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Where to buy a whole pig?

Hi All,

I'm looking to buy a whole pig - around 50lbs, split in half to roast over coals. Any suggestions where I could get one without paying an arm and a leg? I remember seeing a few old posts with a similar question but can't seem to find it. Thanks!

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    1. I've heard that Costco in Richmond has whole roasters. Don't know how large, if they're split, or fresh or frozen. But wanted to mention this in hopes someone can provide more details.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Melanie Wong

        Woo, Costco, that would be awesome. I'll try calling them today to see if they do. Thanks for the tip! I have a few other calls out to the farms.

        1. I saw them advertised at Costco in Santa Rosa also

          6 Replies
          1. re: sonomajom

            Here's what I've got so far.

            Golden Gate Meats at the Ferry Building has it for 4.40/lbs.

            Ranch 99 has 30-35 lbs for $195.

            Costco Richmond doesn't know what I'm talking about but she's going to have the head meat guy call me back.

            I'm surprised Ranch 99 is more expensive than Golden Gate Meats given that it's not organic or anything.

            Golden Gate Meat
            Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

            1. re: calalilly

              The one from Ranch 99 is cooked for you. It's roasted whole; and they will chop it up into large bite size pieces. It's then assembled back into the shape of the pig. I got one back in June for $185, so it looks like they raised the price slightly.

              Originally, I was going do it all myself, this turned out much to be much more convenient, less work, etc.

              1. re: Dawgmommy

                Interesting. I specifed a raw uncooked pig. I guess it's the same price regardless. My husband is keen on roasting it himself...thinks it will be fun. I think it will be a mess but a fun mess I guess!

                1. re: calalilly

                  Whole pigs are more expensive by the pound the smaller they get, especially when they are in the suckling pig category (+/- 30 lbs). If you know anyone with a business or non-profit license you can pre-order 50-lb pigs from Restaurant Depot for around $2.50/lb.

                  Another option may be trying New May Wah on Clement.

                  New May Wah
                  719 Clement St, San Francisco, CA

                  1. re: calalilly

                    There may or may not be a language problem with the folks there.

                    If I remember correctly, the one that I go was maybe just under 2 feet long and maybe a little over a foot wide. I simply didn't have equipment big enough to do it myself. (I wasn't going to dig a pit in my yard.. ;) )So ordering it cooked was just much easier. Everyone was quite impressed when it was presented.

                2. re: calalilly

                  My friend just got a 50-60 pounder from Cheung Hing Restaurant (specifically the Milbrae location). Of course he knows the owner and probably asked for a few favors. They even threw in a large wooden tray to present it on (likely what is used during Chinese celebrations).

                  You will definitely need a Cantonese speaker to ask around for one.

                  We roasted it on a homemade spit... used cinder blocks, 4 bags of charcoal, and a big stick to rotate it on. Came out absolutely fabulous! We basted it with coke. :)

              2. We have bought a couple at Verbrugge on College Ave in Rockridge for pit-roasts and both times were very happy. One was a 35-lber, the other a 70-lber. They need a couple of days' notice.

                Verbrugge Meat-Fish Poultry
                6321 College Ave, Oakland, CA

                1. I had a chance to help a friend cater a 60th birthday celebration up in Tilden Park. The guy who was turning 60 requested that my friend roast a whole pig, using a device called a Chinese box, or La Caja China, Model #1 Aluminum:


                  It was certainly a novelty; part of the fun was doing it yourself, and the birthday boy belonged to a community of foodies, much like this one, but they were more of the local mushroom foragers and mycologists. There were quite a few people at the party, but even then, a lot of the pig was wasted because it was my friend's first time doing it, and some of the skin didn't turn out as crispy as it could've been, and, frankly, my friend didn't have enough experience roasting a whole animal to really do it justice. I was the only one brave enough to take the head home, which I re-roasted to get the skin just right.

                  Here's another thread with pictures I took of a whole roasted pig at a celebration in Oakland Chinatown:


                  17 Replies
                  1. re: tpc

                    "I was the only one brave enough to take the head home"
                    That was probably fortunate unless there was a second head.;-)
                    Where were you when this request went out?

                    1. re: wolfe

                      Thanks for the shout-out, Wolfe. I had the same thought . . .

                      Our Caja China has arrived . . . to be assembled by our wonderful co-host/neighbor/contractor this weekend.

                      We ordered our pig from Fatted Calf because it mattered to me to get an organic, humanely raised animal. The most they could narrow down hang weight was 65-80#, which they said is the smallest they can get. Apparently return on investment goes way, way up once the pig is fully grown, so ranchers are loathe to part with smaller animals. It's $6.50/lb, which is a lot. But, and this was a HUGE plus for me, they are going to marinate it to my specifications 2 days ahead. We just have to pick it up the day of the pig roast, and don't have to worry about keeping a whole, marinating pig cold for 24+ hours.

                      Fatted Calf
                      644-C First Street, Napa, CA 94559

                      1. re: Pistou

                        Here's how someone else handled it. You've heard of bathtube gin, how about bathtube pig?


                        1. re: wolfe

                          So we got a pig last night, actually two. I called around to most of your suggestions.

                          Restaurant Depot in Oakland- spoke with 3 people, one was supposed to call me back with a quote but never did. Tried calling him back twice with no response.

                          El Cerrito Natural - they order from Niman Ranch, but again, didn't call me back.

                          Marin Sun Farms - $210 for 30-45 lbs, $315 for 45-80 lbs. Kind of weird because it's the same price for 80 lbs vs. 50 lbs since they don't know what the size of the pig would be. Need two weeks notice.

                          Costco Richmond - I called and spoke with the head meat guy who said they had a special awhile ago for a 40lbs pig and now they only have 2 left but one is half freezer burnt bc the head part was exposed on accident but the other half is fine. It was originally selling for $499 each. He said now the pig is $99. So we went to check it out last night. We ended up getting both of them for $150 - original cost $1000.

                          We did some research online and it looks like the pigs are de-boned and already cooked, not raw like we were hoping. (It's frozen so hard to tell.) And because it's de-boned and still 40 lbs each, each pig is supposed to feed 80-100 people. I think we are only cooking one that night and will save the other one for Thanksgiving or something.

                          My husband is slightly disappointed the pig is not raw and he won't be able to roast it himself but now he's looking into cooking it on the BBQ so he'll get over it. Maybe next time. (The funny part is that I'm sure Costco would let us return them but I'm over the pig research.)

                          Here's the link to the two pigs:


                          Thanks all for your help!

                          1. re: calalilly

                            Those sound like whole traditional porchette, which would explain the high price.

                            1. re: Robert Lauriston

                              Right. Costco had been advertising whole porchetta. Apparently when you call these places you really need to specific RAW whole pig.

                        2. re: Pistou

                          I ordered a pig from Fatted Calf a few years ago, it was supposed to be 70 lbs. but turned out to be 105. I had to chop the trotters and feet off to fit it in the box.

                          Fatted Calf
                          644-C First Street, Napa, CA 94559

                      2. re: tpc

                        Hi tpc, so I don't suppose your friend would like to loan/rent his Caja China? I put mine together last night and realized they sent me the Model #1, when I ordered Model #2. I have an 80# (hang weight) pig coming Saturday and a roaster that fits a 70# (live weight) pig.

                        1. re: Pistou

                          His friend's model was a #1 also, this requires a Solomonic decision.

                          1. re: wolfe

                            Well, yes, we'd have to cut the pig in half but at least we could roast the whole thing! If Caja China won't overnight me the right model, plan B (or C, depending on how you count) is to have Fatted Calf take the haunches off and throw one on our grill and one on the neighbor's grill, remove the head and do our best to get the torso into the roaster. Never a dull moment, I tell you.

                            Fatted Calf
                            644-C First Street, Napa, CA 94559

                            1. re: Pistou

                              I know there is a saying about a pig in a poke.

                          2. re: Pistou

                            I'd like to help, Pistou, but that friend was my housemate in Berkeley from 6 years ago, and I have no idea how to get in touch with him. Also, that Caja China was not his, it was provided by the birthday boy, and I have no idea whether he borrowed, bought, or rented his.

                            1. re: tpc

                              Thanks, tpc. It was worth a try.

                              Update: I spoke with Caja China this morning and they are overnighting the larger model. Fingers crossed!

                              1. re: Pistou

                                Your pig sounds like it's going to be delicious. So smart to have FC do the marinating and picking it up the same day is brilliant.
                                Hope you can post some photos and home your roasting goes well!

                                1. re: rabaja

                                  The new, bigger Caja China is here and assembled. Fatted Calf just called and the pig is there, brined, marinated and 68 lbs. (RL, your story about gave me a heart attack! 105 lbs?!) It's a gorgeous day. Now if we can just get a repeat on the weather tomorrow!

                                  Photos, lots of photos on Home Cooking once we recover. Thanks for all the advice and cheer leading Chowhounds.

                                  Fatted Calf
                                  644-C First Street, Napa, CA 94559

                                  1. re: Pistou

                                    Fatted Calf was a lot smaller back then, I'm sure that's not a worry these days.

                                    Fatted Calf
                                    644-C First Street, Napa, CA 94559

                        2. Cash n Carry in Oakland had a sign for whole pigs for sale (a variety of sizes too, I think). Maybe this is not particular to just the Oakland store.