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Old 09-27-2013, 06:58 AM   #15
is one Smokin' Farker
Join Date: 06-03-10
Location: Chattanooga, TN

Originally Posted by cowgirl View Post
The block pit needs to be tended every 30 to 45 minutes. Add coals at each end under the hams and shoulders. You want to keep the heat fairly low and steady throughout the cook. I like 225 to 250F.
block pit...

Getting the underground pit ready takes several hours. Burning the wood to get a good bed of hot coals takes awhile. 4 to 5 hours or so. You must use hardwoods so the coals will last through the night.
Getting the coals ready is a party in itself.
I like to get the pig in the ground around 10 pm then check it before noon. If anything is wrong I have time to add more heat before party time.
Underground pit..

Underground pits are great but you have to have that deep bed of hot hardwood coals and cover the pit air tight. Any air entering the pit will cause flair ups.

Good luck with what ever you do!
Thank you. This is the direction I am leaning on this particular cook. I can dig the pit during the week, then get off work at noon on Friday and prep the pig, start the fire about 5:00 and put it on at 10:00. All that sounds do-able.

I want to try the other methods, but just not this time. Normally the tending fire is the part I enjoy, but this time I just want to be able to be as flexible as possible on Saturday to visit with family. They won't be there on Friday, so I maximize my time this way.

Just so I understand the big picture:
-dig a pit about 3' deep and 1' bigger than the pig
-line the bottom with firebrick or rocks
-create a bed of hardwood coals approaching 1' deep
-place a metal grate just above the coals. I have a few pieces of floor grate I was planning to use for that.
-wrap prepped pig in foil, then burlap, then chicken wire
-wet down the burlap and place pig on grate
-immediately cover hole with a metal plate that completely cuts off air to hole. (no galvanized) So if you use roofing it can't have any nail holes? Can you use aluminum siding for this? Could you use untreated plywood? This seems like the hardest part for me to find. I don't have anything for this part.
-cook 12-14 hours (~100 lb pig)
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