Find a Pig. The phone book or an internet search is a good start. Most
places that sell whole pigs also rent roasters. You will probably need
a trailer hitch to haul the roaster home.
Step Two: Determine the Size. Pigs are generally about 60% meat.
A 50 pound pig will yield about 30 pounds of meat. Our experience is that
at a pig roast, everyone will have a piece of pig even if you have other
food available. You can figure 4 to 6 ounces per person, so a 50 pound
pig will serve 80-120 people depending on their appetites.
Step Three: Decide If You Want the Pig Mounted on a Spit. We have
gone both ways on this. Once we bought the pig from a farmer and rented
the roaster separately. We had to stick the pole through the cavity and
tie the pig to the spit. Not really that fun. Then we had to remove the
legs so it fit in the roaster. Also not that fun. Our recommendation is
to get it mounted if possible. Some roasters use a cage for mounting which
is very easy to use especially at carving time. Suggestion: Have it mounted
Step Four: Pumped or Not? The pig should be pumped or injected
to help keep it juicy through the slow cooking process. In fact, most
pork you buy in the grocery store is injected with water up to 7%. The
butcher should offer to pump it for you but if you are adventurous you
can do it yourself. You should inject the pig up to about 30%. That means
the if a gallon of water weighs 8 pounds and the amount of meat you have
is 30 pounds you should inject 9 pounds of water or a little over a gallon.
We injected it with a spice solution concocted from the 4/S seasoning.
It turned out great. The spices need to be semi soluble or small enough
not to clog the injector. You will need a meat pump from a butcher supply
and something to help pierce the skin. Itís a bit of a hassle but it really
makes the pig roast your own.
Step Five: Timing. The pig needs to be slow roasted. Our experience
has been the longer the better. Both pigs that we have done were over
100 pounds. The first one we roasted for about 8 hours and it could have
gone longer. You want it fall off the bone tender if possible. The second
one we roasted for 11 hours and it was great but it still could have gone
longer without a problem. Plan in plenty of roasting time. Once it is
roasting there is not too much to do except keep the fire going. We add
more coal every hour. If you want to start it early in the morning you
will need to keep it cold overnight. Spread some plastic on the garage
floor. Set the pig on it and pack it with plenty of ice. They first pig
we did we used a childís swimming pool.
Step Six: Carving and Serving: Now it is show time. Your guests have been
watching and smelling the pig roast and the anticipation is building.
Some people will not want to watch and others will be fascinated by the
process. We used an 8 foot plastic table for carving but a work bench
covered in plastic will do just fine. Whatever works. You will need 2
or 3 people to get the job done. One person to carve and one or two to
ďpullĒ the pork apart with forks. Some parts will be tender enough to
just slice and other parts will need to be shredded with forks. You can
mix the shredded meat with a BBQ sauce, if you like, make sandwiches or
whatever you like. We chose to go for the plain pig experience and it
Thatís about it. Remember, your best resource is the person that sells
you the pig. Good luck and have fun.