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California BBQ

Searching for deep-pit BBQ


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Restaurants & Bars California BBQ

Searching for deep-pit BBQ

Steve Green | | Sep 1, 2008 03:03 PM

I’m trying to find an old Central CA tradition that seems to be almost gone. I’m talking about deep-pit BBQ, where large pieces of beef are lightly spiced, wrapped in paper and then in wet burlap sacks, and then buried underground along with hot rocks and smoldering coals, and left to cook for something like 18 hours.

When the meat comes out, it’s smoky-tasting and so tender you could spread it with a knife. Usually served with pinto beans and mild salsa, this preparation used to be common for small-town civic events like say, a city-wide 4th of July BBQ. Now most of the towns that used to do this have switched to grilled tri-tip and the like. 25+ years ago, there were takeout places in Bakersfield that used to serve this. No longer. Since my youth, I’ve only had it once at a private party in Fresno, and more recently at a town celebration in Idyllwild. It’s still as good as I remember it.

Does anyone know of public events (or commercial enterprises) where you can still get this? I did a search, and this is all I came up with:

Any leads?