Roast a Pig – The Challenge
While some look at whole pig roasting as a cumbersome process, others take up pig roasting as a challenge and enjoy accomplishing this ‘not so easy’ task. Pig roasting is a tradition enjoyed by many across the globe. For example, Il Buco of New York conducts its annual pig festival called ‘Sagra del Maiale’, to commemorate the autumn equinox, when the day and night are of equal length. They prepare a bonfire and slow-roast a 200lb heritage Ossabaw pig. This occasion is a much awaited one and people from all over New York come to enjoy the occasion. Those of us who cannot make it to Il Buco and would like to roast a pig in the backyard can follow some easy pig roasting instructions mentioned below.
Instructions to Roast a Pig
Purchasing the Hog
Getting hold of a whole hog in the urban areas can be quite difficult as not many are sold. However, if you do manage to find a local butcher who is willing to order a whole hog for you, then give him a seven day notice in advance. Have the pig scaled and de-haired but do not get the skin off. The pig roast with the skin on does look kind off gross, but it’s the skin that keeps holds the meat together while roasting. For people with average appetites, one pound dressed meat would serve perfectly for one person each.
Depending on the size of pig you want to roast, you could get your spit basket. Remember, whatever, size spit basket you purchase, the size of the pig purchased should be 8 inches smaller. A full size adult hog can weight somewhere around 100 lbs. The stores have a variety of pig roaster rotisseries for you to choose from. For smaller roasts you could get the suckling pig, which comes typically under a size of 20lbs. For small roasts a smaller fire pit rotisserie would do. Besides the rotisserie, you will need meat pans, sharp knives, carving boards and a strong table.
Preparing the Pig
Open the pork by the belly, do not cut or poke holes into the upper or side skin. You can now prepare the brine solution. Inject this into the meat and not into the skin, every three to four inches. Use the proper syringe for doing this. Check the thickness of the meat, and this is how you will determine the solution to be injected.
Next, turn the pork over, and wet the skin with the same solution. Now, evenly apply salt all over the pig. Blend and strain your favorite spices. Once done, tie the pig in between the racks. Place the racks with the pig ribs on top of the grease tray.
Close the Caja China with the ash pan and charcoal grid. It is vital that at the time of roastng, the pig or other meat should be at room temperature. Bear in mind that there are a few things that can turn your roast pig into a “roast disaster.” One of them is if your meat is not at room temperature prior to roasting.
Prepare the Charcoal for Pig Roasting
Choose a charcoal that lights fast, burns even and lasts a long time – something like Kingsford Charcoal. NEVER use instant charcoal.
You can start with 14 lbs for Caja China model number one, and 16lbs for Caja China model number two. Place the charcoal in two piles of equal side, and put them at the end of each charcoal tray. Do not place the charcoal around the center of the tray.
Then, you can light the charcoal by adding fluid. Spread it evenly over the grid. Fill the tray completely then make a pile on the center of the tray. Bear in mind that if your charcoal distribution is done incorrectly and your charcoal tray has been lifted prior to the designated time – it may ruin the roast.
How to Roast a Pig
After the first hour, remove charcoal tray and place it on the wire rack , flip meat or fowl. When you flip the pork leg or shoulder, small cuts should be made into the skin. Now, the charcoal tray should be back on top again. This time, add 5lbs more of charcoal, and continue to roast.
You can add charcoal two more times for the next two hours, but be sure to distribute it evenly throughout the tray. After three hours, you can lift the charcoal grid, shake and remove the ashes, remove the ash pan and dump the ashes.
Turn the pork over and cut the skin, every four to six inches. Then, replace the ash pan and charcoal grid with charcoal on top of the box and continue the roasting process for crispy skin. You can check the skin in 30 minutes, by slightly opening the box at one of the corners. Do this continuously for ten minutes until the skin is crispy.
Here’s to your new delicious and delectable meal!
To view more of our roasters, visit our website 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 roast a pig.