Type to search

How to Make a Pit Oven

How to Make a Pit Oven

  1. Treat your meat. 
  2. Pick a good location for your hole.
  3. Dig!
  4. Line the hole with rocks. 
  5. Set your fire. 
  6. Remove half of the embers. 
  7. Insert meat. 
  8. Bury the meat.
  9. Leave for extended period. 
  10. Carefully dig up your food.
  11. Eat and enjoy!


A shovel- failing that, you could always dig a hole with your hands?

Wood- You need quite a lot of wood to do this, so get your family collecting to fuel the fire.

Stones- Although not a requirement, they help to retain the heat from the fire.

Something to light the fire with- Use whatever you have, but what I’ve found incredibly useful in the past, whether you use them in a this sort of setting or not, are weather proof matches. They’re great for the outdoor adventurer and are twice as effective as conventional lighters.
Weather proof matches

Tin foil- Traditional cooking involved wrapping the meat in banana leaves although you’re forgiven if you can’t get your hands on these!

Meat- Absolutely any meat will do although the bigger the better, but for something that’s truly impressive, go for something that’s on the bone, perhaps a leg of lamb or a shoulder joint. 

How to Make a Pit Oven

Men don’t need kitchens, we don’t need electricity, we don’t even need oil or gas to cook our food, all we need is a hole, wood, a match, and maybe some tinfoil so we’re not feeding our families dirt!

Pit ovens have been used to evenly cook large slabs of meat by Polynesians for thousands of years, MGTE are now bringing them back in fashion to help even the scrawniest of man be an impressive provider to the masses! This method of cooking is perfect for a day down the beach or camping with the family, hunting expeditions with the mates, or impressing a young lady of interest before stuffing her mouth full of meat. 

For the softest, fall-off-the-bone finish, you really can’t beat a pit oven.

Photo Credit: Designlazy.com


1- Treat your meat. Especially if you’re in the great outdoors, it’s advisable to treat and wrap your meat before burying your hands in the ground! Throw in some whole shallots, garlic, rosemary sticks etc etc (what ever catches your imagination!). Wrap at least a couple of times in tin foil as layers can very easily be pierced by any sharp embers or sticks.

2- Pick a good location for your hole. Somewhere dry and downwind of your party would be sensible.

3- Dig! The hole needs to be wide enough to allow for the meat to fit in with room spare around the outside for rocks, and deep enough for a couple of feet of earth/sand to be placed on top.

4- Line the hole with rocks. If rocks aren’t available, it’s not critical, although they do help to retain the heat and to keep the hole from caving in on itself.

5- Set your fire. If you don’t know how to set a fire, please read ‘How to make fire’. The fire needs to fill the hole and be burning strongly for at least 2 hours, more if the ground is cold or course!

6- Remove half of the embers. Push half of the embers to the side as these will be place on top of the meat.

7- Insert meat. Carefully place your meat in the hot hole. Cover with the embers from step 6.

8- Bury the meat. Be very carefully to avoid rupturing the protective foil.

9- Leave for extended period. For large pieces of meat, cooking time may take up to 6 hours, whereas individual fish will be cooked within an hour and a half. The difficulty comes in judging when to uncover your feast, however bear in mind that due to the high pressure cooking with little to no escape of juices, it is impossible to burn your food and red meat (this does not apply to fish) will only get softer and softer in time i.e. the longer the better!

10- Carefully dig up your food. Be careful not to break the foil. Brush or blow away the dirt from the extracted tin foil before unwrapping.

11- Eat and enjoy! I’m pretty sure you don’t need instructions for this part!


The longer you cook it for, the better! Simple as that!

Do not cheat the 2 hours pre-fire time. 2 hours is required to heat the soil surrounding the hole and to ensure that there is enough hot embers to cook your food.

Don’t bury your food below the tide line- this shouldn’t need explaining!!!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *