Over the past few years, our local power company has had to cut down several trees on or near our property that someone in the past had, according to an inexplicable mid-Michigan tradition, planted in a row directly beneath a power line, resulting in a very slow-motion disaster. By the time the power company finally cut down the trees, some of them had already died, and some had been severely damaged in the past couple of ice storms. We were grateful to see them taken down at no personal expense to us, and we were also glad to have the firewood left on our property because we have both an indoor wood stove and a backyard fire pit. But it turned out to be a lot, and the utility workers left the tree trunks in hearty slices about the size of end tables, which have proved laborious for us to split, especially as a couple of the larger trees were tough old elms.
Happily, we have found a couple of uses for them that don't require us to wrestle with their knotty old fibers: outdoor end tables for our fire pit and log grills!
Here my husband has created a log grill inside of our fire pit similar to the Swedish torch method but without the need for making cuts. He chose a seasoned log that already had some cracks inside for air flow and set a circle of bricks and old metal grill parts on top to keep in the kindling and support the cooking surface.
After the log itself began to smolder, he cooked bison burgers for dinner, and the log kept on going with plenty of time to roast hot dogs and marshmallows later.
There's nothing like wood-smoked meat to make you feel like you're going to survive! However, this type of grill also makes delicious fire-roasted veggie skewers and slabs of halloumi cheese.
Always be sure to follow your local fire ordinances or Smokey Bear's campfire rules!