What Is a Hangi?

What is a Hangi? A Hangi is the customary New Zealand process of steaming food in the earth. The process came from the early Maori settlers and is still practiced in these modern times simply because of the special taste it gives to the food. The practices applied and the process involved in putting down a Hangi continue to be very much modeled on traditional techniques. The complete task can nearly take a full day to complete.

There is absolutely NO taste similar to a Hangi anywhere around the world. Because it is a subterranean activity, the meal is cooked thoroughly underground. Yes, you did read that properly. The food IS buried in your yard where it slowly cooks away for hours until eventually ready.

Any foreign vacationer to New Zealand must try to find and try a Hangi first hand. You can’t truly say that you’ve been to New Zealand if you haven’t eaten a Hangi.

This informative article briefly details simply how a Hangi is made in the customary way.

This will give you a better understanding of what is actually involved along with how much energy goes into preparing and cooking a Hangi.

Step one is to find some unique volcanic rocks to use as a source of energy to cook the food. Normal stones will not generally give good results due to the fact they might break and crack during the heating treatment. Selecting the correct class of rocks for this task is positively essential to the successful conclusion of ANY Hangi.

Once you have successfully found these stones, you will want to heat them to a extremely high temperature using an open fire. The wood used could very well alter the taste of the Hangi for good or worse. In New Zealand there are a couple of unique varieties of timber which are best for this job because they give a unique smoky flavor. Alert: Making use of treated or coated timber would certainly seriously taint your Hangi food and could also bring about illness if consumed.

Your Hangi pit preferably should be dug prior to lighting the fire or possibly whilst it is burning. While digging the pit make certain that you consider the size of your basket plus a little extra room for extra padding.

Your Hangi basket could be packed anytime before the fire is finished using meat, veges and from time to time even seafood along with dessert. The actual engineering of your Hangi basket is not as important as the size and design of the basket in terms of cooking it right through. The floor of the basket is usually lined and the foodstuff has to be stacked in a specific manner for optimum cooking.

The fifth stage is to move the sizzling rocks into the pit. It’s extremely important that this step is completed as quickly as possible simply because the more time the rocks are out of the flames, the more energy they are going to lose. It goes without saying that this stage is vital to putting out a thoroughly cooked Hangi. When this move has happened quickly put the basket above of the hot rocks.

The next stage is to drape the basket using moist sacking fabric.

The actual type of cloth used and the amount of material applied here is important, as is also the depth and placement of these covers over the basket and stones.

The next stage is to use spades to assist you to cover the Hangi once again with dirt until such time as there is no vapor escaping.

Now that all of the hard work is done it is time to sit back and wait, enjoy a beer or two and after two or three hours dig it up and with any luck , if you have done every part correctly it should be cooked.

Hangi food is commonly dished up as a communal buffet. The meal is usually spread out on the dining room table and folks usually help themselves as they see fit. Wonderful Hangi extras include things like fried bread or rewena bread.

This explanation is not really intended to be a comprehensive guide by any means. In order to make your own Hangi there’s a lot more specific advice you need to have with regards to your tools, preparation and timing. If any one of these areas is incorrect the Hangi can potentially turn out to be a complete failure. To make sure you avoid having to buy fish and chips it would be wise to search for more in depth information and facts if you happen to be unfamiliar with the intricacies of the process.


With regards to the writer: Neville Pettersson is the creator of the Official NZ Hangi Guide.This manual is the only resource that thoroughly describes the complete Hangi operation from start to finish including all of the tricks, techniques in addition to foundation information required to cook a succesful Hangi. The package includes the comprehensive written manual, images, specific information and video clip footage.

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