Nov 2, 2021

4 min read

Our Roasted onions in fireplace ashes!The one vegetable we can pretty much get all year long is … the onion! So, why not give this common vegetable a special, no, fabulous flavor infusion. The way to this end? Ember cooking in an outside fireplace or cooking pit.


  • An outside fireplace or cooking pit that has been cleaned of ash
  • If you prefer, you can use a cast iron skillet within the embers though I prefer to nestle my onions directly in the embers!
  • Grande Sapore® Chips from SmokinLicious® — I recommend Ash wood.
  • Sweet Onions approximately 10–12

Fire Preparation

In preparing to roast onions on the embers in a fireplace I need to first clean out the fire box from any ash and debris. Then I select the hardwood for the actual cooking. Today, I’ve selected Ash for its great coaling ability and uniformity of coal size while it combusts.

Preparing the bed of embers, keeping extra wood to add during the cooking process

I will begin building the bed of coals with the SmokinLicious® Grande Sapore® Ash wood chips. Since wood chips are already in a pre-ground state, the process of setting up the fire will be quicker than with just wood pieces or lump charcoal. It is key to keep a large supply of the chips on hand in order to reach the 2–3” depth of embers needed for the cooking process.

Preparing the Roasted Onions in Fireplace Ashes

While allowing the coal fire to build, I begin preparation of the onions, which is rather simple. Wash and clean the onions leaving on the outer skin covering as it will be needed to protect the heart of the onion during the ember cooking process.

Ember Roasting Process

After building up a bed of coals to 2–3” in depth, we’re ready to add the onions to the coals! As I position each onion, I gently push down on them to seat them into the coals. This will allow the coals to completely cover the bottom of the onion as well as allow the heat to radiate completely through the onions.

As the onions cook, you’ll start to see the tops turn brown because I left the outer part of the skin on for protection. Remember, the outer skin of the onion will char during this process. I want to protect the inner core of the onion as I plan to use them in my recipes.

It’s important to remember that the coal bed will need to be replenished during the cooking process so a perimeter of additional wood chips should be going at all times up to the halfway point of the cooking process. Generally, it’s best to keep the additional chips burning at the sides of your ember bed. You can then easily scoop in additional hot embers to the bed to maintain the heat level and flavor infusion.

The onions are seated on the coals as they begin to cook from their bottoms

Unlike other vegetables like peppers, the onions don’t need to be turned but rather simply rotated so there is even char and cook. Onions, like most vegetables, have a high water composition. Don’t be alarmed by the steam trail coming up thru the top of the onions. This is a sure sign of the convection process occurring. Once cooking is about ¾ finished, you may want to pierce the tops of the onions to allow the release of the steam.

Scrumptious Ember Roasted Onions in Fireplace Ashes

You simply won’t believe how flavorful and tender ember roasting makes the average onion. We were able to build the bed of coals by using SmokinLicious® Ash hardwood. Remember, we left the outer skin on the onions to protect the inner core while we developed that exceptional char. Once the outer skin is peeled back you will see the perfectly cooked onion core that is infused with a mild wood char flavor.

Nicely charred onions over a bed of embers add a great natural flavor

Now, get ready to use these Roasted/Toasted Onions over Embers in a fireplace and highly flavored onions in the recipes of your choice and prepare for all the questions on what you did to give the dish such fabulous flavor!