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May 16, 2009 07:02 PM

Pig Roasting Dilemma

Hosting 15 dads on Father's Day and I'm gonna roast a pig. I'm getting my pig from a guy I buy my meat from out in Lancaster County (I'm in Exton, PA). My pig will only be about 60-70 lbs. I want to slow cook this baby over charcoal/wood, but here's my problem: I don't know what roasting equipment I need or where to get it. I've looked into the outfitters who do this sort of thing and discovered that there seems to be only be two options. I could rent a huge tow-behind roaster but they are typically gas (which I don't want) and they are really meant for a 150-200 lb. hog. My pig would get lost on such a thing and (I imagine) not cook properly. The other option is to rent a 5-6 foot charcoal grill. The problem with these grills is that I have not found a company who rents a grill this big that comes with a top. It's open grilling, and would I not need an enclosed vessel to properly cook my pig? And if you're thinking "just rotisserie roast it over direct heat on that 5-6 foot grill"" (which I thought of), is there a rotisserie that would be able to support that much weight?? I know I can have certain companies out there supply and roast the pig themselves and then deliver it to me afterwards, but c'mon people, I'm on Chowhound for cryin out loud ... of course I wanna roast this thing myself in front of my guests for several hours with beers in hand. Isn't that the whole point?

Does anyone have ANY suggestions on how to go about this? And if so, who can outft me in my area? Thanks much.

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    1. Phil, I can't tell you where in your area (I'm presently in Florida) but I can tell you that roasting units for smallish pigs are widely available for rent. Frame, spindle, motor drive, galvanized pan for charcoal/briquettes. Fits in a pickup. I just posted on this a week ago. Call rental places and butchers; each seems to know about the other. Pig roasts are a lot of fun (and a lot of work for you), but make a great memory for your guests. Years ago I roasted an ox outside Scranton in Lackawanna County, and lots of pigs along the way. Go for it!

      4 Replies
      1. re: Veggo is a great way to go. It is a roasting box that uses charcoal. Cooks a delicious moist and juicy pig. I've used mine over 20 times. Enjoy!

        1. re: tbl42

          were having a pig roast right now in wayne actually.....with pig head baked beans and slaw!

          1. re: lbtbrett

            well that was fun!
            i deboned the back legs, stuffed with mirepoix, olive oil, garlic, and sewed her up. put her in a roasting pan on a bed of mirepoix, added chicken stock and braised for 12 hours at 250 degrees. delicious. also made baked beans out of 3 pigs heads and red beans. mmmmmm delicioso!

        2. re: Veggo

          While doing some construction-related work in the Spring Garden section of the city, I noticed one house had a pit in the backyard surrounded by cement/concrete blocks about 18"-24" tall. At the short ends of the rectangular pit, 2 y-shaped holders held a long length of steel pipe with a steering wheel on one end. I didn't see it in use, but I feel sorry for whomever got to rotate the spit for hours on end...unless they had a beer in hand :)

        3. If you have the $ handy and room in which to store it, I'd seriously recommend buying a Caja China, which you can then have for all future pig roasts. I noticed that tbl42 posted the link, but here it is again.

          This baby cooks with charcoal, takes about 3.5 hours to attain a perfect finished product and here's a photo of what they always look like when finished. You just can't beat it.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Deenso

            But wait, let's see if I can't get that photo attached...

            1. re: Deenso

              last try. otherwise, you'll have to go to the caja china website and see their pretty pictures.

          2. Unless you definitely want to do it yourself, I would suggest picking one up already roasted from Cannuli's on 9th St. in the Italian Market. By the time you get your pig and rent the equipment, you may even get off cheaper. I just got one last week for a company picnic and it was awesome. Picked it up it was on a board wrapped in foil. I wrapped in an additional old blanket. When we got there, it was still to hot to handle. Comes with Jus in gallon jugs. Pick up some italian rolls and go to town. Good Luck!


            1. Hi Phil,
              I realize that I'm coming in very late here, but I'm curious as to how you solved your problem. Did you end up doing it yourself? We're coming up on our 5th annual roast. I use the above-ground grill as well-described here: