How to make a Dakota fire hole

My husband comes up with these great activities for the family to do.  When he said he was going to make a fire in a pit under the ground I thought he was strange.

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But I have realized the wonderfulness of this type of fire. The Dakota fire hole is a great fire to make.  It is completely underground!  It has a low smoke output, no need to worry that smoke is blowing into your childrens’ faces, and I feel much safer having this type of fire when my children are roasting marshmallows over it.

Making a Dakota Fire Hole is initially more labor intensive than simply building a fire on the surface of the ground. However the outlay in energy required to make a Dakota fire hole is more than offset by its efficient consumption of fuel; it greatly reduces the amount of firewood required to cook meals.

When making this fire hole, you want to take notice of which direction the wind is blowing.  If it is blowing at an east to west movement, then you want your vent tube to be facing the east side

step one—removing the dirt and digging your pit.

To make a Dakota Fire Hole first remove a plug of soil about 12 inches in diameter and dig down one foot.

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keep digging….

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keep going…. Stop and give 3 year old some worms that you dug up.  Or save some for going fishing later with the family.

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Is your hole about 12 inches down??

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Step 2

Making the Airway – Starting about one-foot away from the edge of the fire pit, dig a 6-inch diameter air tunnel at an angle so that it intersects with the base of the fire pit.
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Can you see the spade of the shovel poking through?

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There it is, now clear out the mess that has gotten into the fire pit.333 098



Now that your hole is dug , let’s make a fire

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Add some charcoal….we really like the kind with the lighter fluid already coated onto the coals.

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Add a small amount of kindling

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Then light it up

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After your fire has been preheated you cook on this tonight.

Add an old oven rack to cover your fire and cook your items onto it.

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For more information about how the dakota fire hole works click here.

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