Whats this cooking method called where you bury the raw food (potato, sugarbeet, guava, corn cobs)in hot charcoal ashes?

  • Are you sure you mean charcoal? I've found an amount of cooking methods where the food is buried, but it's all with hot stones. The only methods I've found with charcoal are barbecueing and smoking.
    – Mien
    Jun 9, 2011 at 16:52
  • 1
    @Mien, I have heard of this method, and I think even eaten the result. But I can't provide a good name. A 1:1 translation of what I have heard used would be "roasted with embers", although this term is ambigious because it is also used for stuff barbecued over embers. "Buried in embers" is also used when explaining how a food was made, but usually not listed among common cooking terms. And I guess that @Midhat is looking for a specific term, not a descriptive one.
    – rumtscho
    Jun 9, 2011 at 19:06

3 Answers 3


This is just traditional fire cooking, now called camp-fire cooking, or (US) cowboy cooking

Any Scout should know how to do this :-)

It works best using food with tough outer skins, or wrapped in a sacrificial coverings, or more modernly using aluminium foil, or a cast iron pot (dutch oven)

Some common foods examples:

Potato and other Tubers

You lose about 5 mm (including unpeeled skin) to the fire. If you wrap in Aluminium foil the loss is often nil. Wash and soak tuber well before cooking, but do not cut into the skin, even to remove imperfections or 'eyes'. Takes about 30 to 60 minutes to cook depending on coal heat. If not eating immediately, do not leave potatoes in foil wrapping. Unwrap and let surface dry


Do not remove husk. Soak corn before cooking. It takes about 10 to 20 minutes to cook depending on coal heat


Wash and soak cabbage. Drain excess water. Do not remove any dead leaves etc. Poke a knife halfway into the core from the top and pour in a little water (and meat fat for extra go). Can take up to 1 hour to fully cook


Large slabs work best. Reduce flesh loss by wrapping in edible leaves. If you don't like the charred bits, you can use Aluminium foil, or better yet a dutch oven. Time depends on mass and done-ness desired

Small goods like sausage (real meat and fat, not sawdust please) will have up to 5 mm of flesh loss, but are still fun to do.


Gut fish, but otherwise leave intact. Fish cooks relatively fast, time depends on mass. Pull sides apart and eat flesh directly off the skin and bone. If using a foil pouch you can add aromatics, raw sugar, and spices to make some amazing meals


Keep bananas in skin, make a couple of small cuts to let steam escape. Cooks in 10 to 15 minutes

Unpeeled and un-cored apples cook in 15 to 20 minutes (you can eat the core, it's good for you)

  • 3
    I've had "caveman steak" where one blows off the ashes on the coals and lays the steak right on top. You would think you would be tossing out a perfectly good slab of protein but it turned out great. Jun 10, 2011 at 5:43
  • here's a foo-foo version. No campfire needed, he's got a grill. It still goes right on the coals: youtube.com/watch?v=pjwtJ-hXW0I Jun 10, 2011 at 5:47
  • (esp in Australia,) Damper should probably be added to the list
    – mcalex
    Mar 4, 2020 at 9:13

I believe the most accurate definition for this is "Pit Barbecue" although (as Ray points out) Kalua describes this technique as well, but I think as a 'general technique' Pit Barbecue is more accurate with Kalua being a "style" of Pit Barbecue.


This reminds me of Kalua a bit. In Kalua pork, a pig is wrapped in burlap and leaves and buried with hot embers and rocks under dirt and sand for hours.

Hangi is apparently somewhat similar as well.

  • 1
    Hangi is NOT similar. Hangi uses fire to heat rocks which are then buried in a earth hole, food parcels added, and lots of water poured in before covering with earth and leaving for longer than you are prepared to wait
    – TFD
    Jun 9, 2011 at 22:33
  • Thanks; I hadn't heard of it before, but it seemed similar. Thanks for the explanation.
    – Ray
    Jun 9, 2011 at 22:36

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