does anyone know where i could buy one?? i am thinking of smoking a whole pig once the weather starts to improve and was curious where i could pick one up?? also, seeing as i have never done this, i suppose i should also ask the following:
- what is the average weight of a normal roasting pig??
- how long will it take to cook?? (my guess is all day)
- how much should i be prepared to pay??
- are some breeds of pig better for this than others??
You need a rig/smoker large enough for that. I used to do a 1/2 hog weighing in around 70-80 lbs and figured about 1.5 lbs per person (uncooked). And depending on the weight, yeah you're looking at a long slow smoke.
I understand that you can get a whole pig (or half) from some of the wholesale butchers/meat packing companies in Newmarket (and get a Speed dog too) but I do not know of any specific names. Searching on the Boston board should reveal more about those companies.
Also, I think Blood Farm in Groton sells pigs.
As to size, maybe try a small suckling/weaner pig first. I know of a fellow who only cooks whole hogs at his BBQ restaurant, and he puts it on at about 5 PM in the afternoon, cooks it all night, and takes it off at 3PM the next day. That's why I'm suggesting you try a small, young pig first. Plus they are tender and delicious.
Also, take a look at the Caja box. Great way to roast a pig.
Here's a place where you can get a suckling or roaster pig. But, I would think you would be able to call around to various meat markets in Boston, and find one.
You can get a fresh whole pig at Tauras in Newmarket 40 pounds and up. Blood farm will also. I called them recently, can't remember the pound price but I figured @ $120. The Caja is supposed to be good. I roasted a whole pig adapting to 3 guys from Miami's method without all the cinder blocks. I dug a pit in my veggie garden, lined it with stones and foil, plavced charcoal in the corners for indirect heat.. After marinating I split the beast, sandwiched it between 2 refrig shelves, wired 2 rebar to it to turn it and covered with foil again. Took about six hours.
When I was done i threw in fish carcasses, covered it and the best tomato crop.
I would be a bit careful about terminology. A "Roasting Pig" can mean a pig roughly 22-29 lbs (my estimation, could be up to 40) which some butchers sell you when you ask for a suckling pig (more on the order of 18-22 lbs or less and younger). 22-25 lbs just barely fits in a standard 24" oven and indoors can roast in about 5 hours in a low oven, smoking depends on your setup and how low you get the fire but they are pretty simple to work with. Mature pigs require more equipment or preparation (reaching around 120lbs), a lot more time and skill too. Size you can figure based on # of people and 1.5lbs/person. Taurus is a pretty good bet, although just about any butcher should be able to order the smaller pigs and I would figure on about $4.99 a lb but the pig itself probably comes frozen from the Midwest. With the mature pig you will have a lot more options (outside the holidays), including believe it or not you can find a pig and a butcher on more northern craigslist sites as well as local meat CSAs (which you want to find before its butchered). There also is a person who SPAMs the Boston craigslist with a rental smoker which could fit a mature pig.
or you can just the roast pig from the Chinatown BBQ stores,they come in three sizes where the baby pig is a lot more expensive, no fuss no sweat.
I bought a small pig (30 lbs) from Market basket in Billerica last Christmas season, cut it in half and broiled it in the oven.
I do a pig roast every year and it is a lot of fun. I typically do a whole pig weighing in at 90lbs dressed and it typically costs between $250-$300. You can order one through most butcher shops. I get it split "butterfly" style and cook it Cuban style for about 5-6 hours like these guys:
There are some great tips on that site as well.
I would also suggest the "La Caja China" method as it is even faster than the Cuban style "oven" I use. If you have any questions feel free to ping me on this thread and I will get back to you.
I wish you wouldn't have posted that link. Now, I have to go buy a bunch of cinder blocks. And, I have been drooling on my keyboard.
I found that La Caja China several months ago, and it looks like a great way to go. I remember when my father put a wiener pig on his rotisserie (charcoal and wood, not gas). He had to run to the hardware store and get some chicken wire to rap around the pig as it was starting to break in the middle, as it got tender. It was delicious.
In order to answer your questions need to know how do you plan on cooking the pig and how many people do you want to serve?
Blood Farm is your best bet locally for a larger sized pig.
I've been to a few roasts where they used a 55 gallon drum cut in half length ways with a rod with braces for the butterflied pig and a car steering wheel at the end to turn it. White hot coals are placed along the sides of the drum. Have a seat and lot's of beer, takes at least 6 hours.