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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 03-08-2018, 05:52 PM   #1
nevadasmoker
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Join Date: 02-09-13
Location: Henderson NV
Default Questions on backyard underground cooker...

...I only want to cook a pork butt in there. I have dug the hole. I am gonna put a round stone type step that I am not using for the bottom layer. Maybe put some bricks going up the side.

Ill start to burn some wood for a few hours to get the coals. I found where I can buy some banana leaves at the Mexican market here.

1) Would aluminum foil work as well as banana leaves?
2) Can I sit the wrapped meat directly on the coals? It seems it would burn the banana leaves or have hot overcooked parts where the meat was lying on the coals. Do I or what type of buffer would I need between the coals and meat? Suggestions?

Of course I will put a cover on the hole and seal it as best as possible.
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Old 03-08-2018, 06:31 PM   #2
Garyclaw
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There are a few threads on here that display the cook you are talking about. I believe the leaves were placed over the coals to produce a hot steaming effect to the pork. I could be wrong, because I was wrong once before. Once.
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Old 03-08-2018, 06:45 PM   #3
BillN
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Just my opinion, if you wrap in foil might as well cook it in the oven.
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Old 03-08-2018, 06:55 PM   #4
nevadasmoker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garyclaw View Post
There are a few threads on here that display the cook you are talking about. I believe the leaves were placed over the coals to produce a hot steaming effect to the pork. I could be wrong, because I was wrong once before. Once.
I did search some old threads, but I never found the exact answer. Also one of the threads said wrap the banana leaves in a wet burlap sack, it just seems to me the the burlap or leaves would burn right through.
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Old 03-08-2018, 07:05 PM   #5
BillN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nevadasmoker View Post
I did search some old threads, but I never found the exact answer. Also one of the threads said wrap the banana leaves in a wet burlap sack, it just seems to me the the burlap or leaves would burn right through.
As a kid our church had a big Tongan congregation and each year they held a huge pig roast, they wrapped several 80 to 100 pound pigs in banana leaves and wet burlap then chicken wire so they could lift the pigs out of the pit. The pigs cooked for 24 hours, they used lots of river stone in the bottom and sides of the pits and burned the fire for 24 hours before putting in the pigs. Once the pigs were in the pit they put many layers of banana leaves, hot river stone, more coals, then sheet metal, and finally 4 or five inches of sand to seal everything. After 24 hours the pit was deconstructed and out came the pigs. Best pork I have ever had. I can't tell you how they seasoned the meat but it was amazing.
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Old 03-08-2018, 07:12 PM   #6
nevadasmoker
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ok, so I will buy a bunch of the leaves, and just keep wrapping. The market I called said the leaves were 1.29 a lb, that doesn't sound to bad to me, of course I have never shopped them before.
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Old 03-08-2018, 08:55 PM   #7
cowgirl
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I do quite a bit of underground cooking.

Foil works fine. I get the same amount of smoke and flavor with foil that I get with banana leaves.
I like to burn wood down to get a good hot coal bed, then rig a rack above the coals for the food.

Here's a pork butt cook...

http://cowgirlscountry.blogspot.com/...liers-and.html



Here's another meal...

http://cowgirlscountry.blogspot.com/...t-cooking.html





Underground Pig cook...

I season and wrap pigs in foil, then in burlap. Wet the burlap before placing in the pit so it won't burn.

http://cowgirlscountry.blogspot.com/...derground.html





I've cooked goats, wild game, briskets, turkeys, chickens, pots of beans,
There is no difference in using banana leaves and foil. It all gets smoked and it's the most tender, juicy meat I've tasted.
(Forgot to add Raccoon. lol)

Good luck with your cook!
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Old 03-08-2018, 10:17 PM   #8
nevadasmoker
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thats awesome Cowgirl, thanks for showing, I think I will have to dig the hole bigger to get a weber 22.5 inch rack in there that I am not using.
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Old 03-09-2018, 08:45 AM   #9
jstrand
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Somehow I knew cowgirl would be a wealth of information on this.
So how did the raccoon taste? Never had it before.
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Old 03-09-2018, 11:05 AM   #10
THoey1963
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I helped do a pig roast and the guy that ran it did it like BillN lists above. Bonfire (in the hole) on Friday night, shot the pig Saturday morning, wrapped and into the hole, dinner Saturday night. When he went to pull the pig by the leg, it came free, it was that tender. Best pork I've ever had.

And no, I'm not surprised that Cowgirl cooks in the ground. Nothing surprises me anymore from her. She's gonna need to really do something different before I'll be surprised. Like cook on the Sun...
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