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The idea of cooking underground or earth oven is not something new. Perhaps, that’s the way our ancestors used for thousand years to prepare their food. And, we the modern civilization, with the convenience of gas and electricity are about to lose the practice.
If you have some open space in the yard, you should definitely try underground cooking. The procedure of cooking not only makes your food heavenly flavorful but also cheaper when compared to the usual technique.
How to Build an Underground Oven
Cooking underground is pretty easy but what’s tricky is to make the oven. Well, stick with us as we will show you the exact steps you will need to implement for this. Note that you will need to gather a shovel, some stones, charcoal, metal sheet, and woods during the work. Now let’s see what we will require doing:
Step 1: Dig the Hole
Begin with digging a hole for the oven. It needs to be matching with your grill rack on which you will cook. To be more specific, the hole needs to one or two inches smaller in length and width to properly accommodate the rack. The height needs to be adequate enough to hold enough charcoal for cooking.
Select an open space free from debris and fire hazards. Use your shovel to cut through the soil. Make sure to gather the soil near as you will require it later. The end result should be something like a square hole.
Step 2: Organize the Stones
Now it’s time to put the stones in the pit. They will help to preserve the heat while cooking. You should find the stones around your garden and yard. You can even the slabs and stones that have fallen from the old wall. If you consider purchasing the stones, go for hard rocks like granite, slate, marble, etc. Never choose the varieties that have chances of exploding.
Begin with covering the walls of the oven. The slabs will be the best choice for this. You don’t need to cover the entire wall. Simply cover as much as you can with the slabs to trap the heat. After that, cover the base of the pit with the other stones. Use the remaining slabs and stones to create an even area with the stones on the base.
Step 3: Make a Fire
The fun part begins here as you will require putting up a fire to heat up and dry the earth oven. Gather small and dry twigs as well as some larger branches of trees for the fire. Now put some newspaper on the base and fire them up with a match or lighter. Afterward, add the kindling and smaller branches to gradually grow the fire.
Step 4: Keeping the Fire
Now add the bigger branches gradually to make the fire stronger. You will need to keep the fire for around two hours to heat the stones and prepare enough coals for the cooking. If you don’t have much of the wood, you may utilize some charcoals to keep the fire on for a prolonged period.
Add the charcoal before the fires run out. This will enable the charcoals to become hot enough to cook your food. You may require waiting for a while to enable the charcoal to heat up before beginning cooking.
How to Cook Underground
The good news is you can cook a variety of things in the underground oven. However, when it comes to the best thing to enjoy in your underground oven, you should try chicken, beef, or any other meat from your game animal. Here is the cooking procedure:
Step 1: Make the Meat Ready
While cooking the meat underground, you can either marinate them before or directly put it in the oven with some seasoning. If you prefer margination, use preferred ingredients to prepare the marinade and mix them well with the meat. Put the meat in the freezer after that. If you don’t want that, simply sprinkles some hot pepper and salts on the meat. You may also rub some cooking oils.
After the margination or seasoning, cover the meat with foil papers properly. If you want to put some veggies along with the meat, make sure to prepare a different foil cover for them.
Step 2: Add to the Oven
Now put the BBQ rack on the coals. It should be a few inches higher than the coal. Preferably the rack needs to be in the middle of the oven so you can easily put the sheet with foods on the rack. Now add the meats and veggies covered on foil on the rack. You may also proceed without the bbq rack by putting the covered meat directly on the fire.
Step 3: Cover the Oven
The next thing you need to do is to cover the oven with a metal sheet. Afterward, bury it with the soil that you have gathered aside. Try to seal the edge first and then go for the top. This will help to trap the heat for the cooking. Make sure that the entire edge is covered evenly.
Step 4: Wait
Now you can leave the oven and rest for a while as the slow cooking will require a good amount of time. The cooking time will require around 1.5 to 2 hours based on the chosen meat and the size of the oven. You better use the senses to determine when the food will be cooked.
Step 5: Bring it Up!
Time to dig again and this time it’s for the treasure. Begin with shoveling away the soil on the top of the sheet. Then remove the metal sheet carefully as it will be hot. Afterward, take out the meat with caution. Never touch it with bare hands. You may use two rods with hooks to bring the entire BBQ rack with the food. That’s it, now you can remove the foil and serve the meats.
It can be a little bit tricky to cook underground for the first time. It will more like a hobby once you get used to the cooking procedure. You will love to do it frequently for the sake of a delicious feast. We hope that you will be able to cook underground for the first time following the above guide.