Pork / BBQ Pit
The BBQ pit is on of the earliest methods of slow cooking meat.
Traditionally for whole pork barbecuing but also used for beef
and chicken as well. Much different than grilling, the BBQ
pit slow cooks and smokes meat so it is tender and delicious.
Today there are many modern alternatives to the traditional BBQ
pit but the real thing is something to be savored. The idea is
to make an oven in the ground. A BBQ pit is filled with dry
wood to make a bed of hot coals and wet wood is used to create
a smoky flavor while it cooks. Since the pit is covered when cooking
the smoke and heat are concentrated, cooking the meat until tender,
tasty and wonderful. Pit barbecuing takes approximately 8 to 10
hours or longer so you may want to start in the morning or even the evening
before. If you are going to be eating at noon you may want to
start the night before and letting your meat BBQ overnight
and uncovering around noon the next day.
Make a BBQ Pit
If you are planning on making BBQ with a whole or halved cow or pig
you will need to dig a whole wide enough to accommodate the size
of whatever you are barbecuing. A basic pit could be 3 feet square
including the depth.
You will also need a cover for the pit. A piece of tin
will work fine.
Fill the whole about 3/4 full of dry hickory chunks and light
it on fire. This will make a bed of coals about 1 1/2 feet thick, maybe more. This will take a while, maybe 2 hours, so you will
have time to prepare your split or side of pig or cow or several chickens, whatever you are going to pit bar-b-q.
If you are not pit barbecuing a large animal such as a split cow or pig, take prepared meat that you are going to place in your BBQ
pit and wrap each cut or beef, pork, chicken or fish tightly in
brown paper and then wrap in two layers of wet newspaper. Since pit barbecuing is a low and slow process you will not be cooking pork chops or small cuts of meat. Barbecue pits are for large cuts of meat such as briskets, loins, shoulders etc.
When you have a hot bed of coals take a shovel and level the
bed of coals into an even cooking surface. Add wet hickory, aspen,
apple or other smoking woods in a loose layer on top of the bed
of coals in the BBQ pit. This will create a barrier between
the hot coals and create a smoky flavor as it cooks.
Place the lid on the pit and cover with the dirt you dug out
of the bbq pit. Make sure no smoke is escaping the bbq pit and
relax. Leave the pit sealed for at least 6 to 8 hours or longer
if you want. Since the BBQ pit is self contained you will
not have to worry about anything drying out.
When the pit is ready to be opened and the meal served you will
need to remove the dirt you sealed the pit with and remove the
lid. Wearing oven mitts and moving quickly, remove the meat from
the pit. Once the pit is open there is a chance the hot embers
will flair up. Any flames must be extinguished immediately. So
proceed with caution. The brown paper wrapper should still be
wet and when you unwrap the meat it will be warm and juicy.
This is bbq that is worth trying at least once, and you may get hooked forever.
There is nothing like it.