Done Right: Digging a Pig Pit

Digging a pig pit

We all know that scene in Forest Gump were Forest decides that he just wants to run. Well, I was sippin’ at home one evening and had the hankering to just dig, so I did.  After the first bead of sweat (or liquor) fell from my forehead, I stopped and thought, “this hole needs a purpose.” Right then and there the pig pit for roasting was born! Note: When deciding to dig a grave size pit in your backyard at 1 a.m., give your neighbors some heads up. Last thing you need is a cop’s Mag-Lite shining in your face, you having to explain yourself and account for people in your house.

How to dig a pig pit

I was tempted to pay a couple of Mexicans on Ross Avenue to come and dig this pit, but I told myself, “when is the next time I would get a chance to get digging a grave sized pit out of my system.“ So I man’d up and kept digging. 4 ft. deep later, I was satisfied with the depth and called it a night.

Pig pit air vent

Unlike a redneck putting a bi-layer rear spoiler on a ’76 Mercury Cougar to lessen air drag, these side air tunnels on opposite sides of the pit actually work. They draw air into the pit while it’s fully covered giving much needed oxygen to the coals. If the temp rises too much, the side vents can be covered to drop the temp.

layering bricks in pig pit

I created air channels at the base of the pit with bricks so that air could travel through all parts of the fire via those side air vents. This will ensure that the fire would have a better more even burn. This pit is becoming more science than just a hole in the ground.

hickory wood and peach wood for pig pit

For this pit, I got half a cord of mixed wood. Oak will burn longer and give the meat a smokiness that isn’t as “in your face” as hickory.  Pear wood gives a hint of semi-sweet.

wood in the Pig Pit

Arrange the wood tee-pee style out get the most optimum burn when lighting. I plan on burning more of the oak first than the pear wood because the oak will burn longer and will hold more heat. This pit is now prepped.

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