There are so many reasons why I love a good campfire and one of them is being able to cook hot dogs or marshmallows over it.
I’m also a huge fan of Duraflame and other firelogs but I know that not all of them are safe to cook over.
Regular Duraflame logs and firelogs are not considered safe to cook over and may add weird flavors to your cooking due to the waxes and additives in the firelogs. If you've eaten food that has been cooked over a firelog don't be concerned, it likely won't do you any harm – just try to avoid it in future.
Only the outdoor Duraflame logs are safe to cook over because they’re made from 100% bio-based materials and have been tested and designed to be food safe for cooking.
If you don’t have any outdoor duraflame logs, regular firewood is your next best bet because the other Duraflame logs (like the indoor/outdoor ones) contain wax, and additives that could make your food taste strange and expose your body to the trace chemical vapors.
I find that with the outdoor Duraflame logs, I get the best of both worlds – a clean-burning and warm fire with just one or two logs and being able to cook food over them.
My kids love a good marshmallow over the fire and it's good to know that it's safe to cook marshmallows over outdoor Duraflame logs.
Which Duraflame Logs Are Safe To Cook Food Over?
The only Duraflame logs that are safe to cook food over are the outdoor Duraflame logs because they don’t contain chemicals and paraffin like the other duraflame products which could add unpleasant flavor to your food and add trace amounts of toxins to it.
Like other duraflame logs, the outdoor ones contain wax to both hold the wood together as well as to burn more cleaning and to give off more heat than regular firewood. But the difference is that this wax is vegetable-based and is made to be food safe.
The outdoor Duraflame logs are an excellent substitute for regular firewood because they’re compact and 2-3 firelogs will last for hours.
The only potential downside of using the outdoor duraflame logs for cooking that I have noticed is if you like your food to have that classic smoky campfire taste.
Also, if you have a pizza oven (one of my bucket list items) Duraflame states that you can’t use the outdoor logs in them as they haven’t yet been tested enough for this. The same goes for charcoal barbecues – they haven’t been approved for use in them.
What Happens If You Cook Food Over Indoor Duraflame Logs?
If you cook food over indoor duraflame logs nothing bad should happen but your food might have a funky chemical taste due to the paraffin wax vapors from the firelog and you would ingest these trace chemicals.
If you're cooking in an enclosed pot and not directly over the fire then your pots and pans may get waxy and have more residue on them which could make them hard to clean.
Some people have complained that eating food cooked over firelogs could give you a stomach ache.
I’ve done this before, I might’ve gotten a bit of a stomachache but was fine otherwise. Would not recommend to do it again 😛Few-Mushroom-4143 (Reddit)
As the paraffin wax in the indoor duraflame log burns, it vaporizes into the air and if you are roasting food over it, small amounts of the vapor will likely land on your food, possibly affecting the flavor and potentially spoiling your meal.
Also, depending on how close to the firelog you’re roasting your food, you could end up with a mess with the log leaving waxy residue on your pots or (even worse) your food. Not a tasty prospect.
That said, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about if you only cook over the indoor firelogs once or twice but it’s not a good idea to do it regularly.
In addition, according to Duraflame all their firelogs (except the outdoor ones) don’t produce the coals (or embers) you need for cooking and create flames only. This means that it can take ages for your food to cook and campfire food that is designed to be cooked in the heat of the coals will be difficult to cook over a Duraflame log.
If you like to enjoy a decent fire and then roast s’mores or marshmallows when it’s almost extinguished and over the embers, you’ll have a hard time doing this with the indoor Duraflame logs due to the lack of coals produced.
A solution could be to wait until your Duraflame log is almost out and then add a little firewood to the already lit fire so that you’re cooking mostly over wood.
However, if you have no other wood or firelogs and must use the indoor Duraflame logs or even the duraflame firestarters to make something that cooks fast (like roasted marshmallows), I suggest waiting until they’ve almost burned up so that there’s less paraffin to flavor your food.
For foods that take longer to cook (like meat or potatoes), consider wrapping them up securely in aluminum foil and using a double layer so that you shield the food from any unpleasant paraffin tastes.
How To Cook Over Duraflame Outdoor Logs
You can cook anything you’d normally cook over a regular wood fire over the outdoor Duraflame logs (e.g. marshmallows). You can use roasting sticks, thick-based pots, aluminum foil or even a campfire rotisserie to cook your food.
Here’s how to cook over a duraflame fire:
Use 2 to 3 Logs for Roasting
It’s worth noting that one Duraflame log has roughly twice the BTU rating (heat energy) as 2-3 pieces of firewood. I don’t know about you but I don’t consider one log hot enough to roast food over effectively because it would take way too long.
Luckily, you can burn 2 to 3 outdoor Duraflame logs at a time (the equivalent to a bundle of firewood) so this should provide enough heat for roasting food.
An advantage of using Duraflame logs over normal firewood is that you don’t constantly have to add more logs because your 2-3 duraflame logs should last a few hours.
Roast Your Food Over the Flames
If you’re used to cooking food over a wood fire, you can follow the same process over Duraflame outdoor logs.
However, unless you’re slow cooking something make sure that the flames are large enough to roast the food. If you’ve just lit your Duraflame logs, thankfully this only takes a couple of minutes.
You can add another Duraflame log to your fire if you feel the heat output isn’t enough but be sure to monitor it if you’ve added more than the recommended amount of logs.
You can roast any typical campfire food over your outdoor duraflame logs including:
- Hot dogs or brats (I find that the metal roasting sticks transfer heat better than the wooden ones)
- Corn on the cob
- Grilled cheese sandwiches
- S’mores (check out Duraflame’s recommended s’mores recipes)
- Any other foods you like to cook over a roasting stick (e.g. kebabs, bread, fish, fruit)
- Anything you can wrap and cook in aluminum foil such as potatoes or bananas with chocolate pieces (which is a personal favorite)