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Backyard Imu
MadDogMike
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 7311
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2008-06-01 7:07 pm   Permalink

While not quite the traditional "hole in the beach", I built a cement deep pit BBQ/imu. Made from a 30 inch concrete pipe buried in the ground. You fill the pit with hardwood and burn it several hours until just the coals remain, this heats the concrete and the surrounding soil. You put the meat in and cover the hole with the metal lid, then shovel sand over the lid and wet it down well. The pit has to be sealed airtight or the coals will continue to burn and you'll have ash instead of kalua. After about 18 hours you pull the meat out, shred and serve.






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[ This Message was edited by: MadDogMike 2011-12-03 18:27 ]


 
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Tiki-Kate
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Joined: Sep 21, 2003
Posts: 1700
From: Yucaipa, CA
Posted: 2008-06-01 7:18 pm   Permalink

That's just...awesome.



 
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bananabobs
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Joined: Feb 16, 2003
Posts: 824
Posted: 2008-06-17 8:07 pm   Permalink

Why is there a ramp next to your pit?

 
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Murph
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Jul 11, 2006
Posts: 719
From: SoCal
Posted: 2008-06-17 8:20 pm   Permalink

That is the coolest thing I've seen today!

 
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MadDogMike
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 7311
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2008-06-17 9:17 pm   Permalink

Why thank you Murph! The ramp is actually the metal lid that covers the pit. The concrete block "corral" helps keep the sand all in one place until next time. Placing the lid over the sand keep the DAMN CATS from using it as a litterbox!
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Limbo Lizard
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Joined: Aug 24, 2006
Posts: 689
From: Aboard the 'Leaky Tiki', Dallas
Posted: 2008-06-18 06:11 am   Permalink

Looks like a washing machine drum. Do you use that for the coals, so the ashes are easier to remove? Or, to lower the meat into the pit, on top of the coals?

 
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Johnny Dollar
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Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 2960
From: Baltimore, Maryland, PNG
Posted: 2008-06-18 06:21 am   Permalink

this forth of july, my brother and i are cooking an 80 lb pig in an above-ground "imu" of sorts made by stacking concrete blocks. pictures soon

 
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Limbo Lizard
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Joined: Aug 24, 2006
Posts: 689
From: Aboard the 'Leaky Tiki', Dallas
Posted: 2008-06-18 07:53 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-06-18 06:21, Johnny Dollar wrote:
this forth of july, my brother and i are cooking an 80 lb pig in an above-ground "imu" of sorts made by stacking concrete blocks. pictures soon


Be sure and fill the cells of the blocks with sand (or dirt), so there is more solid mass to hold and re-radiate the heat.


 
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MadDogMike
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 7311
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2008-06-18 08:43 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-06-18 06:11, Limbo Lizard wrote:
Looks like a washing machine drum. Do you use that for the coals, so the ashes are easier to remove? Or, to lower the meat into the pit, on top of the coals?


Both- a metal washing machine drum fits in there perfectly. The bottom one is to remove the spent coals (they never actually burn to ash), the top one holds the meat and has some chains on it for handles to raise and lower it.

Edit - Johnny Dollar, looking forward to seeing the pictures of that. Does it work like a big "caja china" that the Cubans make from plywood?
www.lacajachina.com Sounds like a semi-temporary set-up (not mortared together)

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[ This Message was edited by: MadDogMike 2008-06-18 08:48 ]


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Johnny Dollar
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Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 2960
From: Baltimore, Maryland, PNG
Posted: 2008-06-18 10:01 am   Permalink

yes, it is the cuban style. loose concrete blocks.

thanks for the sand/gravel info ~ i think my brother is engineering it, but better safe than sorry.


 
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Haole'akamai
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Joined: Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 2272
From: The Polynesian Port of NOLA
Posted: 2008-06-18 11:21 am   Permalink

We're considering building one of these at Lund Manor. Any thoughts on how much clearance one might need to be fire-safe?
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Limbo Lizard
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Joined: Aug 24, 2006
Posts: 689
From: Aboard the 'Leaky Tiki', Dallas
Posted: 2008-06-18 5:10 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-06-18 11:21, Haole'akamai wrote:
We're considering building one of these at Lund Manor. Any thoughts on how much clearance one might need to be fire-safe?



I wouldn't put it in a room with anything less than a 9 foot ceiling.
Seriously, I would think 3 - 5 feet horizontal clearance would be OK (I'd keep it further than that from the house). The fire's pretty deep, so the flames aren't gonna "reach out" too far to the side, unless it's very windy. Might be a good idea to put a coarse wire mesh screen over it, while the wood is burning, to keep any embers from flying off and starting another one of those famous California wildfires.

[ This Message was edited by: Limbo Lizard 2008-06-18 17:21 ]


 
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Haole'akamai
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Joined: Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 2272
From: The Polynesian Port of NOLA
Posted: 2008-06-18 6:02 pm   Permalink

Oops, I should have clarified that I'm thinking of putting one in the backyard of Lund Manor...

I've never seen one in action, so I guess I was figuring you'd have wood all the way up to the top, but that would be overkill and cause too much heat for too long, huh? Good thought about the mesh, still. Even in NorCal, it's dry around here. Good natural clay earth, though.


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Limbo Lizard
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Joined: Aug 24, 2006
Posts: 689
From: Aboard the 'Leaky Tiki', Dallas
Posted: 2008-06-18 6:12 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-06-18 18:02, Haole'akamai wrote:
...I guess I was figuring you'd have wood all the way up to the top


MadDogMike described using two washing machine drums in the pipe/hole (that's the ingenious part!). The bottom one holds the wood/coals, so I assumed he only filled it to the top of the drum. You could add wood, as it burns down, if it hasn't heated the surrounding earth enough, yet.
I could be wrong... maybe he does fill it up to the top, then lets it burn down until it's below the top of the lower drum. Mike?
If you have moist clay, you might want to dig it out, somewhat, and surround the pipe with loose sand. The clay would probably shrink away from the pipe, when it heats up and loses water content. Then you'd have a heat-insulating air gap between the pipe and the surrounding earth. The sand would be more 'dynamic', and would conform to the outer wall of the pipe, as the surrounding clay shrinks and swells.

[ This Message was edited by: Limbo Lizard 2008-06-18 18:35 ]


 
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MadDogMike
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 7311
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2008-06-19 09:22 am   Permalink

Yes, I fill it completely full of wood and it burns down to about 1/3 or 1/4 coals. L'Lizard, you may be right about the sand vs clay. I do have clay soil with poor drainage, it may shrink away from the concrete pipe. Unfortunately, I poured a small concrete slab around the pipe and now have no way of knowing. EDIT - If you were building a new one, that would be easy enough to fix. The hole you dig is bigger than the pipe anyway, just backfill it with sand instead of the dirt you took out of the hole. Here's a little more info http://mgilbert.net/deep%20pit.html

I'm interested in knowing more about the above ground concrete block pit. What are they called, does anyone know of a website with more info? You can never have too many ways to BBQ (see my signature line )

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Anything worth doing, is worth doing to the point of wretched excess.

[ This Message was edited by: MadDogMike 2008-06-19 09:25 ]

[ This Message was edited by: MadDogMike 2008-06-19 09:29 ]


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