Instructables

How To Build A Pit Oven (And Cook A Salmon In It)

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Picture of How To Build A Pit Oven (And Cook A Salmon In It)
We had a BBQ at the weekend and thought it might be fun to do a little backwoods cooking with a pit oven. The meal was to be a whole salmon which had been taking up valuable real estate in the freezer for about a year, so we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to get rid of the beast. After a bit of research on the net, we set to the task. It was a fun little project and we all had a good laugh pretending to be cavemen!
 
 
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Step 1: Dig The Hole !!!

Picture of Dig The Hole !!!
No great surprises here, just grab yourself a spade and start digging. You'll need to find an open piece of earth with no fire hazards overhead (overhanging trees etc.).

Our hole measured roughly 2'(l), 1'(w), 1'(d). We tried to keep everything pretty square, but that's only because we're slightly anal and I don't think it's that important in the great scheme of things. We made sure we kept the pile of excavated earth near to the pit so that it was close at hand when we needed to bury our feast!

N.B. At this point you may want to make sure that any nosy neighbours etc. haven't got the wrong idea about this hole in the ground you're digging; police searches and BBQs rarely mix!
mortero8 months ago
I found this recipe and made it. It is nice. That taste is singular. Thanks
ysmith12 years ago
You could also wrap the food being cooked in wet hay, grass or straw and add a layer of clay or mud. Food cooked in this manner is so tender and wonderful. Cheers
antioch ysmith12 years ago
awesome, sounds so much tastier and natural!
buggvin4 years ago
Only thing I would add is to be careful where you get your rocks you use in the oven. Taking one from a riverbed, or anywhere from a watersource isn't a good idea. If the rock has absorbed a lot of moisture, when heated up it can explode.
cool idea. im gonna try it on my camping trip or any time i get the chance.
mandrake5 years ago
Thank you for this great and funny instructable. I am going on a fishing trip with friends and I plan to impress them with my pit cooking skills. That is if we catch any fish of course.
maruawe5 years ago
You can wrap your food in wet canvas (old Army tent) You get a lot of steam that way . We usually put the seasoning in the water that we use for the canvas. you can also use wet canvas for the bottom base with charcoal directly on the canvas ... Sure do envy you that meal ... Pit cooked is the best tasting food that I have ever eaten food.......................................................
Scncgeek5 years ago
Excellent writing
King Hippo6 years ago
I am surprised you found success with river rock. It has been my experience that when you use river rock, or any other non-porous rock, there is a strong possibility that they will explode as a result of the heat. Shards of extremely hot rock can quickly ruin a pleasant evening. Wahi a na kupuna Hawai'i, 'oi aku ka 'ono o ka 'ilio kalua ma mua o ka 'ono o ka pua'a kalua.
Fred826646 years ago
Yumyyyyyyyyy! I done some thing like this a few times when I was fishing on a river beach. a party of four of us the first eight walleye and a few cat fish went in the pit. we used the scraps for chum and bate what a trip that was . Buddy s, Beer and fishing
tunipstar6 years ago
Well done...love the fish slice too!!!
Nice job, that is one big salmon you have there.
zeero3606 years ago
we were gonna make 1 of these, but i wanted a pizza oven instead can you show me how to make 1 if you no how
Cassi zeero3606 years ago
go to solornow.org and they've got great instructions for how to make your own pizza box solor oven. Cassi
from last week's weekend builder! :)

How to build a Pizza Oven
phatphehy6 years ago
in New Zealand the indigenous Maoris call it " hangi " and in the Pacific islands they call it 'umu(earth oven). they been cooking like this4 a thousand yrs-usually start fire-pile on wood and stones on top wait for stones to turn white hot(stones u hav r ideal)-chuck out big embers-settle stones flat at bottom and add food(work quickly)-criss-cross-sticks or branches at top of pit(support)-spread cover across pit(should be breathable)-thick blanket frm linen closet ideal(dnt let wife catch u) cover with veneer of earth to the point u cant see steam rising frm pit-cook anything u can cook in conventional oven(my aunt makes bread) or anything u can fit into it(no limit to size)-timing depends on amount of food in pit-your size pit will take half hour-ok
kadris36 years ago
this has long been used for beans called "bean hole beans". families have their own recipies which they share w no one. these have been passed along for many generations. another varition of this is the traditional lobster bake. Mainers place the lobsters over hot coals w clams and a few eggs smothered in seawead. when the eqqs are hard boiled, the lobster and clams are done. nothing tastes better. seaweed provides the moisture fr steam, and also insulates the catch. never better than on the sea shore. now i'm hungry. i gotta go cook something. thanks fr sharing the ancient and still used cooking meathod.
Cool... best I've done is cook a 40lb Chinook right on the beach... Good times!
Grady6 years ago
Boy, I tell you; you sure know how to make a person hungry. It sounded as it may had been something on the line of how the true, primitive indians may had done, but with the leaves & not the foil. I'd like to try this, myself. Thanks
smmiller5066 years ago
This is great idea. I've used a cardboard box on it's side lined with tin foil and a built in metal grate to smoke a fish. Didn't turn out too well. I didn't have the coals hot enough. Thankfully, it was precooked, so not so bad. If you want something to complement the fish, you could take a big ham and completely cover it in mustard and rock salt. Put that directly on the coals and the mustard hardens up, creating a shell that won't let coals through. A layer of foil never hurt though, in case something goes wrong. Pull the ham off the coals, peel away the mustard and rock salt layer and enjoy!
wow that was awesome :) in New Zealand these are called a hangi. usually the hole is bigger, and you start making it at 6/7 in the morning for lunchtime. if you put a damp sheet over the top of the food before the dirt, it makes it a bit easier to get the dirt off again later, especially if you trail the edges of the sheet up out the sides of the hole :)
theque6 years ago
coolzorz now im gonna try it.
junisponds6 years ago
what a fun idea for camping.
crapflinger6 years ago
when we go camping we usually bring a whole chicken (once it was a turkey...big mistake) with us....we season it then wrap it in tinfoil...make pretty decently sized fire and just put the chicken underneath the fire....it's a little less precise than the pit method (since you've actually still got flames on top..but the chicken is burried in the embers underneath)...but it makes the best roasted chicken ever
cool, i tried making 1 of these once but it failed