My friend Richard Flores, a veteran barbecue cook-off competitor, has always wanted to cook whole hogs in a classic Southern pit. And I have to come up with a whole hog recipe for my upcoming Southern barbecue cookbook. So we decided to work together on the project.
I showed him photos of the various whole hog pits I had visited while researching the book, and we decided to adapt the construction technique from some of those. An mortared cinderblock pit will work fine, but you have to make in four bricks wide to accommadate the splayed out hog and to also leave a gap so you can shovel hot coals or charcoal in from the top. The main vent you see at one end is for ventilation–it will get a sheet metal door that can be opened or closed incrementally.
If you have built one of these before, we would appreciate your comments!