This is the eighth post in the series on Cooking without Electricity. I first learned about this method of cooking last year. Unfortunately, in my neighborhood, I would not be able to build this unless we were in the middle of a long term power outage. I have written notes about this cooking method in my emergency binder so I can refer to it if/when I need it.
One of the reasons I really like this method of cooking is if you were ever out in the middle of nowhere, without any tools, you could still cook your food. All you would need to do is scrounge up what you needed: a few sticks and a few rocks. Cooking in a steam pit is a slow cooking method. It doesn't require you to monitor the meal through the entire cooking process. If need be, you can walk away and take care of other business. Come back in a few hours and your food is done!
I like the two following references I found about this cooking method. They both give the general idea of how it is done but they use slightly different materials. Varying the materials used gives you some flexibility if you ever needed to build a steam pit and it allows you to use what you can find locally in your area.
The first method is amazing to me because it doesn't even require a shovel to dig the hole! You just gather some large sticks and dig a hole with them. Before covering the pit with dirt, the people in the video did use a tarp to protect the food. This is a YouTube video.
Cooking in a Steam Pit
The second method is slightly different from the first. The couple presenting this method of cooking didn't remove the fire embers but placed aluminum foil over everything, put in the food, covered the food with additional aluminum foil and then just covered everything with dirt.
Stone Fire Pit Oven
I would so love to try cooking some pulled pork or stew beef with this method! There are some quartz stones in the common areas of my neighborhood that I have my eye on...
If you liked this post, you may also like other posts in the Cooking without Electricity series: