Roasting a pig is much easier than you think. When done right, it can even be tastier. This mouth-watering dish not only tastes good but can also wow your guests. However, when roasting a pig, you need to do a lot of homework (taste, food safety, cooking safety, etc.).
But, if you’re not up for the effort it takes to roast a pig, you can take advantage of a hog roast company that can do all the hard work for you while you enjoy the tasty food.
Coming back to the topic, when roasting a pig, you need to make sure that there are no bacteria in the pig. The most common one in pigs is salmonella that can live on the pork if it is not cooked properly. Since you’re roasting a whole pig, there’s a lot of meat with varying thickness and joints. This can make it difficult to roast every area properly, leaving room for bacteria.
That said, here are some of the key things you need to know when roasting a pig.
1. Quality of the Pig
It is crucial to know that one pound of the pig will approximately translate into six ounces of meat after roasting and discarding the bones. Therefore, depending on the number of people planning to eat the pork, you need to purchase the pig accordingly.
Next comes the quality of the pig. Young pigs have relatively low-fat flesh and can melt as you roast it. It also leaves rick, sticky juices. However, when you choose an old pig, it will have more fat, and it can quickly get dry and tougher. Therefore, old pigs are best suited for gentle cooking methods like Southern barbecue.
It is crucial to look for an animal that has been grown in a healthy, happy environment. Also, it is best to order your pig at least a week before to allow time for slaughter and proper hanging.
Don’t forget to keep the pig in an ice bag. It will prevent the meat from getting spoiled, and bacteria won’t grow. Your pig will also need to be covered properly before it is taken to roast.
2. Equipment and Ingredients
To roast the pig efficiently, you will need the right equipment and ingredients. You will need a spit to roast the spit. However, most people don’t have it as not everyone roasts pork regularly.
The good thing is, most farms that sell pigs also give spit on rent, and the charges are relatively low. However, it is always a good thing to inquire beforehand.
Once you have the spit, buy the necessary ingredients. It includes:
- Charcoal Briquettes: Many people use hardwood coal instead of briquettes. However, the only problem is that they burn fast and make it difficult to maintain even heating vital for prolonged cooking. As for the quantity, we recommend having at least 30 pounds of coal for roasting a pig.
- Chimney Starter: If you don’t want to struggle with lighting the coals, then a chimney starter is all you need.
- Tongs: During the roast, you will probably need to arrange the coals very often, and for that, you will need a pair of tongs.
- Kosher Salt: When roasting the pig, you will want it to taste as good as possible. So, kosher salt is all you need. It is a seasoning that gives pork the flavor it needs.
3. Roasting the Pig
The last and most important step is roasting the pig. But before that, you need to secure the pig to the spit. Dead pigs are very heavy and can flop around if you have not secured them properly. You also need to take utmost care when turning the spit.
Just so you know, make sure the pig doesn’t take on a burnished color in the first hour. If it does, it indicates you’re going too fast, and the heat is too much. In that case, you can do two things: add coals slowly or raise the pig a little higher.
The good news is most spits have an electric motor that rotates the pig automatically. This ensures the pig is not overcooking and every inch of the pig is exposed to heat.
Again, if you have never roasted a pig or attended a pig roast, we recommend taking the help of experts to ensure you get the tastiest pork.
That said, here are some side dishes that go perfectly well with the pig.
- Cheese Grits Casserole: Perfect for people who love cheese. Add a side of grits casserole with the delicious pork.
- Baked Macaroni: Another great combination for the party night.
- Roasted Green Beans: Green beans are a classic pairing for pork. However, make sure to roast it perfectly to get the right taste.
- Garlic Mashed Cauliflower: A healthy alternative to classic mashed potato, mashed cauliflower is the perfect side dish for roasted pork.
- Baked Polenta with Fresh Tomatoes and Parmesan: Perfect during the summer evening, this is a great side dish for roasted pork.
- Couscous Fruit Salad: Fruit salad can help minimize the acid effect of the pig while giving you a flavorful fruity taste. Make sure to add cranberries, raisins, and mango to get the best taste.
- Fried Cabbage with Bacon: My personal favorite, fried cabbage with bacon, onion, and garlic can go perfectly well with roasted pork. Give your friends a change in taste with this great dish.
- Balsamic Butternut Squash with Kale: If you are looking to add a healthy dish, balsamic butternut squash with kale is a perfect choice. The good thing is you can serve it both hot and cold as you prefer.
Also read: Mutton chops recipe
Roasting a pig isn’t difficult, especially when you know the right steps and have the necessary ingredients. Make sure to follow our tips to get the perfect roasted pig. Also, add one of our recommended side dishes to make your evening even better.