This summer the sultry heat won’t just be coming from Richmond’s usual weather!
Meet Burny F. Gibbons, my new burn barrel.
What is a burn barrel you ask?
A burn barrel makes real wood coal to use to cook real whole hog pit BBQ.

Real pit barbeque means cooked with wood, nothing else. Wood means flavor. It provides a steady supply of embers to then spread around beneath the pit so you can control your temperature. You pack it with wood, as it burns, embers fall to the bottom and then you keep adding the coals to your pit and cook a hog slow and low at a steady heat that you control for many, many hours. Not only is it a tradition in many regions to cook whole pig this way, it is a skill, one usually passed down for generations.

This summer this Yankee city mouse is going to attempt to teach myself how to cook a whole pig properly, the way that the kind and gifted pitmasters I’ve met do. I’m not saying it will be great BBQ right off the bat, but I figure it’ll be a start and hopefully with patience and practice (read: lots of time for drinking and eating in the backyard) I’ll eventually get it right. I’m going to start small and work my way up to a whole hog hopefully by mid Fall. (gulp)
I’ve got Burn-y next up is the pit. I’ll keep you posted!!

To make a burn barrel, you need:
a 55 gallon (or larger) drum (mine was food grade)
some rebar
a drill and saw that will cut through metal (or some sweet pals that own these things)
and in my case a friend who is not afraid of the 15 Black Widow spiders who made their home in the drum while I wasn’t looking

To construct:
stand drum up open end
drill a few of holes around each side just above the bottom rib, lined up
Insert rebar through the holes,
Cut a hole in the bottom the barrel just below the rib big enough to stick in a shovel.

When cooking out side with fire always, always, always have a fire extinguisher nearby!!!!


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