Roasting a Pig

The whole pig and nothing but the pig…except two chickens stuffed with six sausages stuff inside of the belly of the pig…but besides that, just a simple farm fresh pig. This hog was from Kewaskum Frozen Foods. Don’t let their name fool you, the pig was as fresh as could be — killed just a few days prior to the roast. This recipe is meant to be a guide and a simple walkthrough of the pig we roasted. Every cut of meat will cook differently, and when you’re cooking an entire animal the variables are even greater. Factors like how lean the pig was, how much water weight is has from the duration of the brine (if you brine it), the temperature of the charcoal, the weather and how windy it is, and so on. The point is that every pig roast will be different, but what stays the same is the final internal temperature and making sure you don’t burn the skin.

INGREDIENTS
6 gallons water
4 Lbs kosher salt
4 lbs brown sugar
100 cloves of garlic
3 cup pickling spice
2 gallon apple cider
1 cup peppercorns
6 bay leaf
9 cinnamon sticks
1 cup orange juice

30 lbs ice

STEPS
1. In a very large stock pot add all of the ingredients except the ice and bring to a boil. Let the ingredients simmer for 15 minutes and remove from the heat.
2. Let the brine kool at room temperature for 30 minutes then add the ice.
3. Place in refrigeration (up to 5 days) until you are ready to use it on the pig.
4. Using a large enough container (we used a cooler) to hold the pig and the brine, place the pig inside and slowly pour the brine over it until it’s submerged. If you don’t have a fridge large enough, keep the cooler in a cold place and make sure you are adding ice frequently enough so the pig stays below 35 degrees at all times.
5. Brine the pig for at least 24 hours. We did ours for about 36 hours.
6. Remove the pig from the brine, hose it down with water, and pat it dry inside and out.
7. At this point the way your pig is tied will completely depend on your spit and set up. We tied our pig with twine and a needle, through the spine to the rod, stuffed it with chickens (that were stuffed with sausage), and sewed it closed. We also cut the back trotters off because it was too long for our spit.

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ROASTING
This part is a little less technical, because like I mentioned, there are a lot of factors that play into how long it takes to roast a pig. Our 60lb pig took 9 hours and 120 lbs of charcoal. It was an open spit so factors like wind, type of charcoal and temperature outside greatly impact how long it took to cook. The internal temperate of your pig should be at least 180. If you want more of a pulled pork texture, rather than sliced, remove the pig when it’s at 200 degrees. Make sure to let it rest for at least 30 minutes so the juices settle.

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