The Burtonsville Cooking Rig is a quick, simple and very effective method of hanging a pot over a fire.
It uses four sections of wood and with careful selection can be made out of one branch. The beauty of it, aside from its gravity-defying appearance, is that the pot can be varied in height over the fire so it enables you to fine tune your cooking temperatures, because the hanger is on a ‘pivot’ it keeps the pot level on sloping or uneven ground, and it only needs a knife to make too. Ideal!
Making it requires one long length of branch as the main suspension. The working end is cut to a wedge and has a pot-hanger ‘seating’ hole made in the upper side of the wedge. This helps the pothanger to balance and stay in place.
The main suspension limb is secured in the ground at the other end either by a forked branch (y-section) or two small straight pieces crossed over to do the same job. The middle of the main suspension limb, to give its height and angle, passes over another, taller y-section. This similarly could be made out of two straight branches that are hammered into the ground and crossed over.
The adjustable pothanger is made from carving a series of x-notches (click here or on the video below to see a demo of how to cut this x-notch). These notches are carved along its length – and are to adjust the height of the pothanger over the fire. The notches fit into the ‘seating’ hole in the wedge at the end of the main suspension bar. Once seated and with a pot on the end it is surprisingly stable.
At the end of the pothanger another notch is carved – but ensure that it is carved the OPPOSITE way up to the other notches otherwise it will not hold the bail-arm of the pot! Also carve it on the same side as the other notches or it might have a tendency to shift its centre of gravity and make the pothanger twist in its seat when fully loaded. Make sure you carve this notch about two finger widths from the end of the stick to it give it a bit of strength but it not too long so that it interferes with the contents of the pot or the lid.