Below ground pit...in MN

Discussion in 'Other Builds' started by ryanmn, Sep 20, 2017.

  1. ryanmn

    ryanmn Fire Starter

    I want to dig a below ground out, lined with brick and stone, to cook throughout the year. Problem is I live in MN and it gets cold and snowy. Has anyone tried cooking this way in a cold weather environment in the winter? Does it still work if it's cold or will I be limited to warm months only?
     
  2. Hi Ryan. I live in Michigan and I've tried what you're talking about. I did it but it's hard for a few reasons. Maintaining a constant temp. is tough. the ground around the pit is frozen and you basically have to heat all the bricks up before you can put much heat to the meat. Obviously pre-heating will deal with that. I built a wooden cover that went over it. It was a big boxy thing that sat about 2 feet over the grate and that helped but you have to add fuel quite often and you let all your heat out. In the end I decided it wasn't worth it. It took to much time, to much fuel, and I could never trust it enough to leave it alone for very long. After a couple of winters trying it I just gave up.

    The final straw was a half charred half raw full leg of venison I was making for Thanksgiving dinner.
     
  3. Cant really offer any advice on this one. I live in MN too. If that's your plan you better start digging soon. Forecast is 90° this weekend and probably 2 feet of snow next week.

    I am turning an old refrigerator into a smoker. Just bought Roxul insulation for it. I've read that with a good insulated fridge you will have no problems maintaining temps during cold winter months. Might be something to consider....
     
  4. 3montes

    3montes Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I can see problems with a pit in the ground in Mn. The frost would heave your bricks around I think in addition to other problems already listed. I smoke all year long in my offsets without much problem other than using a bit more wood. Obviously I don't do it in 20 below temps and 30mph winds but even at temps close to zero and slight to moderate breeze no problem.
     

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