Assistant Fire Chief John T. Fleck of the Lexington Fire Department says cooking in your fireplace is OK and “sounds great.” Before you do, he says, “Make sure the fireplace and chimney are up to code, which means it has been inspected and cleaned.” Fleck also recommends having a fire extinguisher on hand. “I’m old school,” says Fleck. “A cheap option is to fill a coffee can with baking soda and have it nearby.”
Keep children away from the fireplace. Although the flames may be gone, the heat is still intense. When cooking, use fireplace tools to move the coals around, spreading them evenly to create a bed of heat. Use long handled tongs and forks and a pair of heavy fireplace gloves. Stay next to the fireplace while cooking.