A gas hog cooker can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. If you're feeling ambitious, you can have integrated motorised spits, electronic temperature controls and complicated venting systems. If you're less ambitious and simply want to enjoy a roasted pig on occasion, don't worry about all the extras. Adding the gas tanks and burners is the most complicated of all the steps required so you make sure you have accurate measurements for your do-it-yourself Hog Cooker. The size of the cooker here will measure a little over 3-feet high and a little over 8-feet across.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- 120 Masonry blocks measuring 8-by-8-by-16 inches
- 3 50lb bags of play sand
- 1 piece 6-by-8 inch piece of expanded metal
- 2 pieces 6-by-8 inch piece of 16 gauge plate steel
- Mortar (if desired)
- Gas Connector pipes
- Gas Burners
- Gas tank
- Motorised Rotisserie
Map out the area for the construction of the cooker. You will need some distance from old trees and a sufficient distance from your house in case of fire. The ground will need to be level. If you can't find sufficiently level ground you may need to lay a concrete foundation for your cooker.
Stake out the area for the foundation. It should be at least one inch longer and wider than your finished cooker. In this case the foundation would measure 10-by-5-feet. Dig out the area to a depth of about 4 inches. Insert a layer of rebar into the foundation and use stakes to secure it to the ground. Pour the concrete. Smooth the concrete surface and allow it to dry for a full day. If the weather conditions are humid or cold, allow two full days.
Apply the first layer of mortar and begin laying mason blocks. Each layer is called a "course" of bricks. Beginning at one side, lay the eight blocks down applying mortar in between each block. At the back lay the seven blocks down to begin forming the back wall of the cooker. At the centre of the back portion of the wall, invert one of the bricks so that the opening is facing out instead of up. This will serve as a vent for air flow and an opening for the gas connector pipe and burners to be inserted into the interior of the cooker. Follow up on the other side with the eight blocks coming back toward the front of the cooker.
Level the first course by using the level and tapping any block that is not aligned with the others. It is very important to get this first course level to prevent collapse of the walls.
Complete the second course of masonry block as you did the first. At this point the front area of the cooker should still be left open. Connect the gas burners to the gas connection pipe in the rear of the cooker. The extension hose will connect to the back end of the burners and will run through the open area in the back wall. Most can be screwed on.
Use an appropriately sized wrench to make sure the connection is secure. The burners should be large enough to cover the length of the cooker and be located as close to the foundation as possible. The connection hose will screw into the burners or will be able to be clipped in to avoid gas leaks. These hoses are typically of a flexible metal composition.
Place one sheet of expanded metal over the second course of blocks and gas burners. Lay two more courses of mason block for the sides and rear of the cooker. Bolt the rear support of your motorised spit onto the rear wall. The motorised spit will have holes on each side into which the bolts or masonry screws can be inserted. The top of the motor will have a space to insert the spit fork that will be rotating. Make sure that the spit fork will be able to be "plugged in" to this hole. A gap between blocks will serve the purpose here. Do not mortar the sides of the blocks where the gas line is coming in.
Lay the final course of masonry block and mortar keeping the mortar away from the area where the spit will be turning.
Place the first front wall block and turn it to face the opposite side wall. Apply mortar to the sides to secure it in place. Place another block on the other side corner in the same fashion. Add mortar to the top of this first block. Stack another block on top of the first leaving a gap of about 5mm between the front wall and the end of the side wall. This gap will be the support for the "door" of the cooker. Allow the mortar to dry for about three days.
Install the spit fork motor on the rear wall of the cooker. The exact procedure depends on the model of spit fork motor you purchase; some come equipped with stands, others may require that you use a table. You can use extra mason blocks and a 2-by-4 feet plank if necessary.
Place two of the pieces of 16-gauge plate steel over the top of the cooker. These will serve as the lid to the cooker. The third piece will serve as the "door" and should be inserted into the "gap" at the front of the cooker. Using a large pie pan placed on the expanded metal with dry wood in it will serve to create the smoke you will need.
Connect the gas tank to the connector pipes at the rear of the cooker. Use a wrench with the appropriate hoses and twist the connectors to the right. You are now ready to begin using your cooker.
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