Whole hog BBQ - the Mount Everest of meat
August 26th, 2011
09:15 AM ET
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By now you’ve probably spent the summer putting perfect grill marks on skirt steaks and even smoked an entire pork shoulder.

Perhaps you have even made your own barbecue sauce and realized it's better than anything you could buy in a jar. Or maybe they know you by name when you walk into your local grill supply store and you count the days until the weekend when you can get up before dawn to start cooking barbecue that wont be ready until sundown.

But deep down you know that until you cook a whole pig you just have been playing it safe.

For years my older brother Justin and I have plotting to rise to that challenge. Although we both love to grill and eat barbecue we have slightly different approaches to cooking.

Justin is never without a barbecue thermometer. I tend to use "the poke it with your finger" technique to determine doneness. He cooks with liquid nitrogen and recently shelled out for a sous vide machine. I on the other hand am a firm believer that a cold beverage is your most important cooking accessory.

But if we were going to cook a whole pig for fifty of our friends and family without having to order a lot of pizzas at the end of the night, we’d have to combine our different approaches.

With about a month to go before the big day we began scouring our favorite cooking blogs and BBQ sauce splattered recipes for inspiration. Would we go North Carolina-style? Hawaiian? Bury it underground the way they cook pigs in Mexico. Putting it in a “Caja China” box covered with charcoal like I have seen done in Panama?

In “Mastering the Grill,” one of my favorite BBQ books, I was a little intimidated to read their description of cooking a whole pig as an advanced, "grill project." And this from the same authors who call for a leaf blower in one recipe.

An e-mail from my brother laying out our “pig plan” put me at ease. The one page, single-spaced cooking itinerary called for a ton of ingredients and a 48-hour strategy for brining and slow cooking the pig. It would be plenty of work but at the end we would have delicious barbecued pork to serve.

On the day of the big event we had 60 lbs of organic pig, 20 bags of hard wood charcoal and one rented spit roaster. The pig rested in a large cooler, bathing in the brine we had mixed up. Our Mom had nixed our idea of brining it in a bathtub.

Before we started cooking, we stuffed the pig’s inside with frozen heads of lettuce, stitched it shut with steel wire and tied the whole animal to the spit. Then we stabbed the pig all over with flavor injector syringes to keep the pork from drying out during the slow and low cooking process.

Prior to getting messy with the pig, Justin and I donned thick plastic gloves and heavy garbage bags. Our family decided we looked more like serial killers than grill masters.

“You guys should be in an episode of Dexter,” my sister Alexandra wisecracked.

As soon as we got the pig on the spit, we hit our first snag. The pig’s weight was causing the spit to lurch as the 60 lbs of swine rotated over the coals. I had seen a similar issue develop on a pig cooking video on YouTube. That video and dinner party ended with the pig enveloped in a towering grease fire.

My brother and I took the pig off the coals and tightened the spit until we thought it might break. Back over the heat, the pig still flopped precariously. Luckily, my Dad, Harvey, who has jerry-rigged everything from boat engines to electric circuit breakers, stepped in.

Using thick rope he tied the spit’s loose motor to its legs. The pig still wobbled, but now at least rotated somewhat more steadily.

Having lost an hour fixing the spit, we then discovered another problem. It takes a small mountain of charcoal to cook a whole pig. And getting all that charcoal lit quickly becomes a relay race with a chimney starter in place of the baton. As soon as we had one bag lit and under the pig it was time to get the next one going.

Still, we were falling behind. About three hours into our cooking time, a local chef named Mark stopped by to see how we were doing. He had cooked plenty of whole pigs and as he watched our efforts Mark looked doubtful. “How long until dinner?” He asked. Five more hours to go, we replied. “Get more coals on it,” he advised us.

As our guests arrived, the pig was still turning slowly over the coals. By now we had hoped to have the pig off the spit and resting. But sorting out the spit’s motor and lighting all the charcoal altered that plan.

As our guests sat down, we were still in Dexter outfits, just beginning to slice into the now tender pork.

A quick shower later, I joined the party hoping I wouldn’t have 60 lbs of inedible pig leftovers to eat through. I shouldn’t have worried: by that point most of our guests were lining up for seconds and thirds. The barbecued pork was incredibly juicy with only a faint smokiness to its rich flavor. At the party’s end, Justin and I were already scheming on how to improve upon the next one.

Of course for the price of a whole pig, spit rental and enough charcoal to fill a Prius we could have just taken everyone out to dinner. But then we there are not too many places you can find this kind of delicious barbecue. Or a story like this to go with it.

See all our best grilling advice at Grilling 101

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Filed under: Barbecue • Grilling • How To • Techniques & Tips


soundoff (269 Responses)
  1. John

    THE BEST PORK I HAVE EVER TASTED WAS IN PUERTO RICO. JUST AMAZING. THE CALL IT LECHON ASAO

    June 2, 2014 at 6:28 pm | Reply
  2. Perry P Perkins

    Whole pigs, pork shoulders, briskets, ribs, turkeys, salmon, you name it, it’s all great in La Caja China!

    Great article, thanks!

    – Perry

    Perry P. Perkins
    Author
    “La Caja China Cooking”
    "La Caja China World"

    September 7, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Reply
  3. Panties

    What did they shove up the pig's Hiney Hole? Also, is Oprah Winfrey a Lesbian?

    August 31, 2011 at 2:14 am | Reply
    • Dirk Diggler

      Most men are lesbians.

      August 31, 2011 at 9:26 am | Reply
      • The General

        "There are no real men around anymore, goddamit."

        August 31, 2011 at 9:31 am | Reply
        • "You little monkey fuker!"

          "Check mate! Check mate!"

          November 20, 2012 at 7:58 am |
  4. Lynda

    Though I am from Western North Carolina and prefer BBQ from the pork shoulder only...I can offer a bit of advice for the coals.
    The chimney started relay is not necessary. I am assuming commercial charcoal is your only option and a real BBQ pit is off the table. Layer unlit charcoal first. Then layer lit charcoal on top...continue adding unlit charcoal to the outsides of your fire and use a shovel to rid yourself of ashes and move the lit coals to the center. A few chunks of cured dry hardwood would increase the smokiness if you weren't happy with the current level.

    The right fire is the key to a successful Pig Pickin'

    August 30, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Reply
  5. tazer warrior princess

    Vegan wars! Hurray!
    Meat is bad, mmmmmkay. It's gonna kill you. Kind of like that nasty sun thing. Cancer I tell you. Ruining the world.

    August 29, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Reply
    • Dirk Diggler

      Hey Princess,

      It's all about the furry cute little animals that squeal when they're placed on the BBQ, that's all.

      August 30, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Reply
  6. aron

    Just ask somebody from the Philippines how to roast a whole pig. You won't go wrong.

    August 29, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Reply
    • Scotty

      Its the lechon, aron!

      September 6, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Reply
  7. Shocked

    The pig has the barbeque rotisserie rod shoved up it's anus and through it's mouth. Quite pornographic if you ask me.

    August 29, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Reply
  8. Good Gawd Almighty

    Eat whatever you want,I ain't looking. In fact a Vegan would be pretty tasty right about now.

    August 29, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Reply
  9. Nehemiah

    Pigs are unclean meat and were designated so in the Holy scriptures. Why would God make it unclean for the Jews, but clean for the Christians. They were made 'scavengers' and are still 'scavengers' (unclean) today (2011).

    August 29, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Reply
    • nolongerbound

      1 Timothy 4:4-"For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving,"
      Acts 10:15-"The voice spoke to him a second time, "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean."
      Mark 7:19-"For it doesn't go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body." (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods "clean.")"

      September 6, 2011 at 11:34 am | Reply
  10. Melissa Keller

    Abbyful! Whoever you are, you do not have your facts straight. I have been vegan for 8 years and I have not even been sick once since my transition. Plants and legumes DO supply the most perfect protein, NOT ANIMALS! If a person is vitamin b-12 deficient, the likelihood that they were deficient BEFORE going vegan is VERY HIGH!
    Beefburger, you are WRONG! We are herbivores. Our teeth are not designed to rip into flesh. Try to kill a cow by biting and ripping into the flesh and the fur and eating the raw meat, bone and all, I assure you that you will fail. Our digestive tracts are very long, like vegetarian animals, whereas a carnivores digestive tract is very short. This allows the meat to exit the body quickly. You have never heard of a lion with heart disease and that is why. On the contrary, our digestive tracts are long, so the meat sits there for awhile before exiting the body, thereby causing all kinds of health ailments. Our nails are not designed to rip into flesh, either. If we were meant to eat meat, we would be able to eat it raw without getting sick. Clearly that is not the case. Also, our jaws move up and down and from side to side, just like vegetarian animals, whereas a carnivores jaw only moves up and down. Also, the enzymes in our saliva that are used to break down foods are the same as vegetarian animals. I find that meat eaters will say anything to maintain their meat eating ways and I see that you do the same. Get the facts straight. I would advise for you to watch a documentary called Forks Over Knives. Learn something. In fact, all of you should watch it.

    August 29, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Reply
    • Anne Sullivan

      I'm so glad I picked your sister, Helen, to tutor instead of you. She was a much better student – even blind & deaf.

      August 29, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Reply
    • Overlord

      You're missing out on a lot in life Miss Veggie. However I'm sure you have no problems with bowel movements.

      August 29, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Reply
      • Anne Sullivan

        She just posted a movement with her comment.

        August 29, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Reply
    • Dirk Diggler

      Humans are omnivores. Also, those pointy teeth near the front of our mouths are called canines, and they're purpose is to eat meat.

      August 29, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Reply
    • abbyful

      Melissa Keller,

      There are no efficent plant sources of B-12, B-12 comes from animal sources. Your logic is completely backwards thinking that the only vegans who are deficient where deficient while eating animal products; but stopping eating animal products, in your mind, doesn't cause a deficiency? Sorry, but that is backwards. I'm not a fan of the vegan diet, but I will say that any vegan dietary site that one should even consider listening to if they want to try being vegan will be adament on B-12 supplementation and/or foods artificially fortified with B-12.

      Certain combinations can supply nearly complete proteins, but not 100% complete.
      Quote from Harvard University: "Animal sources of protein tend to be complete. Other protein sources lack one or more "essential" amino acids—that is, amino acids that the body can't make from scratch or create by modifying another amino acid. Called incomplete proteins, these usually come from fruits, vegetables, grains, and nuts."

      You are incorrect that we are herbivores. In fact, not a single species in our genus has been a herbivore, all have been omnivores. You are trying to classify us as either herbivore or carnivore, we are neither, we are OMNIVORES. Yes, we have a longer digestive system than carnivores because it takes a longer digestive system to break down plant matter, not because meat needs to go through us quickly.

      Humans CAN and DO eat meat raw. Steak tartare, carpaccio, ceviche, raw sushi/sashimi, etc. The reason we often cook meat is to get a different flavor/texture and because in our modern society we don't get incredibly fresh meat, it's been sitting at the grocery store for a week.

      "Forks Over Knives" is a propagand video, pure and simple.

      August 29, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Reply
  11. travis rox sox

    im bord pigs is a good subject

    August 29, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Reply
  12. Snorlax

    Every vegan i know is a retard. Every one.

    August 29, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Reply
    • Richard

      Can't believe I am going to do this but here goes. Vegan or Vegetarian diets do not make people retards. Being uneducated does though. Your statement is to vague, and has no backing. I am not a vegan or vegetarian but I have no problem with people being one either, you eat your vegetables like and animal and I will eat animals like the predators that eat those animals. Thats just the way I see it.

      August 29, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Reply
      • abbyful

        Actually, there has been some research published on how eating large amounts of soy have negative impacts on the brain. Granted, being vegetarian/vegan doesn't neceesarily mean you eat lots of soy, and non-vegetarians may also eat large quantities of soy; but most vegans use soy as a stand-in for meat, milk, etc. and do eat large quantities. (Not-so-fun-fact: Americans actually eat MORE soy than Asians; and ours is served up in ways far less healthy, Asians eat soy more as a condiment and prefer fermented soy like miso and tempeh. Pick up nearly anything in the grocery store that's packaged and it probably has ingredients that derivied from soy, corn, or both.)

        Also there's been research into how babies born to vegan mothers are often a little behind their peers in brain development, they blame B-12 deficiency. (http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200307/vegan-diet-bad-baby)

        August 29, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Reply
    • travis rox sox

      bacons good

      August 29, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Reply
    • Overlord

      All vegetarians are homos.

      August 29, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Reply
  13. nushatka

    You are what you eat, right? This pig looks disgusting. I am not a vegan, but the picture of this pig is so far from apetizing. Yeek.

    August 29, 2011 at 7:54 am | Reply
    • abbyful

      That is because you probably, like many Americans, are out of touch to where your food comes from.

      August 29, 2011 at 8:23 am | Reply
      • Jerv@abbyful

        Right on abbyful! Folks want to shove pork bbq down their pieholes but when they are confronted with how it actually got to their table, they say something ignorant like that.

        August 29, 2011 at 8:34 am | Reply
    • jim

      @abbyful Other than sustaining a totally unwarranted feeling of superiority, what is the value of being "in touch" with where one's food comes from?

      August 29, 2011 at 8:49 am | Reply
      • abbyful

        You seriuosly don't see any value in people understanding where their food comes from? You think it's okay that many kids have no idea eggs come from chickens, milk comes from cows, carrots grow in the ground, etc? And in the political spectrum as well: food safety, farm subsidies, and the like; people that have no clue what goes in farming/ranching are voting on these issues. Or human and environmental issues; there is significant differences between the nutritional quality of livestock raised certain ways; and the effects of the chemicals we spray on our monocrops. We cannot live without food, yet people take it for granted and/or bask in ignorance about the origins of what supports our very lives.

        The state of so many people being woefully and willfully ignorant in this country is scary. This is the same type of attitude that fuels ideas like "blame McDonalds because Americans are fat". Not everyone beleives that the general populus having the sophomoric idea "food comes from the grocery store, end of story" is beneificial on any front.

        August 29, 2011 at 10:11 am | Reply
      • abbyful beo tch slaps jim!

        Spot on abbyful!

        August 29, 2011 at 11:16 am | Reply
      • Richard

        Hey Abby I like your stand here on most things. I too believe that the general public should know the interworking of the food industry but the truth is that they really don't want to. Another fact about that statement is, is that if they did then the food industry either the meat producers or the crops such as corn and soybean industries would catch alot of flack for anything they do. It is better that only 2% of the American people have their hands in the agriculture industry in a way that contributes highly. The one thing in your post that I don't really agree with is the blaming McDonalds for being fat. I do not have to eat there or at any other fast food restraunt for that matter but sometimes I like it. Now I don't eat it all the time but a couple of times a week I will go out and order something small off of their menus just to have a taste. Everybody in america wants to blame something that is their fault on somebody else in some way. We don't like to take responsibility for our actions, but thats just America.

        August 29, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Reply
    • Wile E. Coyote, Super Genius

      Then you may want to stop looking at it.

      August 29, 2011 at 10:24 am | Reply
      • Goober Grape

        LMAO! Now that didn't take a super genius to figure out.

        August 29, 2011 at 10:39 am | Reply
    • Livin' Legend

      Lemme just take care of that for ya. Om nom nom nom.

      August 29, 2011 at 10:42 am | Reply
    • Chuck

      That pig looks perfect... wonderful... delicious.

      August 29, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Reply
  14. Richard

    Hey everybody just thought I would chime in on this one. That pig looks delicious. All you people that don't agree well don't look and don't eat it. It really doesn't matter to me, I will enjoy it. All these comments on here about which diet is better Vegan, Vegetarian, or meat consumers are completely hilarious. All of these diets can be quite healthy. There are plently of people who live to be well into their 90's that have eaten meat their entire life. And likewise people on vegan diets live just as long. The truth is moderation is key, I eat meat. Love it, and don't want to live without it. I do not have high blood pressure, cholesterol, or blood sugar. For all intensive purposes I am completely healthy, grant it I could stand to lose a little weight but thats my fault and probably doesn't have anything to do with eating meat since I could eat beans and non green vegetables and gain just as much weight in roughly the same time. Anyways good discussion, I got a few laughs yall have brightened my day.

    August 28, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Reply
    • abbyful

      I would agree you can be relatively healthy as an omnivore or vegetarian, but a vegan diet isn't healthy.

      Vegans require supplements, there is no way to get their nutrients from the food they eat alone. Many vegans are deficient in B-12, iron, zinc, and other nutrients. And there are no complete proteins in plants; you can get close to complete, such as mixing rice and beans, but it's not as complete as protein from animal sources. At least a couple times a year there's a news story about a breast-fed baby with a vegan mother dying because the mother's breast milk was so lacking in nutrition it couldn't adequately feed the baby. There's a reason there have been no traditionally vegan cultures: they would have died out. Cultures that are primarily vegetarian highly prize the animal products they do eat such as eggs and milk, because they know those have nutrients required for life that are not found in plants.

      August 29, 2011 at 8:32 am | Reply
      • K

        You really want to argue with the American Dietetic Association?

        "It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes."

        http://www.eatright.org/about/content.aspx?id=8357

        August 29, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Reply
      • Vegan way the only way

        @abbyful – Babies dying because their breast-feeding vegan mothers' milk lacks nutrition? Total BS, not happening, no way, no where, no how. You can disagree with us but you have to at least come armed with FACTS and reality.

        August 29, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Reply
      • abbyful

        K,

        Your quote says "well planned VEGETARIAN diets", it doesn't include vegan diets in that statement.

        There is a huge difference between a vegatarian diet and a vegan diet. Vegetarian diets include animal products such as dairy and eggs. Vegan diets, on the other hand, forbid eating any animal products.

        It doesn't take a lot of animal products to get to your minimum requirements of certain nutrients, but it does take some. For example, there are zero efficent plant-based sources of B-12; vegans REQUIRE SUPPLEMENTATION for survival. If they had to rely on food alone, they'd die of malnutrition once their stores of certain nutrients were depleted.

        Even with supplementation, artifical supplementation isn't as good as the real thing, as many people including this woman find out: http://voraciouseats.com/2010/11/19/a-vegan-no-more/

        And this woman couldn't get pregnant until she stopped eating a vegetarian (not even vegan) diet:

        http://crunchychewymama.blogspot.com/2010/01/why-im-not-vegetarian-anymore.html

        Vegan is the only way,

        Here's an example from the news this year about a vegan baby dying because of lack of nutrition in the mother's milk (baby died in 2008, they were just getting around to the trial this year): http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/29/vegans-trial-death-baby-breast-milk

        Here's an there was an article in Psychology Today about babies breastfed by their vegan mothers being deficient in B-12 and the effects on the brain: http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200307/vegan-diet-bad-baby

        If you want to ruin your own health, that's your perogative. But don't promote eating "ideals" that endanger infants and children. When someone is pregnant and/or breastfeeding is not the time to be playing around with extreme diets.

        By the way, my OB/GYN has told me that while TTC and pregnant, I should make sure I eat plenty of meat and take fish oil. Both of things things are not vegan.

        August 29, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Reply
      • abbyful

        K,
        I missed correcting my above statement, your quote does say it include well planned vegan diets, I meant to remove the first line. The rest of my post still applies. Also realize how political large oranizations like that are, they do everything they can as not to alienate any group of people.

        August 29, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Reply
  15. PigsInaBlanket

    Has anyone seen phyllo? It's getting cold in here.

    August 28, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Reply
  16. Max

    The founder of the Vegan Society lived to the age of 94. And while we are recounting anecdotal tidbits I will just say that I have a mom and a sister who are heavy meat and seafood eaters. Both struggle with anemia... Should I conclude that meat eater's have problems with anemia based on this? Not at all.

    August 28, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Reply
    • Ima Hogg

      Have they tried chocolate flavored Ex-Lax?

      August 28, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Reply
    • 7113

      The truth is the 94 year old gal died of starvation.

      August 28, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Reply
  17. Ima Hogg

    Y'all come on down to Houston later on..We are having a Porka-Palooza, That's right...slow smoked Vegan in one of them Cuban Box things. Got the back-hoe's ready with shovels to dig it up,so enjoy the Shiner and Lone Star. Mighty tasty vittles if I do say so myself.

    August 28, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Reply
    • Muhammed

      Sorry, can't eat until sundowns. And I wouldn't eat your rednecks pork!

      August 28, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Reply
      • maens

        What's with the racism? I don't believe you are a muslim. You just want to instigate nonsense. I am sure you are above this type comments. Some thing must have happened to cause you to stoop so low.

        August 28, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Reply
      • Jimmy Dean@Muhammed

        Want some of my Pork Sausage? Just pull down the zipper.

        August 28, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Reply
      • Charles

        Don't eat at all then...

        August 28, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Reply
      • 7113

        You Camel Jockey's would eat s–t if you can buy it cheap enough.

        August 28, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Reply
      • Wile E. Coyote, Super Genius

        Don't be silly. Everyone knows you can't have MUHAMMAD without HAM. God loves you. That's why he invented bacon.

        August 29, 2011 at 10:26 am | Reply
      • Overlord

        Go to hell Monegammed, strap a bomb to your chest and martyr yourself.

        August 29, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Reply
      • Overlord

        Hey Mongammed, strap a bomb to your cheat and martyr yourself!

        August 29, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Reply
  18. Josh

    Is the author of this article a 15 year-old? It was poorly written with many grammatical errors.

    August 28, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Reply
  19. Lee

    My favorite sign is on Lee's Car Wash in Clayton, NC where each bay sports a sign saying "No Pig Cookers."

    August 28, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Reply
  20. Shocked

    The pig has the barbeque rotisserie rod shoved up it's anus and through it's mouth. Quite pornographic if you ask me.

    August 28, 2011 at 10:36 am | Reply
    • Porky Pig

      Oh My, Pig Porn....I'm getting aroused !

      August 28, 2011 at 10:47 am | Reply
  21. Muhmmed

    How dare CNN run a story about eating pig meat during Ramadan! May Mohammed have mercy on your souls American pigs! Obey Allah and Allah will reward you.

    August 28, 2011 at 10:32 am | Reply
    • Grim Reaper

      Turn the channel if you don't like it or leave.

      August 28, 2011 at 11:31 am | Reply
      • Mudhammed

        هو عاوز الضرب بستين جزمة.

        August 28, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Reply
    • MooHammadHairyBack

      For Allah...
      For you, a Pork chop on a stick from the Indiana State Fair. Goooood Eats, You may again begin to rape and pillage the villages.

      August 28, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Reply
    • John

      Not Everybody in the world celebrates Ramadan. IF you dont like the article dont read it.

      August 28, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Reply
    • maens

      You have to try some authentic black pudding. the internal organs cooked up nice and spicy mixed with the blood and cooked rice filled into the intestine, boiled then fried with pepper and onions. "taste like Chicken"

      August 28, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Reply
  22. Porky

    Can I eat the brain and testicles?

    August 28, 2011 at 10:29 am | Reply
  23. Zorlot the Great

    Only the Filipinos know how to do this correctly.

    August 28, 2011 at 10:20 am | Reply
    • farleyjc

      Cubanos bury it in the ground and cover with banana leaves. Always wanted to try that, ESPECIALLY DURING ROMADON. Muslims go home!

      August 28, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Reply
  24. NickD

    I cooked many pigs whole in my younger days. Each time I flavored the meat a little differently but never ever have I felt the need to "brine" meat before cooking it and its always come out great. I don't know how brining became such a universal necessity but I can promise its not necessary.

    The secret in a good quality pig roast is quality coals. A bonfire the night before with hard wood provides the coals (plus an excuse to have two parties for the price of one)then adding fresh fruit wood for flavoring in the smoke as the meat cooks. This is a crucial step if you want your meat flavored all the way through by the smoke. There are other steps one can take with the cooking coals and smoke but they are my secret.

    Skip the brining process, its a hoax. Allow the meat to breath by opening the cooker on occasion to vent all smoke and spray with a vinigar and water solution to keep the outside skin and top portions of meat from burning while the inside finishes. You can inject flavorings and such into the meat with a syringe if you are not confident in your smoke but again, like brining its not necessary.

    Potatoes, onions and carrots tied inside the animal flavor and moisturize it quite well. You can add some fatty beef if you choose. Apples and orange peels can add a distinct flavor. Not too many of any of the above.Another writer here aptly pointed out that its pretty hard to dry out pig meat beacuse its naturally fat and juicy.

    Keep the direct heat low and away from the surface of the meat and let nature do what only nature knows how to do. The rule of thumb for my technique is approx one hour of cook time for every 10 pounds of meat .. Of course this will vary depending on fat content of each carcass. The little baby 60 pounder depicted here would take about 6 hours over the coals and 5 in the smoke, concurrently. Then , after pulling the meat from the carcass add about 2 hours simmering in my very special homemade sauce (another detail not for sharing) the feast is ready and fit for a party of many.

    Remember when planning your party that a 60 pound pig does not mean 60 pounds of meat, or you will be grilling burgers to get everyone fed.. There are bones, skin, hooves and other parts of the animal I don't use to feed guests, plus the cook and his helpers get to have first dibs on the tenderloin. I found that a 120 to 150 lb beast works the very best for the direct coal and smoke method. Also don't use an open air camp fire with the meat just turning in the open like you are in a bad hollywood western. It will take too long, the meat will be tough, and you will not get the smoke flavoring that makes your tounge want to sing.

    August 28, 2011 at 2:08 am | Reply
    • LouisianaZombieMan

      Gimmie Dem Brains...I wanna suck them out of the pigs snout........Yummie !!

      August 28, 2011 at 6:55 am | Reply
      • NickD

        Actually some people love the brains, but they're not my piece of meat.

        The tenderloin and the ham are where you'll find me feeding. It doesn't taste anything like the over salted and over processed stuff you get in the store.

        August 28, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Reply
  25. Torka

    What does it feels like if you have hardly any money left to buy food? It sucks. You can only buy cheap low costly food that rich people or people that has enough money thinking it's not "quality" food to them. Only veggie eaters, have enough money to buy what is deemed non-meat products for the rest of their life unless they have unlimited money.

    By the way, awesome picture of the pig :D
    Looks so good, only like eighty to two hundred people needs to eat it all. Need some rice, a good knife and your all set.
    Sure the picture looks gruesome but at least the pig was dead before they put the stick and post it online for us XD
    At least one hundred people will be fed for the day like this hog/pig/swine.

    At least put some seasoning on it :)

    August 27, 2011 at 8:53 pm | Reply
    • Fifi

      Idiotic. Money to buy non-meat products? You mean beans, pulses, grains, vegetables, fruits? They are cheaper than your flesh-based diet, by a mile. You don't know what you are talking about.

      August 28, 2011 at 12:52 am | Reply
  26. diane..

    As for so called (beefburger)...l will bbq you anytime...waste of humanity...l am 100 times more heathier than you...no doubt about that....people that eat alot of dead corpes(animals)....have bad body smell...when you sweat...gross....the picture of this animal is so gruesome....sad...

    August 27, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Reply
    • Chris

      Humans are omnivores. This means we are built to eat both plants and animals. If you want to be try and defy your biology, be my guest. But don't attempt to make the case that you are somehow healthier because of it. Your peculiar diet most likely forces you to take supplementary vitamins, and even if you do this religiously, the amounts absorbed are less than if you took a more natural approach.

      I won't go into the whole "complete proteins" thing since you already know all about that if you've been a herbivore for any amount of time, but do keep in mind your "all-powerful" soy has shown have a substantial dark side, as reported in several recent clinical studies. Best not to go overboard on soy until that can be confirmed or refuted.

      August 27, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Reply
      • Max

        Who cares if our evolutionary history allowed us to be omnivorres or opportunist as I call them? The fact of the matter is you do have the choice to eat pretty much anything you want. At no time in history has that ever been true as it is now in human history. Make the choice to reduce suffering and improve your overall health at the same time. Even if you continue to indulge in meat you can at least reduce consumption substationally. The amount of meat and dairy consumed on a daily basis in the American diet is obscene and has landed us at the fattest/unhealthiest amongst nations.

        August 28, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Reply
    • FKell

      That's ok, my food craps on your food....

      August 28, 2011 at 12:56 am | Reply
    • Jones

      Man evolved on a diet that included lots of animal protein. Your vegetarianism is an offense to nature and 2 million years of evolution.

      August 28, 2011 at 10:19 am | Reply
    • Dirk Diggler

      The cave people that weren't able to hunt for good meat protein, were forced to eat plants and dirt. Darwinian theory states that only the fittest survive, whether they are able to kill a Wooly Mammoth or dig in the soil for grubs. Vegetarians are morons and are doomed to a poor diet which in turn affects their deteriorating brains.

      August 28, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Reply
  27. Fifi

    You are what you eat.

    August 27, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Reply
    • Violette

      Right on FiFi! People are what they eat!! (get it??)

      August 27, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Reply
  28. Omar

    Notice the spit was driven right through the pig's mouth and out it's a**hole. Yum?

    August 27, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Reply
    • Fifi

      Yeah. I'm thinking, "Too bad that's not Anthony Bourdain on the spit."

      August 27, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Reply
      • Shelly

        Jealous much?

        August 27, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Reply
      • nrk246

        Poor Fifi...a vegetarian named after a poodle! In another country they'd put you on the spit and eat you.

        August 28, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Reply
      • Wile E. Coyote, Super Genius

        You're thinking?! I'm so proud of you...wait. I read the rest of your posts. Turns out that lead-in of yours was a lie.

        August 29, 2011 at 10:27 am | Reply
    • BRBSanDiego

      A real man's colonoscopy – oink oink

      August 27, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Reply
  29. Omar

    The notion that vegetarians don't get enough protein is complete BS. There's there's a huge array of legumes, grains and nuts in various forms that provide all the protein you need to be perfectly healthy. Also, the fats consumed in a plant-based diet are generally healthier than animal fats. There have been world-class powerlifters and bodybuilders who are vegans (not vegetarians, mind you, but vegans) and other world-class athletes.

    August 27, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Reply
    • Fifi

      I'm vegetarian and middle-aged, yet I can not only keep up with but outdo the 20-something's in my various exercise classes. Twenty-two percent fat and a whole lot of muscle.

      August 27, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Reply
      • Porky Pig

        22 % between the ears? A perfect candidate for the spit.

        August 27, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Reply
      • nrk246

        Oh, great! Another middle-aged veggie who thinks they're better than everyone else! Bet you wear leather shoes. And I bet you never give thanks to the plants you kill.

        August 28, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Reply
      • Wile E. Coyote, Super Genius

        22% fat? The pig in the picture didn't get above 12%. They spitted the wrong one.

        August 29, 2011 at 10:28 am | Reply
      • David

        I eat meat all the time, I'm about 15% body fat, have a significant amount of muscle, and "exercise classes" are for lazy idiots that have no motiviation.

        August 30, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Reply
    • Max

      Amen brother. Herbivores build massive frames of muscle on greens alone. There are numerous long term vegans/vegetarians that have shown us this works over years and years. Weird Al has been a vegan for close to 20 years now. I personally know vegans who have thrived on the diet for 30 years or more. I have followed a vegan diet for 3 years and a vegetarian diet for 10 years before that.

      August 28, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Reply
  30. Omar

    There's no doubt that vegetarianism is much better for the environment. How much feed, antibiotics, etc does it take to fatten a factory-farmed pig up to the typical enormous size? The roasted pig looks disgusting.

    August 27, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Reply
    • Shelly

      Agreed, 100%!!

      August 27, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Reply
    • David

      Pigs can get much larger in the wild than pigs that are raised in captivity normally get up to. That isn't to say that stuffing animals full of hormones and drugs to get them that big is good or healthy as has been shown with cows, chickens and pigs, however locally sourced naturally fed and raised meat is just fine.

      August 30, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Reply
  31. phfyrebyrd

    Use a thermometer. Every time.

    August 27, 2011 at 9:44 am | Reply
  32. Outpost Log #4307E

    Tense this morning. Need rest, was active observer for past 13 hours. Company XV destroyed a supply facility for lack of finding proper objective. This drew excessive retaliation from Harky forces and spurned a large number of follow-up patrols through the sector. We engaged one such patrol and found them to be heavily offensive. Seems like every five steps forward we make, we take 10 steps back. Frustrating. But not as frustrating as having hunger in your belly and thirst in your throat. What I wouldn't give to have a roasted payrineet right now.

    August 27, 2011 at 9:22 am | Reply
  33. thomas

    The Chinese way is more elegant and respectful.

    August 27, 2011 at 8:34 am | Reply
  34. Dieyoung

    I am a meatatarian... I would eat up a good portion of that pig.

    August 27, 2011 at 3:55 am | Reply
  35. jdoe

    What's the big deal? In certain Asian countries this is done all the time, using wooden poles and turning the pig by hand. This is a non story.

    August 27, 2011 at 2:20 am | Reply
    • jtkirk

      We call it lechon baboy (roast pig). The roast skin is much more tasty than the rest. This is common here in the Philippines.

      August 27, 2011 at 7:51 am | Reply
      • Wile E. Coyote, Super Genius

        Lechon FTW! A cold San Mig, some jasmine rice, and a little Mang Tomas on the side and we're set. Halo halo afterwards if there's room!

        August 29, 2011 at 10:29 am | Reply
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