Genuine pit barbecue cooks meat slowly and at a low temperature from the heat and smoke of a wood fire. No matter how cheap or how tough the meat is before it goes in the barbecue pit (such as beef brisket), it comes out as juicy and tender as the finest, most expensive steak you have ever eaten.
Many people believe the only way to enjoy real pit barbecue is to go to a barbecue restaurant. They have all the equipment, and they really know what they are doing. That may be true, but today there are ways to cook real pit BBQ, just as tender and flavorful as any BBQ restaurant.
So how does someone go about creating this flavor at home? Many people try to cook pit BBQ style with a kettle grill, using various techniques. Some use a water smoker, which gives great results with some meats, but not so great with others. Still others use a 55-gallon drum converted into a barbecue pit, with limited success.
To get real smoked pit barbecue taste and tenderness, all you have to do is buy or build a barbecue pit modeled after the ones used in the best barbecue restaurants. You will soon be cooking beef brisket and everything else just as good as good as the finest bbq joints in the country.
Around the early 1900’s, German butchers in Texas developed a brick pit with a metal lid. They did this because there were many cuts of beef that were having to be thrown away because they were too tough for people to eat (again, beef brisket was one of them). Long and slow cooking in those early pits turned those worthless cuts into something edible and delicious.
What you need in your backyard to create those same great BBQ restaurant results is something similar to those first German barbecue pits. Your first option, if you have the skills, is to build a brick BBQ pit. A pit such as this should be built big enough for you to create a fire on one side and cook the meat on the other. Or you can build a fire pit next to the food pit, which has an opening to let the smoke and some heat into the cooking pit. This allows you to cook slow and long, as the German butchers did.
If building a brick barbecue pit in your backyard is not possible, there are many options available to purchase in stores. What you are looking for is a barbecue pit that has a main box or barrel with a lid and a grate where the meat is placed on. Off to one side, and situated a little lower, is a smaller box, called the fire box, attached to the larger food box. This is where the fire is started and burns from. Smoke and low heat from the fire pass through the opening of the fire box into the cooker box.
This low heat and smoke will create virtually the same results as the finest BBQ restaurants anywhere. Taken care of, a quality barbecue pit will last through many years of great pit barbecue flavor.