Fish Tower in Denver, three kinds of fish — sturgeon, salmon and trout — hang to smoke.

Everything's Bigger in Texas

At Houston's Armadillo Palace, the chefs cook half a cow at once.

Wheel of Fortune

A massive porchetta slowly cooks over hot coals at Llano Seco Ranch in Chico, Calif.

Don't Mind if I Fondue

Meat is skewered on pitchforks and deep-fried at Pitchfork Fondue Western Cookout in Pinedale, Wyo.

Show Off Your Mussels

In Porland, Ore., Tournant puts a smoky twist on French fire-roasted mussels.

Salmon I Am

Sides of salmon cook on cedar sticks stuck in the sand in North Bend, Ore.

Roger Rabbit

Roger shows off coal-roasted rabbits at Cloudcrest Farm in Rossville, Ga.

Ring of Fire

Legs of lamb spin and roast at SpringHouse restaurant in Alexander City, Ala.

Sword Fight

Chef Tim Byers "sword" roasts whole brined chickens and spiced flank steak at Smoke in Plano, Texas.

Meatopia Grill

Why cook only one type of meat when you can grill and rotisserie four at once? This giant contraption can handle it all.

Hay There, Big Flames

To achieve huge flames, volunteers load up this cooking vessel with hay and set it ablaze. Stand back!

Quadruple Threat

Four tiers of rotisserie chicken are a thing of beauty and can prepare quite a feast.

Not Losing Steam

Roger stirred a 60-gallon pot of sugar cane juice to make cane syrup in Dade City, Fla.

Fueled by Flames

This box is the fire power attached to the cane syrup kettle.

Spice It Up

Roger seasons a pan of paella with Chef Aaron Brooks in Miami.

Leaning Tower of Pork

Spicy achiote-rubbed pork butts roast over white-hot coals on the cross table.

Wheels Up

At OvenBird in Birmingham, Ala., wood burns steadily in a wheelbarrow.

Truck-Stop Living

A truck-turned-spit makes for juicy, crispy, fall-apart-tender pork and makes it easy to take this show on the road.

Home Sweet Home

This huge wood-fired grill resembles a house, with its pointed roof. When can we move in?

Leaf It Alone

A leaf blower isn't just for fall chores — it helps fan the flames of this mobile grill.

A Quaint Quail Tree

To cook lots of quail at once, Chef John Russ strings them up on a 7-foot-tall metal tree at Vintage Heart Farm in Stockdale, Texas.

I Want My Baby Back, Baby Back, Baby Back

No matter what kind of ribs are cooking at Leatha's Bar-B-Que in Hattiesburg, Miss., they're hung upright for prime smoking.

Macho, Macho Grill

At El Machito in San Antonio, Texas, food is speared and cooked on an epic grill setup.

Burn, Baby, Burn

At Ronnie's BBQ in Johnson City, Tenn., a burn barrel is so hot that even Roger can't handle it.

Even Better Than Pearls

Down in South Carolina, Bowens Island owner Robert Barber smokes a slew of oysters at once.

Witches' Brew

A fish boil made in a bubbling cauldron makes it feel like we're starring in Hocus Pocus, but really, it's just a regular day at Old Post Office Restaurant in Ephraim, Wis.!

A Loaded Barrel

You can't tell from this angle, but that barrel is stuffed with delicious seafood, ready to steam up ...

Seafood Smorgasbord

Chef Ben Ford isn't messing around when it comes to his clambake. Try to count all of the delicious seafood inside that barrel.

Heavy Metal

This custom-made grill is laid out with steel rods, the only metal that can withstand the constant heat.

The Result

When heat meets meat, long and slow, you get delicious piles of chopped pork. Skylight Inn combines different cuts of the hog — including pieces of crispy skin — into one delicious mix.

900-Pound-Cow Cooking

At this Southern fest, they use moonshine to get the fire going. The cow takes 19 hours to cook.

Watch the Video: Coolest Cookouts

Barbacoa Pit

Roger meets Chef Tim Byres, who shows off his earth oven — a barbacoa hole. There's a fire underground, below the sheets of metal. It's a 3-foot-deep earthen oven lined with bricks and filled with coals.

This Cooked in the Ground 

The fruit of their labor — and by "fruit," we mean moist whole barbacoa.

Swine Flew

Bill Rousseau is a mechanic by day and a skydiving barbecue pitmaster by night. Rousseau masterfully transformed a Cessna airplane into a meat smoker.

The Smoking Cessna

Rousseau's plane-turned-smoker even has a place for fuel storage.

Game of 'Cue

Ed McBride Jr. and Sr. show Roger a selection of their famous barbecue-smoking sculptures, where form meets a delicious function.

Watch the Video: Coolest Cookouts

Wine Not?

In the Pacific Northwest, Seattle chef Renee Erickson celebrates summer by smoking meats and seafood in wine barrels.

Sea Buoy Smoker

Near Portland, Ore., Roger checks out a smoker made out of a sea buoy.


The lamb is stuffed with chopped celery, onions, carrots, fennel, garlic and herbs, then it gets skewered onto an 8-foot spit. It cooks for six hours while it slowly rotates.

Watch the Video: Coolest Cookouts

Hot as Lava   

Traditional Hawaiian Kalua pork is cooked in an underground pit filled with blazing-hot lava rocks.

Banana Leaf Dinnerware   

After the imu meal is prepared, the cooked and shredded pork, starches and lau lau are served up on large banana leaves.

The Burn Barrel

Rodney Scott can cook up to 14 whole hogs in his smoke-filled pit room, but it takes a lot of hot coals to cook up that much barbecue. Meet the burn barrel: a smoldering, coal-producing tower.

Cuban Pig Roast

John Fink is famous for his portable Cuban pig roasts. Fink's father-in-law custom-built a rotating metal cage that is placed on top of a cinder-block oven. A whole pig is butterflied and seasoned with mojo, the famous Cuban sauce of citrus, garlic and herbs, then slow-roasted over wood coals.

Truffle Pig

Roger meets Todd Spanier in Calistoga, Calif., to feast on a whole pig that's stuffed with truffles and trumpet mushrooms, then roasted over a rotisserie that Spanier's grandfather constructed from recycled materials back in the 1970s.

The Infiernillo

Roger visits the Seltzner family in Napa Valley, famous for their wines and their towering outdoor oven called the infiernillo. Hot coals are placed on the top and bottom of the infiernillo, and a whole fish is cooked in a mountain of salt in the middle.

The Smoking Shed

Roger heads to College Station, Texas, where a professor originally from Louisiana has transformed a metal shed into a smoker to make cochon de lait, a Cajun pig roast.

Winner Winner Chicken Spinner

A chicken-roasting carousel might sound and look a bit funny, but the result is a lot of seriously delicious chicken.

Beetlebung Farm

At Beetlebung Farm on Martha's Vineyard, Roger helps Chef Chris Fischer get the rotisserie and grill fired up. This baby cooks chicken, fish, seafood and veggies simultaneously.

Lots of Lobster

This wood-burning contraption has been made for boiling lobsters — a lot of them.

Fired Up

Watch Roger's delicious tour of fire and food heat up on Man Fire Food.

Man Fire Food