If all you do in your fireplace is combust a few logs around the holidays and admire the blaze, you can make your hearth earn its square footage by turning it into a grill. Yes, you too can have a second cooking area in your home for pennies by reevaluating the way you interpret the grilling experience.
You may have browned a few marshmallows in your fireplace, just for fun. Or maybe you've even thrown together a few 'smores for the kids' last slumber party. We aren't talking about small stuff like roasting chestnuts in the fireplace, though. You can prepare an entire meal in the hearth. Think of it as a camp side fire pit -- without the ring.
Although you can use a fireplace Dutch oven or long handled cooking implements designed to stretch into your fireplace while you hold the other end, if you want to make fireplace cooking a regular occurrence at your house, invest in a fireplace grill. It's basically a frame that allows you to raise and lower the cooking surface as you would with, say, a hibachi grill. Once you master the technique, you can upgrade your equipment to include a fireplace rotisserie for greater control and gourmet worthy results. Come on, give it a try. You know you want to.