Hāngi take 2 – part 1

This weekend we gave the hangi another try.

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The hangi pit and the wheelbarrow with vegetables ready to be cooked.

Reaching the perfect hangi plan

After spending quite some time discussing the results from our previous tries we think we have reached a reliable method to capture enough heat without any of the vegetables turning into charcoal.

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The fire with plenty of stones to capture the heat.

First of all, we have tried making the hangi with less firewood and thus smaller fires as well as with smaller amounts of stone, but with no success. The stones do get really warm, but they need to be really close to the fire and the fire needs to be really large and hot for enough heat to be created and transfered to the stones.

Transferring the energy to the stones

This time we started off slowly with a small fire that we gradually built up with more and more wood and logs. We also added a lot of relatively large rocks. In total we had the fire going for almost six hours.

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The vegetables that went into this hangi.

When we deemed that the stones had captured enough heat and when the fire started to burn out we first poured some water on the ash in order to remove any embers that might destroy the food and the sheet and burlap by being too hot. The stones themselves contain a lot of heat, but they also release that heat slowly and over a longer period of time, so as long as there are no direct sources of heat left in the pit there are no problems with the food being turned into charcoal.

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The vegetables placed in the hangi pit. Notice the thermometer in the pumpkin which helps us keep track of when the food is ready.

Extinguish the embers to avoid too high temperatures

Once the embers were extinguished we spread out the stones in the pit and put the food on top of them. The next step is covering the pit with soaked sheets.

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Covering the pit with sheets that are fastened with some large stones in the corners. The wooden grid is to help keeping the burlap with earth from collapsing into the pit.

Covering the hangi

To keep the sheets from moving or collapsing onto the food we fasten them with some stones in the corners. We have also deviced a wooden grid to help support the burlap with all the dirt. This also helps when removing the burlap after the hangi is finished.

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The food is in the ground and covered nicely with dirt to keep the heat in.

After covering the hangi pit with the burlap and the dirt we were ready for the wait. This time we have also got a thermometer with a  cord that we use to gauge when the food is done as well as to monitor the heat so that we don’t destroy the food.

Stay tuned for the results of this hangi.

Cecilia & Magnus

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