A deep pit barbecue offers a simple, very inexpensive method for outdoor grilling. It is also one of the most ancient ways of whipping up a barbequed meal for friends and family.
Select the ideal location for your deep pit barbecue in your yard. Take into account keeping it a convenient distance from your kitchen and/or from the deck or patio from which you will entertain your guests.
Choose a grill rack that is suitable for your intended barbecue pit. Your options range from a grill rack from an old gas grill, a metal shelf from an old refrigerator to an oven rack. Ensure that it is sturdy enough to bear the weight of the food you intend to cook in the pit.
Dig the hole for your barbecue. For its width, take into account the size of your selected grilling rack, which will need to span the opening. The hole will, ideally, be one and a half feet up to three feet deep. This allows for the maximum benefit of the heat from the fire, without the risk of burning your grilled masterpiece. The size of this hole will determine the size of your fire, as well as the size (or amount) of food you can cook at the same time, whether it is a pig or a few pieces of chicken.
Line the pit with firebricks or with large rocks. This serves to hold the heat, and will even out its distribution.
Gather some kindling for lengthy burning. Old papers, dry twigs and some small logs can be used for this purpose. Get this done before you actually start your fire, so that you can feed the fire as the need arises.
Fill the pit up to a third way up with hardwood. Start the fire and allow the wood to burn down. It will take two to three hours to form a nice bed of coals. Keep adding to the wood as it burns down, to keep it at the same level (a third way up the hole). Spread the coals evenly to form a bed.
Season and then tie up the meat to form a firm, tight package. For example, use chicken wire to tie up chicken or turkey. Wrap the meat in several layers of aluminum foil. Soak a few burlap bags in water and wrap these around the aluminum foil. The foil and burlap separate the meat from the fire.
Place the wrapped meat into the barbeque pit, cover and roast until done, which may take 15 to 20 hours. Uncover and unwrap your culinary masterpiece and serve.