As a means to help follow our fire cooking recipes we have created the Firemark Heat Guide. It is simply the length of time in seconds you can comfortably hold your hand near to your cooking fire.

For example, we need to spit roast a chicken the ideal position will be at a distance from the fire you can comfortably hold your hand for 4 seconds. This would be stated as Firemark 4.

Firemark Heat Guide, Fire Cooking Temperature Gauge

Firemark Heat Guide


Very high heat, so close or touching the embers the food can be seared and remain clean. Check our ember baking and dirty fire cooking methods for more information on how to enjoy this most primitive yet enjoyable form of cooking on a fire.

Firemark 0 Food suggestions

  • Dirty Steak
  • Any Root Veg
  • Sweet peppers
  • Mussels

High heat, 15 cm or so above the embers, a great searing heat and high octane grill action, things brown fast, keep them moving- work that seared salty crust in this Firemark zone!

Firemark 1 Food suggestions

  • Steak
  • Prawns
  • Sweet peppers
  • Aparagus

Moderate heat, 20 cm or so above the embers, expect generic BBQ grill type cooking, a popular cooking height, great for cooking and caramelisation.

Firemark 2 Food suggestions

  • Steak
  • Chops
  • Prawns
  • Sweet peppers
  • Sweetcorn
  • Tattie wedges

Moderate heat, 30 cm or so above the embers or to the side, perfect zone for high temperature roasting of whole chicken and smaller meat joints. Basting attention may be needed cooking at Fm3.

Firemark 3 Food suggestions

  • Whole Chicken
  • Small meat joints
  • Grilled larger whole veg
  • Whole cauliflower spit kebabs
  • Potatoes

Low heat, 40 cm or so above the embers or to the side, optimum heat for easy low maintenance cooking of spit roasting and dutch ovens, respectively baste or stir every half hour or so. Great heat for larger joints to fully render any fats and transform in to caremalised tender perfection.

Firemark 3 Food suggestions

  • Whole Chicken
  • Pork Shoulders
  • Beef Rib roast
  • sticky pork ribs
  • Casseroles

Slow & Low, explore the worlds of slow cooked meats. At 6 seconds whole animals can be cooked or larger asado roasts, a fasinating heat zone where the prolonged low heat works magic on the food. Well worth taking the time out to do. Minimal intervention needed.

Firemark 3 Food suggestions

  • Whole Lamb, Pig, Deer
  • Overnight stews
tip: Count a second as the time it takes to say “a thousand and one”.