When I was a kid, back in the 50s, everyone had a barrel pit in the backyard. Locally, a guy named Nichols had a shop and a ready supply of 55 gallon drums. He would turn these barrels into barbeque pits and over the years made improvements to the basic design. In the 60s in central Louisiana, if you had a Nichols pit, you had something.
Over the years I've eaten tons of meat cooked on one of these things. From hot dogs to pork roasts, to brisket, (and yes, even raccoon) to just about any animal protein, it can be cooked on a barrel pit. I still own one, and haven't cooked on it in five or six years, because I was doing other things. But, this morning, I decided to drag it out, clean it up and see if it would still cook meat.
It's not a Nichols pit. I bought it at a box store 10 or 12 years ago. But it does just fine. I have a fire in it now, seasoning it after a several-year hiatus, but we'll cook on it this weekend. After the fire burns out today and it cools, I'll bring the grates into the shop and give them a good washing.
I'm hungry for a good hot dog, maybe some bratwurst and sausage. Belle is hungry for barbecued chicken. I can make that happen.