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Old 04-20-2004, 09:31 PM   #1
Assistant Cook
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 4
Cooking Whole Hog on Rotisserie

I have a rotisserie I purchased from DB entertainment, bbq1.com , it is 5 feet in length. I plan on rotisserie cooking a 60 to 80lb hog in May. If anyone has cooked one using a rotisserie or has any good advice please let me know. Most of the info I have gotten is off random websites so it would be good to trade info with an actual person that has done this before.



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Old 07-03-2004, 08:01 PM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,018
Hi Heath
Its long past your date, but for general information and interest, here's a few thoughts and considerations for the others that read this List, and yourself, if you ever want to try the "Pig Party" concept again...

Hopefully, you have a really substantial, say 1" diameter or better, stainless steel spit. Because getting the carcass balanced on the spit can be challenging (and is the biggest task!) and its really important, lest the work, if unbalanced, will "flip" as it rotates, resulting in some parts being overcooked and others being rawer than you want.

To get a more even turn to your spit, you get a 2 gallon pail of water, hung from a leather strap, with the strap wrapped about three turns around the spit at the idle (as opposed driven) end, and this will serve to counterweight the work, and keep the rotation even...you can adjust for effect by reducing the amount of water in the pail, and you might want to time the rpm's periodically, as the work lightens as time increases...

The carcass (or "work") is very thick in places and thin in others...so cooking will be uneven if you don't take certain precautions...you will want to "tinfoil" the ears, snout, tail and hocks, for instance (shiny side outwards) so as not to burn these areas...and pull this foil off during the last hour of cooking ton get the same glazed look...

The skin, or rind of the pig will resist most attempts at infusing flavour by basteing, but basting does keep the skin moistened and unburnt, so have a couple quarts of moisture available for basting the work, and a long handled paint brush to do this with...I'd suggest something to your own taste...beer, fruit juices (pineapple, orange, apple), soya sauce, garlic and onion juices and the like would work well with pork, minding you don't want to get too sugary, lest it carmelise too early!)

Note that roasting the pig will take 6-8 hours, as you want to roast it slowly, but thoroughly. If using charcoal, then you can "shape" the charcoal to the shape of the work, if you are using gas, then you should "bias" the firebricks (stainless steel is now the state of the art, but the ceramic ones work well, too) to be centered in added thickness around the thicker parts of the work...

If I was going to "do" a pig on the BBQ again, I'd be tempted to see if my butcher didn't have a plastic bag big enough to encase the whole carcass, and have a go at "brining" the carcass for a day, if not two, in the butcher's fridge...I'm talking here of several gallons of water, a pound or so of Kosher Salt, a pound of brown sugar, a couple dozen bay leaves, a couple quarts of either apple juice or lemon juice, a bottle of soya sauce or teriyaki (you get the idea!) all mixed, boiled and cooled with the work left in a vaccuum pack with this for 24-48 hours...(discarding the liquid prior to cooking)

Likewise, I'd think hard about "flavouring" the meat with the use of smoke...and here, I would consider several pounds of apple wood, cherry wood, hickory or maple...with a chain saw, its easy to create yourself, if you can't find the prepackaged stuff...(note you should soak this wood chip supply in water for several hours, and add more as the initial stuff finishes; keep the hood down on top of the BBQ to get the full effect...)

It also makes sense to have a BBQ proof pot of water in the bottom, in order to add some steam to the mix, that you maintain through the cooking process, as you definitely don't want the work dried out at the completion...more reason for closing the hood while doing the cooking, and only periodically opening it...

This will be a day and time where you really want to have a good digital meat thermometer to check for "doneness" at various locations, and perhaps a sharp "pointy" knife to cut through the rind to insert the probe...that being said, we don't want to pincushion the work, or it'll leak juice like Billy be damned, and that is undesirable...

Note the "apple in the mouth, grapes in the eyesockets, etc, happen in the last 30 minutes or less of the cooking process...remember to have the butcher eviscerate the eyes, and create a wedge for the mouth ahead of time to avoid disappointment...

When the work comes off the BBQ...well, you did remember to have the mother of all carving boards on hand, umpteen pairs of oven mitts because its both hot and heavy...a number of previously sharpened carving knives, and a sharpening steel, since there IS a lot of slicing to be done...asking the butcher for a drawing of how your pig goes together (and comes apart) isn't a bad idea either...

Likewise, since cooking is a coordination of time plus effort, bear in mind how long it takes to carve a 60-80 lb carcass with the "skin" and bones issue, platters to hold all the product, what to do with the juices that run out of it, and what and where are the veggies cooking...here's another instance of where you need a number of assistants! And also, its got to cool a bit before you start your butchering/carving...

I find that while you know that what you've cooked will be found delicious by your guests, you, the "cook" and watchguard of the work will have little if any appetite for it, by the time it all comes out...and therefor, getting a "team"of cookers together that you get a break or three through the day is a good idea, and you are not so consistently on the dime...
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