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Monday, June 9, 2008

Underground pit cooking

While camping last week, I did an underground pit meal of chicken, hoppin john, tatoes, corn and cornbread. It turned out really tasty. :)
This is a smaller version of how I cook whole hogs underground.....it's handy while camping if you do not want to tend a fire.


Getting the hoppin john ready....frying the bacon, then the onions, garlic and peppers...





Adding the bacon/onion/garlic/pepper mix to a mixture of

beans, rice, smoked ham hock, red pepper flakes, bay leaves and spices.....and chicken broth.


Seasoning and wrapping the tatoes and chicken....




The jalapeno corn bread.....


Digging the hole.......


Burning the wood....


After burning the wood to get the bed of hot coals, I built up the ends of the pit with dirt to hold my oven rack...

I always take 2 old oven racks camping with me. They are handy to use on an open fire.


The prepared/seasoned and wrapped food sit on the oven rack....

I placed the pan of cornbread on the pot of hoppin john.


A second oven rack covered with foil for the cover........

I carefully covered the edges of the rack with dirt by hand and packed it down a bit to keep any air from getting in and any heat/smoke from getting out.

Then covered the rest of the rack/lid with dirt....


While kicked back enjoying a cold beverage, watching a pile of dirt, lol........

a tree fell over onto the pit.

The pit was fine......I had to get help to remove the tree though.



4 hours later........

Carefully removing the top dirt by hand.......

Everything turned great!


The chicken was soooo moist and tender...
The hoppin john turned out perfect.


The tatoes were tender....
The corn was juicy...
The cornbread looked iffy....but tasted great...


I didn't really hang around staring at the pile of dirt for the full 4 hours....lol It's a great way to cook while camping when you do not want to spend time tending the fire or you have other fun things to do. :)


14 comments:

Irish said...

Great blogspot. I just built a pit in my backyard and now that it's cooling down (MD) I'll be checking back for great ideas. Thanks Cowgirl.

cowgirl said...

Thank you Irish! Glad you like my blog. Would love to see your pit, feel free to contact me if you get the chance.
Good luck with the cooking. :)

Bill said...

Very nice! Gives me some ideas for my pit.

You did know tree is mostly poison ivy, right?

cowgirl said...

lol That would have been fun Bill! There was poison ivy farther into the wooded area but thankfully none in the trees.

The trees were rotting in the middle, making it easy for the wind to blow them over. I camped in the same spot again this summer... The weather was a lot better, not as much wind! :)

dbf said...

I just discovered your blog while doing some research on pit cooking.

Do you mind saying where in Oklahoma you are located? I'm in Oklahoma, too.

A group of us, none of whom know a darned thing about pit cooking, got the wild idea that we should roast a pig. I'm thinking that we should start with something a little less ambitious, though, to break ourselves in :-)

cowgirl said...

Hi dbf!
I'm in the western half of the state. :)
If you do decide to cook a pig, my cinderblock works great and is fairly easy to use.
I'd be glad to give you pointers or answer any questions.

Thanks for stopping by my blog! :)

coach said...

Thanks for such a great informative blog. If I may how much rice and how many cups of Chicken Broth did you use?
Thanks

cowgirl said...

Thank you Coach!
I'm not great at measuring while camping but I do know that I added 2 cans of chicken broth and a little over half that much rice.
I add plenty of rice but keep the mixture soupy.
Hope that helps, sorry I can't be more specific. I'll measure next time. :)

papits said...

Hey Cowgilr, Great Blog!!! I am big into pits, was looking for a cinder block design for one I wanted to start today. With your smoke house, can you get that hot enough like 225 to actualy cook smoke like briskets and ribs? And do you notice diff temps inside from top of house to bottom rack?

cowgirl said...

Hi Papits! Thanks! :)
I only use the house for cold and warm smoking.. Not hot enough to cook meat. I use my other smokers for that.
There really isn't much temperature difference inside of the house when I'm cold smoking. The smoke is pretty much cooled down before it hits the house.
The smoke just circles around the meat before exiting through the stack.
When I warm smoke I build a bigger fire to raise the temps.
Hope that makes sense. :)

Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

How long should I cook 2 rack of ribs for u think?

cowgirl said...

Hi Anonymous!
If they are pork spare ribs...probably 5 hrs. If they are pork baby backs, maybe the same amount. If they are beef ribs, I'd cook them longer.
A chicken takes 4 hours and briskets and turkeys take 8 to 12 depending on the size.
Good luck!

MSgt G said...

I finally tried some underground cooking! My two grandsons helped dig the hole, get the fire started, and get everything ready. What fun we all had! The Hoppin John was great, but a little "soupier" that the picture here; the corn was great as were the potatoes. Next time I think I'll use a little more wood for more heat and cook about a half hour longer since things could have been cooked a little more thoroughly. I took pictures as we completed each step and texted them to family and friends who were excited to see the progress. Next time we'll cook some chickens too.

cowgirl said...

MSgt G that's great!! I'm glad to hear that you tried it!
Great idea to share with your grandsons, I'm sure they enjoyed the cookout too. :)
Thanks for taking the time to let me know.
Hope you are having a nice weekend!