Find a safe place
for your pit. You should build it near water or near access to a hose.
Do not build your pit close to any buildings or structures, and be sure
it is clear of any brush, grasses or trees. Be especially sure it is
not near your tent or in a heavily walked area.
Begin to dig your pit. It should be approximately 3 ft long, 20 inches
deep and 20 inches wide. After you have used your pit you will need
to replace the dirt and grass, so keep all of this in a neat pile closeby.Once your pit is complete, clear all grass and debris from
at least 3 feet around the pit. Layer the sides and bottom with semi-flat
rocks. Once this is complete, place even smaller rocks on the bottom
as a second layer.
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Four hours before you plan to cook, make a fire
in the pit. Continue to feed and stoke it for about 2 hours. Then let
the fire burn down into hot embers. Children should
not be near as you prepare this pit. Approximately two hours before
you are going to cook, rake the coals so they fall between the rocks.
Any larger coals need to be shoveled out and placed in a safe area.
Water these coals until they stop steaming. Never touch the rocks, as
they are burning hot. Now you are ready to prepare the meal.
in your Pit:
Several days before your
camping trip, begin to gather leaves and kitchen greenery. Click here
for a list of safe branches and trees. Some ideas are parsley, carrot
tops, celery, corn husks, cabbage, seaweed, grape leaves, beech, dandelion
or clover. You can also use fresh herbs such as rosemary, tarragon,
oregano or basil.
Carefully place a grate into the pit over the rocks.
Be sure to use protective gloves as the rocks are burning hot! Pour
about four cups of water over the hot stones. Pour a layer of your leaves
and greenery over the stones. Place meat and potatoes on this layer.
You can use chicken, steak, sausages, ribs.. anything that sounds good
and is not easily broken down. Follow this with another layer of your
greenery and leaves. Place a layer of vegetables such as onions, green
peppers and other hardy vegetables. Corn should always go on the top
since it takes less time to cook. Finally, add one more layer of leaves
Cover your pit with plywood or tarpaulin, shoveling
dirt over that. Be sure to place enough dirt around the edges to seal
in the pit. You do not want any air to enter the pit. Now... walk away!
Do not think about the pit, look at the pit or talk about the pit for
two full hours.
Hungry yet? Two hours has passed, and it's ready!
Using a shovel, remove the dirt carefully and then the plywood. Use
long tongs to begin removing the vegetables and layers, all the way
down to the meat.
As your food settles, begin pouring large quantities
of water over the pit. Continue until all steaming has stopped. These
rocks can remain burning hot for hours after the meal. It is important
to immediately cool them off - it would be too easy for someone to accidentally
fall into the pit and receive deadly burns. (Once the pit is completely
and absolutely cooled to the touch, fill it back in with the soil and