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Mess Hall Talk about food. Recipes, grilling, dehydrating, smoking, and BBQs.

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Old 05-07-2023, 08:10 PM   #1
Hunter07
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Cool New (to me), BBQ Pit.

Back when I was a kid, my Dad and one of his friends had a BBQ/Grilling Catering business, where they'd cater company parties.

They had at least 8 BBQ pits that were 6'L x 3' W x 3' T. The end of each long panel, had a hinged end panel welded on one end, and 'eyes' on the other end, to drop a 3/8ths" rod through, to assemble the pits. They'd stand 5-6 concrete blocks on end, and place a sheet of corrogated steel sheeting on top of them, then dump charcoal on the corrogated steel, and light the charcoal with a 'weed burner' propane torch.

For cooking grates, they had 2' W x 3' L expanded metal grates with two 4' L 3/8ths" bars welded to them, that stuck over the sides of the pit to keep them cooler, to be used as handles, for flipping the chicken quarters or steaks they were cooking. They had one 'extra' grate that they used for flipping the grates with the meat on them. Sandwich the meat between the two grates, cross your arms, grab the bars/handles, and flip. Repeat on the next grate of meat until the meat was all flipped.

Mom has been after me for a while now, to come get the last one that Dad kept. My son and I loaded it up in my pickup, when we went home for Easter dinner. It came with one grate, and the rest were at the cabin. My brother and his wife brought them home to their place, so someday soon, I'll run over and grab the grates from them.

I'm actually excited to use this pit for the first time in probably 45 years.
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Old 05-07-2023, 09:04 PM   #2
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Going to go "whole hog"?
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Old 05-07-2023, 10:44 PM   #3
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Going to go "whole hog"?
I doubt it. The grates rest on top of the pits. Unless I make some modifications to it, there's no real way to cover it, to keep the heat/smoke in.....

I'm thinking very seriously, of contacting the County Veterans Service Representative Office, American Legion, VFW, and try to coordinate a BBQ at a local park, for Veterans in the County where I live, to see if there's a need or interest in something like that. And see if they could donate $$$ to buy the meat, or talk local grocery stores into donating some meat.

I don't know how many chicken leg/thigh or wing/breast quarters will fit on a 3' x 6' pit, but I'd like to give it a try.

I do know that my Dad and his friend would dilute Open Pit BBQ sauce with a little bit of beer, to make it easier to brush on the chicken. I do NOT know if they used any rubs or spices. All I remember is, damn good tasting chicken and helping them out a few times.

I have a friend that has an old fuel oil barrel, converted into a LP smoker years ago. He smokes whole hogs on that. Everything from suckling pigs, to full grown pigs.
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Old 05-08-2023, 06:57 AM   #4
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Keeping the heat in on an open pit is easy from a sheet of corrugated tin to leaves. You could rig up a rotisserie. and there is build a frame tie the meat on with baling wire & flip over as needed.
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Old 05-08-2023, 08:03 PM   #5
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Big party at Hunter's place, bring beer.
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Old 05-10-2023, 11:12 PM   #6
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Big party at Hunter's place, bring beer.
I wish!
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Old 05-10-2023, 11:19 PM   #7
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Keeping the heat in on an open pit is easy from a sheet of corrugated tin to leaves. You could rig up a rotisserie. and there is build a frame tie the meat on with baling wire & flip over as needed.
I would have to make some significant changes to accomodate a rotisserie, or even a tin cover. It'd be less costly to make something out of cinder blocks and a couple pieces of roofing tin.
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Old 05-11-2023, 11:09 PM   #8
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I would have to make some significant changes to accomodate a rotisserie, or even a tin cover. It'd be less costly to make something out of cinder blocks and a couple pieces of roofing tin.
The pits I used @the renfest had where you could add the rotisserie there also was one that had a sheet meat box to cover what's on the rotisserie. IIRC these came out of Pennsylvania.

One weak point was the rotisserie had a key way that acted like a shear pin. It fell out of place often & was easily lost.

I actually believe laying the animal out flat beats the rotisserie. My guess someone makes something better for whole pigs then what I had to work with. Skewering the hog & tying it on the rod to get to cook somewhat even is a chore. A rotating pig as it becomes cooked can break especially if it aint balanced on the rod.
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Old 05-12-2023, 07:44 AM   #9
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The pits I used @the renfest had where you could add the rotisserie there also was one that had a sheet meat box to cover what's on the rotisserie. IIRC these came out of Pennsylvania.

One weak point was the rotisserie had a key way that acted like a shear pin. It fell out of place often & was easily lost.

I actually believe laying the animal out flat beats the rotisserie. My guess someone makes something better for whole pigs then what I had to work with. Skewering the hog & tying it on the rod to get to cook somewhat even is a chore. A rotating pig as it becomes cooked can break especially if it aint balanced on the rod.
It's hard enough to do a turkey that way, I couldn't imagine doing a hog. My rotisserie turkey turned out great, but was such a pain in the neck to do that I never did it again.
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Old 05-12-2023, 08:02 AM   #10
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My father in law used to roast a whole pig in a large concrete BBQ pit he had made encased in chicken wire and two pipes, just flip it half way through.
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Old 05-15-2023, 10:43 PM   #11
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My father in law used to roast a whole pig in a large concrete BBQ pit he had made encased in chicken wire and two pipes, just flip it half way through.
That's how this BBQ pit works, but the grates are smaller, and easier to handle.
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