Friday, September 08, 2006

Fire on the Floor Pit

A fire on the floor or Fogo de Chao is easy to build and use for backyard or deck cooking. Just follow these easy steps.

Step 1: On the surface-ground or deck-place a circle of bricks on their sides -one layer thick-without mortar. Place a strap or wire around the brick circle so the bricks will not move when concrete is poured.

Step 2: Mix concrete and pour onto surface up to the top of the layer of bricks. Wait at least one day for the concrete to set and harden.

Step 3: Remove the strap. Stand a row of bricks on end on top of the first layer of sideways bricks-without mortar.

Step 4: Place an 8” diameter stiff plastic bucket in the center of the brick circle. Lay a plastic pipe with ½” diameter against the bucket to extend out a crack between 2 bricks. This will allow water to drain from the pit when the pit is finished. Secure strap around bricks to hold in place to prevent concrete from pushing them out. Mix concrete and pour around the bucket and on top of pipe to the top of the brick circle. Allow to set and harden at least one day.

Step 5: When concrete is hardened, remove strap and bucket.

Step 6: Mix mortar and layer 2 or 3 layers of bricks on top of existing brick rows. Fill gaps of other layers and smooth. Remove excess with a wire brush when hardened.

Step 7: When hardened, fill pit with charcoal and ignite. Wait for coals to become white hot. May use a grill over the top or lay skewers over the coals and slowly cook.

The Fogo de Chao or fire on the floor will be a great conversation piece while cooking and entertaining guests. Serve finger foods and beverages while watching the food cook.

Note: Observe safety rules. Keep fire away from tree limbs or house, yet closer to outside entertainment area.



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