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pig roast advice
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Anyone ever do one
“Was thinking of doing a pig roast for my 40th.
Just got a quote from a guy in CT . . . .$800 for a 70-80 lb pig.
Not sure I wanted to spend that much (in fact, quite sure I didn't).
Anyone ever do one of these??”
“Its important to make sure the pig is dead before roasting.”
“No, that's a myth. Always begin roasting the pig while it's alive. You don't want any bruising on the meat from a hard impact, and you don't want the meat to dry out from any cuts. Plus as it struggles to free itself it tenderizes the meat...”
“How big a pig do you need ?
70 -80 Lb is a pretty big pig.”
“I know you can rent the roasters and buy a pig from a butcher and do it yourself. I have attended many, many pig roasts. If those dudes can do it (half drunk usually), certainly someone who knows how to operate a canister stove can.
Important--make sure you have the accompanying kegs and margarita balls and other various drinks.”
Yup. I was thinking 40 people.
he said the smallest pig he does is 70-80lb which feeds 70 people.
having 70 people really rachets up the event way beyond where I want it to be.
In terms of cost, logisitics . .. everything.”
“If you have to double the number of guests just to eat the pig you will have to vastly increase the beer budget also.
I think Ruby is on the right track. Rent a roaster and get a suckling.”
Do it yourself.
“800 (real)$ for a pig roast? You gotta be kiddin.
My best buddy and I roast a pig every June (we have a wild one in my freezer for this year). 80 lb is about right for 40 people - you can give left-overs away as people leave. I can't imagine an 80 lb pig feeding seventy people, especially our Cousins to the South who are accustomed to much larger portions in general.
If you can rent the roaster (up here in the country EVERYONE knows SOMEONE who had a barbe-a-queue) there's no reason not to do it yourself - with the help of a friend or two. Do you know someone who's done it before - that helps.
The trick is to cook it long enough and the other is to attach it to the spit in such a way as to have it really tightly held and to be able to tighten it as it cooks - shrinkage is almost unbelievable. We take the spit off the roaster and put the pig and spit on a long picnic table to retighten the wire.
I'll see my buddy this evening and ask him about cooking times and other details.”
“Just got a quote from a guy in CT . . . .$800 for a 70-80 lb pig.
That's why it was so expensive. They don't do anything cheaply there.”
you really know 40 people that would be willing to come to your party?
you drugging them?”
“I personally think you should spring for the 80 pound pig, invite TT and have everyone bring a side dish.
The only pig roast I ever went to the pig never got done. It was heart breaking. (seriously, I wanted some of that pig!)”
“I was just at a pig roast this weekend out on the ice. The pig was excellent.”
“7 - 8 hours for a 75 lb pig seems short. I seem to remember 12 hours.”
whadda link. I had my turkey sandwich most of the way down when I saw the picture accompanying the instructions on how to spit the pig!
I will look forward to your friends advice.
Renting a smoker/roaster hadn't occured to me. I will look into it!
thanks for the good ideas!!!!!”
““I was just at a pig roast this weekend out on the ice. The pig was excellent.”
It was nice knowin' Hog On Ice..........(sniff)”
“We do one every year for July 4. I'll post some pics of our cooker, not much on the professional looking side. But you can build it pretty easily and cheaply.
How much work are you wanting to put in?”
“no no no that was a Pig On Ice - it don't get to be a Hog On Ice until it passes 250 lbs
btw for ideas on cooking that pig see http://hogonice.com/ - no relation to me but an interesting website anyways”
“Sorry Lee. But you know how to spit the pig now, right? =)”
Not sure on the work end of things.
let's put it this way.
The idea of roasting a pig for 8 hours doesn't bother me at all.
I saw one set up that required a cinder block structure . . ..
I guess . . .lazy S.O.B. that i am . ..i'd rathe rnot have a pile of cinder blocks and crap that I have to dispose of later.
My wife would freak if I had to get to intimate with the pig . . . (think Artex) . . .
I guess I am thinking, that if I could get a portable roaster set up from someone, and have the pig dressed out and spit for me . . .I'd be good to go.”
“Mine is of the cinder block variety. But you can get all the materials in the back of a pickup. However, renting a big smoker would probably be your best bet, it automatically has indirect heat and it would be better insulated. This cuts down on cooking time and amount of wood you need.
If you like to grill, this is your super bowl of grilling. Lots of stoking the fire, basting and injecting the meat, and plenty of time to drink beer in between.
Both my roommates were from south carolina, so we would use a mustard/vinegar injection and bbq sauce. Very good. We just pulled it all and put it in big tins, then poured the sauce over it.”
“Lee, we have a couple tool rental places around here that rent huge bbqs w/ spits. Maybe in your area too? I'd check party rental places too.”
“Sass et al
Yup. My son's asst coach on basketball owns a rental place, so I'll try him first.
Its a good idea. There is also a great butcher shop not too far from me.”
“"My wife would freak if I had to get to intimate with the pig."
That line makes me think of a pic I took of my brother at a wedding we attended a year and a half ago. I dared him to do it... the guy behind him is the guy that was roasting the pig. The look on his face is great. He did get a laugh out of it but it took a few seconds for it to register w/ him...
(the pics just before it is the pig in the roaster)”
“The look is like "Liquor up these Michigan boys and they'll do anything".”
“Lee, if you have difficulty finding a spit rental, try asking your butcher for a recommendation.”
“okay . . .
Here's what I got.
A rotissierre made for pigs for $116 for a weekend rental.
A committment from my best friend to do whatever it takes to help out.
he turns 40 about a month before me . . .so I can buy his help by calling it a co-party.
i warned him that this very likely will include wrestling this thing onto the spit.
the guy at the rental place reminded me of a commericial meat market just around the corner from them that would like have pigs.
I may be in business . . .except technique/basting/recipe/etc et cetc”
“Eons ago, when I was in college, they did a pig roast and the university "chef" supervised it. It wasn't done and the beer continued to flow. Finally when they declared it done we got shreds of the beast on a bun.
Make sure someone there knows what they're doing.”
“Lee, my e mail is Nigal@care2.com. Ya know, just in case ya want to send me an invite and direction to your house. LOL!”
“Beware, if Nigal knows I'll find out one way or another. You can avoid any trouble or damage to Nigal by just telling me where the party is. I'll invite you to my 40th bday party if you do. =)”
“I did a pig roast last fall. It was about 60lbs, and enough to feed a small army. We dug a 4x4 pit about 5" deep, and placed a home made grill on cinder blocks over the pit. We used wood chip bricketts for the fire, and marinated the pig overnight in orange mango and fresh garlic. Cover the pig in banana leaves to hold in heat and moisture and work the coals to keep an even heat source. It took about 5-6 hours. It was awesome! Make sure you have plenty of beer on hand, and you'll have a blast.”
Before you do this
“you may want to read this story.
“good lord, people. A pig ROAST is when you honor a cop at a banquet and everyone tells bag jokes about him.
A pig PICKIN is when you slow cook a porker for 12 hours over hickory coals while consuming vast quantities of alcohol.”
“Hey, how about roasting the pig the way they do in Hawaii-- in a big sandy pit?
I think they start by building a big fire and put large rocks in the pit (which absorb the heat)... Wrapping up the pig with Large leaves (I'm not sure, but I think they are "Ti" leaves and then wrapping the pig in a few layers of burlap. Then they bury the beast in the dirt... :-)
I'm pretty sure this takes all day long, but the meat is very tender and juicy when done...
“Try to just cook the whole shoulders for the first time. They are easier to handle and cook much easier than a whole hog. Not many people eat the whole thing anyway (unless they are real drunk). But that goes along with the territory during a pig roast. The pork shoulders can be had for a good price if you shop around. Put them skin side down and during cooking rock them or move them around to prevent them from sticking. I went to a pig roast one time and the cooks found out how much trouble it was going to be to turn the pig and we wound up quartering it and cooking it that way. They still got to put an apple in its mouth for affect! BTW get a meat thermometer and make certain the meat is done, about 160 degrees throughout. I do not tell everyone but here is the best way to marinate pork on a BBQ: Mix 2 parts of Vinegar to one part lemon juice and add salt and pepper to taste. This is an old favorite marinate and the vinegar helps break down the meat enzymes or something to that affect and the citrus does the same. This may sound wierd but try it with a small amount and you will like it. After the meat is done we make a new batch (you don't want raw meat contaminating your cooked meat) to sprinkle over the pulled meat. I have been BBQing this way for years and now have a pit in my backyard. It holds about 5-6 shoulders and is lined with fire brick so it takes less coals to cook with. This is a day long, or night long process so be patient and good eating!”
“The BBQ King speaks!!”
“If you do cook a whole pig grill up some brats first, about 20 or so, place them and as much saurkraut as will fit into the chest and belly cavity of the pig and sew him up. The saurkraut keeps the pig moist and then takes on the flavor of the pork. Works good with bear too.”
““How big a pig do you need ?
70 -80 Lb is a pretty big pig.”
Actually, that is a small pig.
I don't think a 70# pig will feed 40 people and $800 is robbery.
Start checking the slaughter houses in rural areas. Carcass pork should be no more than a couple dollars a pound. Request a #2 hog with about an inch of backfat over the last rib. The key to cooking a whole hog is to think slow. I cook a hundred and twenty pound hog over indirect heat at about 235 for 24 hours. Over direct heat, keep the pig flesh side down over coals about 22 inches away for about 18 hours, then flip and cook skin side down another six. You want the coals to be where you can hold your hand at the level of the grill for a couple of seconds.
Before putting the hog on the grill, rub it down with canning salt. Work it into all crevices and all over the skin. Baste every 30 minutes with 1/2 Wickers and 1/2 Apple Juice. If you can find some apple wood, soak it in water and add it to the coals for the first 8 hours or so.
Charcoal will work for either direct or indirect and there is a difference in charcoal. If you can find Hollands Hickory charcoal, use it. Plan on using about 120 to 140 pounds to cook the hog. Once you have the charcoal bed, you can just add a couple pounds every 30 minutes or so to keep a good bed of coals.
While it isn't a hard job to cook a whole hog, it helps to see someone do it before attempting.
And whatever you do, don't put any #&%!$ing sourkraut in the damn pig.”
“chili goes whole hog!!!
Tara, that's just awful!!”
“Wow! Chili's from Tennessee where, I gather, pig roasting is a required course in primary school.
I'd go with his instructions.
Up here we use maple wood which burns down to beautiful, long lasting coals in far less time than briquettes (I don't use them for that reason, preferring real charlcoal when I barbequeue in the summer). We built a portable roaster from a heating oil tank and a spit and electric motor drive with reducing gears that was made by a local electrician. We turn and baste an 80 lb pig for about ten hours.
My buddy is an overboard sorta guy and likes to stuff the pig with venison and the odd (very odd) goose and lots and lots of oranges.
Commercial roasters round here have a lid, otherwise the pig must be kept away from any wind or it will never cook. Well sheltered, 8 - 10 hours will do it - plan on people arriving at the 8 hour point and do a little (LITTLE?) drinking as the pig finishes.
Stuff with oranges and use a good dry rub anjd baste constantly. In my experience it's a two or more man job.
If you use a spit you need to be able to remove the spit and place it and the pig on a (picnic) table to tighten the wire as the pig shrinks from cooking - this is when you drop the pig.
Thanks for the link, Griz, it was a hoot.
Good luck and please keep us posted,
You guys (and sass too) ROCK
“Thanks for all the great input.
I will look at the pig rotissere at the rental place this weekend. . .and price out pigs.
that way, if I am able to get a couple of more quotes on having it done . ..I'll have a point of reference.
Good ideas for basting. I will be sure to print out this thread at some point.
I limbed an old apple tree last fall. I have a pretty good amount of wood from it. So if I do it myself, I will definetly be using some apple wood.
I have only been to two pig roasts.
the first was when I was 12, down in Puerto Rice, at my father's bosses plantation in the mountains. the tenant farmer cooked the pig. On the way up the mountain we passed by the open fire with the spitted pig be turned by hand. It was awesome . . .I had the runs for two days.
Second one was in NYC at age 23. Friend had some friends who were doing two suckling pigs in a pit behind their garden apartment on the upper east side.”
“Get one of these, it's what our BBQ team uses.
We cook whole hogs on it several times a year
“That's what we rent up here, ChuckD.
Be careful, Lee, apple wood burns very hot and doesn't have the long lasting embers that you need to cook.
Maple, hickory, beech and ash are better. Fruit wood isn't a good cooking wood.”
“Don't use the Applewood for coals.
Soak chunks of it in water and put it on the coals for smoke.”
“Y'all are making me hungry!!
I had a pig roast when I came home from a long overseas tour about 10 years ago. Now you've gone and put the idea in my head for a house warming party. SoooWeee!!”
“I had lunch today with my friend who hosts a pig roast every year. She said they get their pig and rent the roaster from the same place, a local butcher. The butcher even puts the pig on the spit for them.”
Cuchon De Lait
“This is how we do it where I come from.
“As Sarabelle would say, "Oh My Goodys!"”
Best Pig Cooker Just got one.
“Try the Caja China,
I'm Dominican, make about 300-500 lbs per year (depends if I'm sharing with other family members) http://www.lacajachina.com by far the best and most moist pig I ever made. The secret is in the Seasonings (garlic,pepper,cilantro,salt,Oregano,mexican corriander,lemon juice, olive oil) & marinade time (3 days) cooking time follow the website I tend to leave it on a bit longer as to make it extra crispy.”
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