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Pig roast


HowardLi
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I'll be receiving a 75-90lb pig tomorrow afternoon for use on Saturday. I know, it's later than I should've got it, but it's my friend's thing and his contacts all fell through.

Anyway, assuming we want to start eating at a reasonable time on Saturday (say 7PM), what would be the best plan of action starting tomorrow? The pig will be drained, of course, but I am not sure if it will have some organs still attached. I do want to brine. The rotisserie is set up.

Thanks

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No experience with brining a whole pig, but cooking it should take you 8-10 hours. Indirect heat is best. Give it 1/8 turn every ~15 min or so if your set up allows it. Are you cooking over wood?

Martin Mallet

<i>Poor but not starving student</i>

www.malletoyster.com

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I was thinking of doing an equilibrium brine /w 1% and 0.4% wt/wt of salt and sugar respectively, but due to time constraints I expect to be able to brine only for about 12 hours depending on how long you guys think it will take to fully cook the pig. Should I increase the concentrations, and if so, by how much?

Is it better to brine longer, or to cut the brine time even shorter (by an hour or two) to allow the pig to come closer to room temp?

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Another note: a pig this size has a lot of thermal mass. I pulled the one I cooked out of the cold room the evening before and left it out (wrapped) overnight: it was still very cold the next morning, nowhere near room temperature. You might not have time to get a very effective brine, but I'm not expert on that. You could always sprinkle salt on afterwards (not as blasphemous as it might sound).

Martin Mallet

<i>Poor but not starving student</i>

www.malletoyster.com

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No experience with brining a whole pig, but cooking it should take you 8-10 hours. Indirect heat is best. Give it 1/8 turn every ~15 min or so if your set up allows it. Are you cooking over wood?

No, charcoal.

The spit has an electric motor on it that will allow for constant rotation - hence the use of the word "rotisserie" in OP.

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Although I don't eat pork, I have been at a few pig roasts. None were a small as yours. Basically, they used a combination of a dry rub and spices inserted into the pig. Then the pig was placed on a spit and chicken wire was put around it to keep it from falling into the fire. The spit setup was manual, with a semi indirect fire. The spit was turned by the human rotator, with an ice chest of beer on the other side of the chair. There was no lack of volunteers. 8-12 hours later, when a thermometer was jabbed into the pig and it read the correct temperature, it was done.

From the remains, which were bones, it was evident that those eating it had a good time. Since the roast took place on a farm, a pit was dug under the pig. By the way, the dogs devoured the cast off bones, sort like Henry VII, which were usually thrown over the shoulder.

Edited by Mikels (log)
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How big is that rotisserie? Must have the motor of champions.

Don't know, haven't seen it in person yet.

The motor doesn't need to be that big to maintain speed.

A 5 cu ft cement mixer only uses 0.5 HP motor.

A heavy duty clothes washer also uses around 0.5 hp motor.

A 1/4 hp motor is plenty to rotate a pig.

dcarch

Edited by dcarch (log)
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Rotisserie? No thanks. Too much work -- flare ups, hot spots, stoking, adding coals, basting. What an effort.

I'll go Cuban.

1) Inject pig with a few GALLONS of mojo criollo. Toss a few onions and other aromatics in the cavity.

2) Dig a trench in the yard somewhere.

3) Build a big horkin charcoal fire in the trench. Do this in the late evening.

4) When coals are even, cover with damp burlap. Then cover the burlap with banana leaves.

5) Place pig on leaves. Cover with more leaves, more damp burlap and then cover with a mound of sand.

6) See you tomorrow, amigo.

Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

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How many Poster have ever actually done a whole pig of this size?

You do not need to brine, in fact it will be counter productive.

Remove internals and use separately.

Salt and black pepper are all you need for seasoning, the pig and the charcoal will do the rest.

This will require at least two people to manage off and on the rotisserie.

Constant rotation is the best. The 'Cuban Method' too often results in non-uniform product.

Lump hardwood is best and about 250F if you can control temp.

If pig is ice cold, let warm up for a few hours before starting cooking.

This size pig will need at least 12 hours but a meat therm on the shoulder and leg bone will be your determination when done.

The pig will have to rest for about an hour after removing from spit and then you should have heavy rubber gloves for at least two people who can take the pig apart with hands and knives. Allow one hour for deboning and have hotel trays with foil covers to hold pig hot until you finish deboning.

It's a simple process if you have the equipment, hardwood charcoal, at least two strong people to mange the pig and the time. Good luck.-Dick

Edited by budrichard (log)
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I have, many times

1, A pig has most of its weight at both ends, so build two small fires with nothing, or only the gravy pan in the middle.

2. You are aiming for an end temperature in the centre of the thickest part (the butt) of at least 60C/140F

3. Build an enclosure to keep the heat in, so it acts like a slow oven. Here I used aluminium siding and a couple of builders trestles

4. I serve with in a hamburger bun with sage and onion stuffing and apple sauce. The stuffing (Paxo, made from a packet but with more water) helps the meat go further

5. Reckon 1 lb whole pig weight per person. There is a lot of waste and inedible bits - bones, etc. Make brawn from the head

6. Organise a production line to serve - on person carving, others stuffing buns and adding sides.

Enjoy!

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I have not cooked a whole pig before. I have seen it once done in Canada by a Chinese place, and many times on youtube.

It seems to me there is never any problem in cooking a pig until the meat is done. It take time, a big enough fire pit and a lot of muscle. The biggest challege is in how do you cook the meat and have perfectly crispy skin on the entire pig.

You will agree the Chinese really have perfected the making of roasted pig for centuries.

dcarch

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I go pretty basic when I do them. I don't brine, usually just a spice rub all over. I do marinate from time to time, the one below was just soaked in a mojo marinade over night. I always go charcoal and rotiss although our rotiss is manual. The basic rule is each time you finish a beer give the pig a quarter turn! You won't have to worry about that with a motor though!

I do take the internal temps a little higher than mentioned, I don't always check but I wait until a probe goes in with very little resistance in the legs and shoulders, probably around 180 or so.

For the fuel set up I also use hard wood charcoal a mound on each side of pig with just a few lit coals to start. We aim for around 250 degrees to 300 at pig height. I do baste the skin from time to time as well. Hope this helps a bit!

Remember there are a million ways to do it though as mentioned and they all have there own merits!

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Clark

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