There are several different methods for cooking a whole hog like smokers, pits and your La Caja China boxes.
Here are a few tips that you need to follow to have a pig roast that not only tastes good, but looks good enough for your presentation too.
Pig Roast Tips
Pig Roast Tip# 1: Stay about 12″ away from your heat source.
Your cooking time is going to vary depending on the size of your hog and the method you are using to smoke it… but if you are using an 80lb hog (which is what I would recommend to get started with) then it should take you approx. 8-10 hours at about 250 degrees if you stay about 12″ away from the heat source. You don’t want to be too close – and you don’t want to be too far away.
Pig Roast Tip # 2: Keep Your Sweet Stuff On The Inside
You should avoid putting anything sweet on the outside of the pig until an hour before it is finished. If you use a glaze with a high sugar content any longer than an hour, it will burn. It is best to make an injection that is sweet and put as much of this sweetness inside the meat as possible. This is exactly what we do for the 150-200 lb hogs that we smoke.
Pig Roast Marinade
Pig Roast Tip # 3: Always Inject
A good injection is 64oz Apple Juice mixed with 1 cup Sugar, 1 cup Corn Syrup or Molasses, and 1 cup Finely Ground Dry Rub ( the rub has to be a fine powder or it will clog your injector). You can make up 4 batches of this and inject it into the Shoulders, Hams, Loins, and along the sides (where the bacon is located).
Pig Roast Tip # 4: Keep your Pig Belly-Up
If you have the option – smoke your pig belly-up. The body of the pig will act like a bowl and self-marinate with the injections and the rendered fat.
Pig Roast Tip # 5: Make A Little Appetizer For Your Friends
Some people recommend packing the cavity with is fresh sausage. Some also pack it around the loins and ribs to keep these areas from drying out. Many people use chicken, pork butts, or slab bacon in the cavity. Though, a handful may be a bit hesitant to use chicken because of possible cross contamination and improper cooking temperatures, but these are all ideas you can experiment with.
Pig Roast Tip # 6: Always Dry Rub
Make sure to apply your dry rub to any exposed meat. I also rub on a thin coat of regular yellow mustard before applying the dry rub. It helps it to stick to the meat really well and give the meat a great flavor.
Pig Roast Presentation
Pig Roast Tip # 7: Presentation Is The Most Important Part
You want to spray the outer skin with cooking spray or rub it down with a vegetable oil. This will make it have a really nice “tan” color instead of a dark burnt look. You can even wrap the ears, snout, and tail in aluminum foil to keep them from turning to dark. It’s basically an appearance thing but you want the end result to look good as well as taste great.
To begin your pig roasting agenda, view more of our roasters at http://www.LaCajaChina.com. To get detailed instructions on how to roast a pig, you can now download our eBook for free. This will serve as your step by step guide to the perfect Pig Roast.