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He returns all questions . . . . . . .
Topic: Cooking Over an Open Fire . . . . From: Ron,
Subject: Re: Help us cook anything from a whole hog to hamburgers and hot dogs.
How have you been. Construction of the brick grill is coming along slowly but we're getting it done. Thanks again for the plans you faxed me. I have a pit (hole) out back that we have been burning logs in. I have loads of pecan wood to burn thanks to a tornado a few years back that knocked some old trees down for my cooking pleasure.
We would like to be able to cook over an open fire this fall. We have large gatherings during the football/holiday season. Can you give me some advise as to what type of grate/cooking surface we could utilize to help us cook anything from a whole hog to hamburgers and hot dogs? The pit is about 5 ft in diameter.
Sorry I'm slow answering. Been on the road. Happy the brick grill is going well.
Couple of thoughts about the pit. 1. If you don't get enough oak to tone down that pecan, your meat will be a little on the strong side. I use about 80% oak to 20% pecan.
2. I presume when you say you want to be able to cook over an open fire, you really mean over live coals. Therefore, I recommend using the fire pit as a gathering place and hot coal production fire. Build your cooking pit close enough that you can easily shovel coals from the fire pit to your cooking pit, yet far enough away that guests don't get in your way and vice versa.
Your cooking grate spec's suggest that expanded metal over supporting rods or angle iron will fit the bill.
As an aside, the ashes from your pit are great for adding potash to your garden while reducing the acidity. If you are into serious old fashion cooking, you can also make lye strong enough to produce your own hominy or masa harina. If you are a survivalist, you can put it into a wooden trough, cover it with hay and urinate regularly on it to produce crystals of potassium nitrate, an essential ingredient in gunpowder. Just a thought.