What You Need to Know about Fire Pit Cooking

If you’ve never tried outdoor cooking and fire pit cooking, there’s never a better time to learn.  By educating yourself about this type of outdoors cooking, you can create special meals nearly anywhere you have access to the ground and a flame.  As one of the oldest ways of cooking, fire pit cooking is still one of the best ways to cook a larger animal without the stress of having to cut the animal up into smaller pieces and then cooking each piece individually.

You’ve probably already been a witness to fire pit cooking if you’ve been to Hawaii.  Traditionally done at a luau, the pig from the feast is generally subjected to fire pit outdoor cooking.  By digging a hole in the ground, filling it with fire, and adding the pig, the cooking can begin.  The pig then stays in the hole for a few hours before it is ready to be served.  This allows the meat to be cooked not only from the outside in, but the method of cooking also helps to seal in the juices and to cook the pig entirely from the inside out at the same time.

To try this type of outdoor cooking, you will need to find an area where you will be able to dig a pit for the fire.  This pit should be at least one foot larger on each side of the animal you are attempting to cook.  Ideally, you want to dig this hole in a material that is fire proof, like sand.  The pit should also be at least 3 feet deep in order to keep the meat completely surrounded by flames and smoke.

If you don’t have fire resistant materials, and even if you do, it’s a good idea to then line the inside of the pit with stones or bricks.  This will help to hold the heat in the hole.  Bricks tend to be better to use as some kinds of rocks can explode when they are heated.

To build the fire for this outdoor cooking, you will need to put a lot of hot coals at the bottom of the pit and start adding to the coals until you have about a foot of coals altogether to burn the meat in.  You will then want to wrap the meat up in aluminum foil or wet burlap in order to keep it from touching the goals directly.  Wrap the meat again, this time with wire to keep the meat from falling out and apart.

The meat can then be put into the pit with the hot coals and then covered back up with dirt or some other material that still allows for oxygen to get into the pit to fuel the coals.  Cooking times vary from a few days to a few hours, depending on the size of the piece of meat.  Note too that this pit will not have flames in it.  The coals themselves will stay hot and that will cook the meat long after the flames die out.  To check the meat to see if it’s ready, uncover the meat and use a meat thermometer.