How do you make a hangi?
  • Hangi is a special way of cooking food under the ground using red hot rocks and steam.
  • Volcanic rocks which are light and easy to heat get heated on a pile of burning wood.
  • When the rocks are hot they need to be carefully rolled or lifted into a pit in the ground and the wire baskets of food quickly put on top.
  • The baskets get covered with wet sheets and the wet sheets get covered with wet sacks. Then the sacks are covered with dirt.
  • The water in the wet cloths turns into steam when it gets heated by the heat in the rocks and because the steam canít escape through the dirt it heats and cooks the food.
  • It takes about 7 hours to cook a hangi from start to finish but the food is delicious!
  Did You Know?
  • Maori have been cooking hangi for hundreds of years.
  • The best kind of wood to use in a hangi is wood like Manuka or tea tree because of the way it burns and because of the lovely smoke flavour it gives to the food.
  • The meat should be in the first basket and you can use meats like chicken, fish, shellfish, pork and lamb.
  • Vegies like potatoes, kumara, pumpkin, and corn on the cob can all go in the top basket.
  • You can even cook steam pudding in a hangi too!
Investigate steam in the bathroom

On a cold winters night have a look at what happens to the steam in the bathroom when youíre having a bath or a shower. Make sure all the windows and doors are closed and watch how the steam billows up to the ceiling. If you flap your arms around what does the steam do? When youíre washed, dried and dressed open a window and watch the steam escape outside.
In a hangi the steam canít escape out because of the dirt over the hangi. If steam starts to escape the hangi makers cover that spot with more dirt to keep the steam in.
Investigate other ways to cook food

Youíve probably had food that has been cooked on a stove or in an oven before. What other ways are there of cooking food?
What other ways are there too cook food in the ground?

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