DIY Hog Roast experience

I thought I would share my experiences of a hog roast I did last year for my sons first birthday.

Earlier this year I expanded my burgeoning cookbook collection with the RC Meat book, the section on open fire cooking sparked something in my imagination, especially the section on the Hog Roast. And being the sort of guy who loves to cook for a crowd and loves a challenge decided to take up HFW’s gauntlet to cook a whole animal, so I said to my wife, “I’ll do a Hog Roast for our sons first birthday”………

So I spent a lot of time researching, especially some fascinating US sites, and decided to go for a simple motorised spit over a firepit.

I managed to find a spit motor on the bay of e rated for 45kg, and when the motor arrived, I decided that it needed to be beefed up, so a friend who was excited with the prospect offered to create a spit, I was very grateful.

The design was nice and simple with 2 uprights and a 6ft spit that would slot into the motor.

The next thing needed was a pig, I approached a local butcher who could obtain one, and the nice people with a small holding over the road, who showed me a lovely free range berkshire who would be a perfect size, so I went for the local option. The pig was around 28kg a perfect size.

The day before the party, the pig turned up, I injected the meat with peach juice, slashed the skin with a stanley knife, and rubbed in salt, pepper and fennel seeds, wrapped the pig in a sheet to keep the flies off, and had an early night.

The next morning I awoke at 5am, and started the fire going with some apple wood i’d cut myself, and some bay branches to give a lovely smokey flavour to the meat. It soon became obvious that the motor wasn’t up to the job, so I came up with a Heath Robinson affair to turn and lock the spit into position.

Everything was going good, I spent the morning keeping the fire going and turning the spit every 20 mins and trying to drive the heat into the thickest part of the pig, the shoulder.

At about 1pm the guests started arriving, and the meat was softening up lovely, and the fat was rendering out, I was using cider to baste the outside of the pig, unfortunately I left a couple of friends in charge as I went away to sort things out and the fat flared up  and burnt the shoulders more than I would have liked, but it was a fine line between getting the heat into the meat without burning the skin. I think there was a good 30-40% perfect crackling which I was happy with for a first attempt.

I carved up the meat, and it was served with bread rolls, salad and homemade apple sauce, everyone loved it!

After the day I was heard saying i’m never doing another hog roast again……….

….but what next…..a lamb…a deer…….a cow perhaps!

What is certain i’ll need an even stronger motor and spit setup……

or maybe i’ll just do what everyone else does and have a few bangers on a bbq?

See this guys blog, who had a go at doing a Hogroast, very impressive.

9 responses to this post.

  1. Great read Marcus … I too hosted a Pig roast with great success this past summer … check out my blog post “If you Roast it, they will come. Spit Roasted Pig, 101” (August 22 2013) Stay hungry friend !! 🙂

    Reply

  2. Wow! Looks delicious. I am intrigued by the peach juice though.

    Reply

  3. I’ve done a few good hog roasts……the first one I did looked similar to yours with the pig very high up in the air to keep it out of the flames. It was a bugger to cook at that height as the wind blows the heat away. I then made a purpose built hog roaster and used hardwoods such as oak and birch that doesn’t give much flame and managed to get the hog much closer to the hot coals. Done quite a few since but then I bought the GMG pellet smoker and the hog roasting machine was redundant.

    Reply

  4. Posted by Mike Wilson on June 2, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    Interesting Blog, my friend Mark Coates built an electric spit for a hog roast & used a car windscreen wiper motor, worked a treat as its slow & quite torquey.

    Reply

  5. Sounds great, any pictures of the final setup ?

    Reply

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