How to Cook a Pig in the Ground for a Luau
An earth oven, known as hangi in New Zealand Maori cooking or an imu in Hawaii, is an underground pit used to cook food. Though this cooking method has existed for thousands of years and was once a widely used cooking method, it is now reserved for special occasions. The most popular use for this type of pit today is making a pig for a luau. Set up requires advance preparation, patience and the help of a few friends or family members, but the cooked pig will emerge with a moist, succulent flavor that no other method of cooking can produce.
Place wood in and around the fire and allow it to burn to coals. The wood will need to be added at a gradual pace to promote even burning across the pit. The fire is ready for a new piece to be added when the pieces already in the fire are well burnt but not yet turned to ash. You may add several pieces around the fire at a time but do not place all the pieces in one spot to allow for even burning. The pit is ready for roasting the pig once the bed of burnt wood ash is approximately one and half foot deep.
Cover the pig with the remaining hot rocks from the pit. Brush the burning ash from the wood over the rocks and pig. Cover the mound with water soaked burlap sacks followed by the dirt that came out of the hole. Continue covering until there is no steam escaping. If using the Maori hangi method, water should be applied at each step of covering to produce more steam, which will be locked inside by covering with the soil. The pit, or mound,
cards against humanit, should be completely covered by soil so that there remains no evidence of what is inside. Extra soil may need to be shoveled from around the pit area to obtain full coverage.
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