top of page

Woodsrunner Quick Tip: Cooking with Fire - Mastering the Hand Over Coals Test

Mastering Culinary Art in the Wilderness

In the realm of outdoor adventures, knowledge, and skills are priceless resources that carry no weight and can significantly ease the burdens of any expedition. At Woodsrunner School, our Quick Tip Series aims to empower individuals with practical insights that transform the way they navigate the wilderness. In this week's edition, we dive into the art of cooking with fire – a skill that not only satisfies the palate but also adds a layer of self-reliance to outdoor excursions. Join us as we unravel the intricacies of gauging fire's culinary potential and the science behind heat transformation.

The Weight of Knowledge and Skills

In the wilderness, every ounce matters, and carrying equipment can be a daunting task. However, knowledge and skills are lightweight yet invaluable resources that add immense value to any adventure. At Woodsrunner School, we advocate for equipping yourself with the expertise to harness nature's elements for sustenance, thereby alleviating the need for excess gear. This philosophy is the backbone of our Quick Tip Series, as we delve into techniques that allow you to embrace nature's offerings.

The Quick Tip:

Mastering the Hand Over Coals Test

This week's Woodsrunner Quick Tip centers around a simple yet profound method – the art of the hand test. By holding your hand over the coals and counting the seconds, you can discern the type of cooking response your food will receive. This technique is a testament to the connection between science and practicality in the wilderness culinary domain.

Understanding the Hand Test:

5 to 7 Seconds: Slow Cook

3 to 5 Seconds: Grill

1 to 3 Seconds: Sear

The science underlying the hand test lies in the transfer of heat energy. As you hold your hand over the coals, the intensity of the heat impacts the sensation on your skin. By correlating this sensation with the counted seconds, you can infer the temperature range and the resulting cooking effect. Slow cooking, grilling, and searing each demand a specific range of temperature, and the hand test serves as a tactile thermometer to achieve culinary precision.

Cooking Beyond Modern Conveniences

Cooking without modern conveniences such as pots, pans, and utensils is a skill that takes you back to the roots of culinary creativity. While these tools offer convenience in ordinary settings, they may become unattainable during natural disasters or survival scenarios. At Woodsrunner School, we emphasize the importance of learning to cook using alternative methods, such as open flames, hot coals, and natural materials. By mastering these techniques, you gain a valuable toolkit that empowers you to nourish yourself regardless of circumstances.

Embracing Culinary Self-Reliance

Cooking with fire transcends the boundaries of sustenance; it becomes an art form, a science experiment, and a testament to self-reliance. Woodsrunner School's Quick Tip Series delves into the heart of this skill, teaching you to gauge fire's potential and harness its transformative energy for culinary mastery. By embracing the hand test, you unlock a world of culinary possibilities that harmonize science, skill, and nature. Learning to cook without modern conveniences ensures your preparedness for any situation, aligning with our philosophy of equipping yourself with the knowledge and skills that weigh nothing but carry immeasurable value.

Ready to embark on a journey of culinary self-reliance? Join us at Woodsrunner School and immerse yourself in the art of cooking with fire. Explore our website or reach out to us to discover a world where expertise and nature converge to create unforgettable culinary experiences in the great outdoors. Stay Safe, enjoy the wilderness, and together, we’ll RUN THE WOODS!

I hope our information helps out if the time comes to ever need it, and If you like what we are doing at the Woodsrunner School. Show your support, by sharing our content.

Joshua Barnes

Founder & Director of Operations

Woodsrunner School, L

14 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page