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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 03-20-2011, 08:08 PM   #1
Midnight Smoke
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Exclamation How to Build an in Ground BBQ Pit

This is the project, now please tell me where I may have gone wrong. This was a spur of the moment idea today. Had a plant that was killed by the hard freeze we had a few weeks ago, I need to cut back on the water bill so I started the pit in the place of the plant.

This was built with just stuff I already had around the yard. Dug the hole another 2 feet deep.



Layed in some brick for the base and honeycombed the sides. Back-filled the sides with more dirt and compacted the best I could.





The area for the fire is 3 bricks down, about 12" deep and 15" across, does this seem right for just cooking Butts and chicken maybe a Brisket?





Needed to cover the hole so I used my top off the Fire-pit for now. thought about using it and covering the edges and top with dirt.

This is where I am not sure, I do not think this dome will work as it would seem to allow to much space. I was going to use a piece of plywood and cover with dirt. Now I am thinking the Plywood may catch fire????



I would appreciate any input on this, I know it is a little after the fact since I got the darn thing this far already. Thanks for looking!!!

Worse case I guess is have another hole in my yard.
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Last edited by Midnight Smoke; 03-21-2011 at 12:32 AM..
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Unread 03-20-2011, 08:13 PM   #2
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Dirt is going to get all over your food! And I'm not sure there's enough air flow to keep you fire going. I like the idea and think you need some a brick layer at grate level so the dirt isn't right up against your grate.
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Unread 03-20-2011, 08:16 PM   #3
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Hmmm with the lid on the fire will surely go out....I might use this more for chicken/tri-tip for direct cooking.
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Unread 03-20-2011, 08:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQ Grail View Post
Dirt is going to get all over your food! And I'm not sure there's enough air flow to keep you fire going. I like the idea and think you need some a brick layer at grate level so the dirt isn't right up against your grate.
Thanks Larry, here are my thoughts on this; wrap the food in several layers of aluminum foil then wrap in wet Burlap. Once this is done the pit will be closed, lid covered with dirt and not disturbed again until I think the food is done.

Maybe I am way off...
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Unread 03-20-2011, 08:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inv3ctiv3 View Post
Hmmm with the lid on the fire will surely go out....I might use this more for chicken/tri-tip for direct cooking.
That was my first thought until another member (cowgirl) here gave me some advice on that. I will have about 10 Inches of burned down Mesquite coals, before the Pit is closed.
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Unread 03-20-2011, 08:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by {Midnight ☼ Smoke} View Post
Thanks Larry, here are my thoughts on this; wrap the food in several layers of aluminum foil then wrap in wet Burlap. Once this is done the pit will be closed, lid covered with dirt and not disturbed again until I think the food is done.

Maybe I am way off...
That would keep the dirt off, but your fire is going to go out and there isn't going to be any smoke flavor.
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Unread 03-20-2011, 08:34 PM   #7
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Grilling or roasting? Maybe Cowgirl can help! She pulls some amazing stuff out of a hole in the ground!!
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Unread 03-20-2011, 08:42 PM   #8
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I have see cow heads cooked in the ground. Build big fire to get a good set of coals and wrap in heavy duty tin foil multiple times and lay on coals. Then put a piece of tin over hole and cover with dirt, check when you think it is ready.
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Unread 03-20-2011, 08:47 PM   #9
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well it looks a lot like a up to date imu to me..little small for a whole pig but lots of room for butts and chickens.. here some ideas you may be able to use when using your ground pit(we call it a imu here in Hawaii http://www.primitiveways.com/Imu1.html
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Unread 03-20-2011, 09:02 PM   #10
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Are those regular red bricks? If so, they will likely spall when you bulid a fire on them. I'd be careful with that. You might get some hot chunks flying out of there ... Should probably use refractory brick.
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Unread 03-20-2011, 09:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by {Midnight ☼ Smoke} View Post
Thanks Larry, here are my thoughts on this; wrap the food in several layers of aluminum foil then wrap in wet Burlap. Once this is done the pit will be closed, lid covered with dirt and not disturbed again until I think the food is done.

Maybe I am way off...
foil and wet burlap works great according to cowgirl

check it:

http://cowgirlscountry.blogspot.com/...t-cooking.html
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Unread 03-20-2011, 09:57 PM   #12
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I think if you use the fire pit lid without dirt you would get enough air to create smoke. Otherwise, you will have heat (not a bad thing) but not smoke.
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Unread 03-20-2011, 11:49 PM   #13
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You can cook stuff in it.But if you wrap the meat up in HDAF,Burlap or whatever,all you are gonna do is boil it in it's own grease.No smoke flavor,it will be tender and falling apart and greasey.IF you are a "saucey"person,you may camoflage it with some kinda sauce and pass it off as Q to unknowing people.
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Unread 03-21-2011, 12:02 AM   #14
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all of these nay-sayers... where's the hawaiian boys at??? where's the mexican boys at, you will do fine, you will get smokyness, and it will taste great, people were cookin in the ground before WSM's came about, ive had the honor of (helping) doin whole hog hawaiian style wrapped in banananannana leaves, and then burlap throwed right on the coals covered with sheetmetal, then that covered with dirt and when that thing came out it was plenty smoky, and plenty fine eatin!!!

i dunno bout the tinfoil (barbefunkcrazytalkinramaquewhateverthefarkhisname is) has been preachin it's bad...linked with alzhimers....and junk... ya could def wrap in banana leaves then throw in wet burlap bags, wrap in bailing wire to give you a handle to pull it out by (think stick with a hook on it)

the first fire i'd be careful like grillinski said, they may pop... but traditionally rocks are used to line em... and i know them mother's pop... but after a few fires, im sure all the moisture would be outta them so you'd be ok.... i think... maybe???
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Unread 03-21-2011, 12:04 AM   #15
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I don't think you're aiming for smoke flavor when cooking in a pit like that. If you wrap in certain kinds of leaves (banana, lotus, etc) you may end up with certain flavors imparted by the leaves - which are usually good.

I wouldn't put a piece of plywood over the top, because I think plywood can give off some not-so-tasty vapors when heated up. In Hawaii, Kalua (sp?) pigs are done in the ground and they turn out pretty darn good. For pits that are covered, you cook mainly with the heat form the coals and whjatever heat is absorbed by other materials (rocks, bricks, dirt etc.)
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