The Benefits of a Rotisserie Pig RoastWe are going to show you how to cook a full-sized pig with tender meat and crisp, golden skin. We will also provide pro tips to help you avoid any mistakes. You can use pig roast pits or a rotisserie. Either way, you will have a sensational feast ideal for every season. The more information you have, the more succulent your meat will be. A rotisserie pig roast is an excellent way to bring your neighbors, friends and family together. We have provided the steps you will need to follow to prepare and cook your pig. While your pig is roasting, you can simply enjoy the day while waiting in anticipation for your feast.
Purchasing and Preparing Your PigA suckling pig can be anywhere from two to six weeks of age with a maximum weight of about fifty pounds. You can cook your pig on a roasting spit, on your grill or even in a standard-size oven. Pro Tip: Begin with a pig around twenty pounds. This will help you learn the process easier. You will be able to feed between ten and twelve guests. You will probably have to place a special order with your butcher to purchase a whole pig. You need to ask if your pig will arrive frozen or fresh. If your pig is frozen, you must give it enough time to fully defrost. An average-sized pig will require about 48 hours to completely defrost. Never roast a frozen pig. Your pig will not cook properly and will burn on the outside before your meat is fully cooked. Wrap your frozen pig in plastic. Store it in a safe place where animals are unable to enter for thawing. If your pig is arriving frozen, make certain it is delivered early enough to allow 48 hours for defrosting. Pro Tip: You can defrost your pig in your bathtub, a large plastic tub or in a cardboard box in your garage. If your pig is arriving fresh, you have two choices. You can keep your pig in a cooler on ice or in a spare refrigerator by removing all of the racks and closing the door. We prefer your second option. Have your pig delivered early on the day of your rotisserie pig roast or pick it up from your butcher. This way, any concern over where you will keep your pig is eliminated. Whether your pig was frozen or fresh, you will need to let it sit at room temperature for about an hour before you start cooking. Your meat will always cook better when it is at room temperature as opposed to being cold. Allow extra time if you intend to brine or marinate your pig. This must be done prior to your pig roast. Make certain you ask your butcher exactly how your pig will arrive. The majority of pigs are already prepared for cooking. This means the internal organs and hair have already been removed. If your pig is not coming already prepped, you will need a second person to help you clean and prepare your pig for cooking.
Flavoring Your Pig
You will need to flavor your pig. If you cook your pig without adding flavoring first, your meat will have a bland taste. The good news is pork is ideal for both brining and marinating. You will also need to protect the more delicate areas of your pig. One of the most popular and delicious parts is the ears. If you do not protect them, they will burn.
The best way to protect both the ears and the snout is to use a nonstick oil or spray on a piece of parchment paper. Use this to cover the delicate areas. You can keep the parchment in place by covering it with a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil. This will ensure your entire pig is tender, crispy and juicy without any burned areas.
There are a lot of different recipes for preparing a whole pig for roasting. One of the most popular is brining. For this method, you will use a solution of water and salt. This will not only tenderize your meat but moisture will be retained in the muscle fibers. If you intend to brine your pig, you will need to place your pig in a large tub, cover it with your brine solution and let it sit overnight.
Brining will infuse your pig with flavor while keeping your meat moist and succulent. Your meat will not become tough or dry out. Pro Tip: You can add extra flavor to your brining solution by adding plenty of herbs, hot peppers, oranges or lemons.
To make certain your brining solution completely penetrates your whole pig, inject your solution into the thickest areas of your meat. This will ensure all of your meat has been brined as opposed to just the surface cuts. We also recommend basting your pig. This will ensure your meat has a dark, thick, caramelized coating on the surface of your pig. This will also prevent the superficial meat and skin from becoming dry.
You will need to keep basting your whole pig while it is cooking, especially when the surface begins to look dry. There are a lot of options for your basting mixture and the ingredients you use to add flavor. We recommend olive oil, fruit juices, lemon juice, wine and herbs. You can further enhance your flavor and improve your caramelization by using sugar or honey.
Pro Tip: Do not use a lot of sugar on the surface of your pig. This will cause your meat to burn if the temperature gets too hot.
Another important part of cooking your pig is your sauce. Some of our favorite sauces include:
- An exotic barbeque sauce
- Balsamic reduction
- Mustard seed
- Brandy fig sauce
- Peach rosemary sauce
- Citrus glaze with oregano and oranges
- Cherry balsamic sauce
- Curried ketchup
Rotisserie Pit Grilling
Using a rotisserie is critical for cooking your whole pig. If you use a rack to support your pig over the fire, your pig will be stationary. This means one side will be raw while the other will be crispy and burnt. The only way to make certain your pig is evenly cooked all the way through is by using a rotisserie. There is no way you will be able to turn over your pig while it is cooking.
It is practically impossible to manually turn an entire pig by hand over a hot fire. Even attempting to do so will lead to a disaster. You will most likely burn yourself or char your eyebrows and arms at the very least. The best possible solution is a sturdy hog rotisserie. This is critical to your success. You can purchase a whole hog rotisserie from your choice of companies.
Pro Tip: Make certain the rotisserie you purchase has been weight tested for more than the weight of your whole pig. This will ensure your rotisserie can easily hold, turn and support the weight.
One of the most critical aspects of cooking your whole pig is making certain your pig is properly trussed to your rotisserie. Your pig will loosen, shift and move while cooking. The muscle fibers will separate from the bone and pull apart. This means your entire pig can fall off your spit. The only way to prevent this disaster is by tightly and aggressively trussing your pig to the spit.
Place your spit between the thighs, inside the body and out through the mouth. Secure the spine of your pig using heavy-duty kitchen twine and large trussing every six inches. Tie your twine as tightly as you can ensuring you make your knots on the back. Use kitchen shears to cut off any excess twine to prevent it from burning.
You also need to tightly truss the legs, thighs and hips so they are held securely against each other and your spit. Do the same with the head and shoulders of your pig. You need to prevent your pig from wiggling while roasting. Your pig must move along with your spit.
The process of roasting an entire pig requires a lot of time. This process should never be rushed or you will have dry meat and burnt skin. Use a pig roasting time chart to determine the length of time you will need to roast your meat according to the weight. Cook your pig slowly at about 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on your temperature and the weight of your pig, your cooking time can be anywhere from four to 24 hours.
When you think your pig is done, check the internal temperature using your meat thermometer. Check the shoulders and hams since these will finish cooking last. The ideal internal temperature is 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
Your Final Masterpiece
There is nothing quite like watching your neighbors and friends enjoy a whole pig you have roasted. By following our instructions and pro tips you will ensure your pig is juicy, crispy and incredibly tender. Have fun with your seasonings and sauce for an unforgettable day.