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Pig Roast!


The smell of charcoal and roasted pork in the air. The sun shining on 40 of my friends in my backyard. Kreayshawn blasting from the stereo. Feeling a happy buzz from a mixture of a few different craft brews floating around in my belly, I pause and take in the moment. How did I get here?

This pig roast materialized out of nowhere. As improptu as a pig roast can possibly be, some friends suggested that we host it only 11 days before the actual event. These are the same guys that got me to make a turducken last fall. I think they knew that the mere mention of a pig roast over email would be enough to make things happen.

And sure enough, here I was, 11 days later and everything in motion. Not only was this the first pig roast I have ever hosted, it was in fact the first pig roast I have EVER BEEN TO!

So as you can imagine, there are a lot of pics in this post... This is the dry rub I put in the pig the night before the roast. We called her Amy Swinehouse.

I was able to get this guy with only a weeks notice from Savnors in Boston. You can tell them any weight between 30 - 100 pounds! Ours was 49. The butchers seemed just as excited as I was when I picked up little Amy on Friday. They were telling me that she was slaughtered as recently as Thursday! A very local fresh pig from a farm in Vermont. I carried her down Charles street in a trash bag wondering if other people knew what was in my arms.

Applying the rub.

My roomate Mike and his girlfriend Tiffany built this awesome cornhole set just for the party!

And we rented this whole grill setup and rotisserie.

As you can see, we are pretty happy. What you CAN'T see from this pic is the hour of time after this was taken trying to secure Amy to the spit better.

Oh wait, I guess you can see it. Yea, this was HARD. For any first timer, I would recommend allotting 2 hours to this task. I only allotted 1, and the therefore pig went over the fire an hour late.

There was lots of tying. You really need to be sure the pig is secured well so it rotates evenly, cooks evenly, and also so that as the meat gets tender it doest fall off! Because of this it is important to secure the backbone to the spit.

A nice cylinder of meat makes for even cooking.

As people came, they put out some apps that they brought. Soooo much guac! How many avocados in that Mike?

We also broke in the freshly painted cornhole.

Nice shot rich!

Sal wanted to take a photo with Amy. Did you tag her? She might un-tag it because it isn't a flattering photo.

When the pig FINALLY came down, we had to sample some of the skin.

Steve cooks some corn up front while Tiff seems to be grossed out by the pig in the background.

Here I am getting nervous because the crowd has been waiting for hours to eat and is starting to get unruly.

I am trying to assemble a team of people to help me chop some meat, but everyone is a little drunk so things move slowly.  Also, they have mac and cheese.

Quick time-out for a snack.

I cut the legs off so people could begin pulling the meat.

We worked away on this till everyone was fed! I had 2 different BBQ sauces, one was similar to this one, and the other will be on the site in the next month or so cause it was delicious but I didn't take ANY pics of it. There were also 3 different slaws so that people could make sandwichs.

All in all, the party was an awesome time, but I don't think the pig was as much the center of attention as I wanted it to be. Everyone seemed to love it, but my verdict comes in more at "pretty good for someones first pig roast." The skin was crispy, but could have been crispier. The pork was delicious and the sandwiches came out amazing, but it could have been much better with a longer cooking time, some smoke, and maybe a brine even. I read a ton of info on spit roasting a pig, but really in the end the tips I read were either a:obvious, b:confusing, or even c:just plain wrong! For example, I read in a few places that it would take 1 hour per pound of pig at around 350 degrees of heat. I kept it around 375 and my 50 pound pig was finally cooked after 8 hours! And in the future, I would have cooked it lower and slower.

I wish I could give some tips here, but as I said, I don't really know what I'm doing. Maybe next time I will have a better handle on things and be able to speak with authority. Either way, it was an awesome time and thanks to everyone who came and especially those of you who chipped in!


looking good, but you definitely want to cook it longer. if you ever do it again, try brining it; there's just something odd about seeing a pig floating in a huge rubbermaid bin.

I love how you're always up for a challenge!! did you have any leftovers?

Looks good to me. What was your favorite part? I've never had meat from the head, but really want to.

we have hosted two pig roasts now and we are hoping to make it an annual event. the first year we rented a spit and we made a rub and it was tasty but i thought we could do better (kinda like how you are feeling maybe?).

i did a lot of research last summer and determined that the "cuban style" is 1000% better. check this out -

our pig last year was huge (148lbs) but we had a huge crowd to feed. we had the local butcher shop butterfly the pig so she would lady flat. we built a grill out of cinder blocks - 5 blocks high. we lined the whole thing with industrial tin foil and started the coals in there and just added more as we needed them.

we secured the pig (laid out flat) between two old pieces of fence and used wire ties to secure her. we basted her with a mojo sauce and a dollar store mop through the entire cooking process. we flipped the whole thing - fence pig and all - every hour or so. the skin was crispy and marvelous when it was done and the spicy, lime mojo was freakin' awesome. we served it with extra mojo and two kinda of bbq sauce.

it was way cheaper than renting the spit and it cooks much more evenly. i wish i could post a picture in here but i don't know how.

good luck with your next roast!

Hi, I'm from Indonesia and we have this kinda food similar in Bali, it's called suckling pig roast. The famous one is from Bu Oka. You can try google it. Or read one of the link: Even Anthony Bourdain recommended it! :)
They stick the pig to a bamboo stick and then roast them.
Oh and perhaps you should close the pig's eyes because it seems a bit scary in the photos >__
The suckling pig roast from bu Oka have closed eyes :p

DUDE. Kreayshawn is the shit! That is a TON of guac! Amy's little piggy face made me a little sad, but I'm sure her deliciousness would make up for that.

Dude, you basically just recreated my wedding for a casual weekend party. Amazing.

Amy Swinehouse looks good to me.

Great effort, you are exactly right. The rule to pork roasting is low and slow 225 to 275 for 12 or 14 hours is the trick with much basting, I love sweet and sour sauce, a touch of vinegar,and crushed fennel seed. I have to raise and lower the fire pit or the pig to control the temp. I usually want the pig on the fire about 06:00 A.M. and it take constant basting to get the flavor and crispness you want. Great job of tying off the pig.

It takes a bold man to take on a pig roast for the first time in front of a crowd of 40 hungry people. Well done. Also, Krearyshawn is legit.

next time tried La caja China

I was reading your blog and your difficulty with securing your pig to the rotisserie you were using, and I just have to tell you that you would be so much happier with our Ultimate Rotisserie! Please check it out at You will be glad you did!

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