Spit Roasting a Whole Pig | FAQ
Table of Contents
This Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) post is taken from our extensive guide for cooking a whole pig on a spit. If you require any information at all we highly recommend reading that post. This FAQ guide should answer most questions relating to the article.
Cooking a Pig on the Spit Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q1: What are the essential ingredients used in preparing the pig for roasting on a spit?
A: When preparing the pig, you'll need olive oil for basting, 1 kg of table salt, and 200 grams of pepper (or a 1:5 ratio with the salt). These ingredients are used to coat the pig for flavour and crispy skin. In addition, you will want a few kilo’s of apples and onions for stuffing the pig.
Q2: How should I prepare the pig before cooking it on the spit?
A: Start by tipping the pig to remove excess blood, thoroughly drying it with paper towels, and coating it with olive oil. Generously coat the pig with salt and pepper both inside and outside. Optionally, you can use premade rubs designed for BBQ or spits as a seasoning.
Q3: What's the recommended timeline for preparing the pig before cooking?
A: Ideally, prepare the pig the night before the cook and keep it wrapped in the fridge or on ice. If you can't do it overnight, aim to prepare it 2-3 hours before starting the cook.
Q4: How do I start the charcoal for a charcoal spit?
A: To start charcoal for a charcoal spit, use a chimney with fire starters or directly in the charcoal pan. It takes 20-30 minutes to fully burn in. When adding fresh charcoal during the cook, make sure to add it to the side and touching the burning charcoal, not directly on top.
Q5: How do I attach the pig to the spit?
A: To attach the pig to the spit, you'll need a spine brace, skewer, large prongs, leg brace, and stainless steel wire. The process involves securing the spine brace, inserting the skewer from the back through the mouth, attaching large prongs to the front and back, and using a leg brace for the back legs. If necessary, wire may be needed to secure the front legs.
Q6: What's the recommended method for stuffing the pig?
A: You can stuff the pig's belly cavity with apples and onions. For a 17-20 kg pig, use approximately 1.5 - 2 kg of each. You can also add garlic cloves, other spices, or herbs as desired.
Q7: How do I stitch the pig's belly after stuffing it?
A: After stuffing, use thin stainless-steel wire to stitch the pig's belly, keeping the stuffing inside. The stitches should be no more than 1 inch apart and not pulled too tight to avoid tearing the meat.
Q8: How long does it take to cook a whole pig on the spit?
A: Cooking a whole pig on a spit typically takes 6-8 hours over charcoal. Adjust the height of the pig above the coals during the cook for optimal results.
Q9: How can I achieve perfect pork crackle when roasting a whole pig?
A: To get the perfect crackle, start the pig low and raise it during the cook. At the end, remove the skin, grill it above the charcoal or bake it in a conventional oven until it's golden brown and crispy.
Q10: What's the result of following this method for cooking a whole pig on the spit?
A: By following this method, you'll achieve a perfectly juicy pig with meat that's moist and evenly cooked. The crispy skin or crackle will be light and super crunchy, with no chewy parts to be found. Enjoy a delicious and unforgettable culinary experience!
Q11: Can I use a gas spit instead of charcoal for cooking a whole pig?
A: Yes, if you prefer a gas spit, you can use it as an alternative. In that case, you can skip the steps related to starting charcoal for the spit. The rest of the preparation and cooking process remains similar.
Q12: What can I use for basting the pig during the cooking process?
A: You can use a mixture of olive oil and lemon juice in a 1:1 ratio for basting the pig every 20-30 minutes during the cook. You can apply the baste with a basting brush or use a water spray bottle to make it easier.
Q13: Can I use different seasonings or rubs for the pig instead of salt and pepper?
A: Yes, you can experiment with different seasonings or premade rubs designed for BBQ or spits to add unique flavours to the pig. The choice of seasonings is flexible and can be tailored to your preferences.
Q14: What's the importance of maintaining the charcoal's height during the cook?
A: Keeping the charcoal at the right height below the pig is crucial for even cooking. If it's too close, the outer layers may cook too quickly, while having it too high can lead to uneven cooking. Adjusting the height of the skewer as recommended ensures the best results.
Q15: Is it necessary to raise the pig at the beginning of the cook?
A: Yes, it's recommended to start with the pig at a higher position while you get the pig in place and secured to the motor. Once the pig is rotating, lower it so your hand can only be kept for 4-6 seconds between the bottom of the pig. Adjust the height above the pig if you can or can’t hold your hand for that duration of time.
Q16: Can I use different fruits and vegetables for stuffing the pig?
A: While apples and onions are a popular choice for stuffing, you can experiment with other fruits or vegetables based on your preferences. The choice of stuffing ingredients can be adapted to your taste.
Q17: What's the advantage of using a water spray bottle for basting?
A: Using a water spray bottle to apply the baste makes the process more convenient and efficient. It helps ensure an even distribution of the basting mixture and keeps the pig moist during the cooking process.
Q18: Can I cook a smaller pig using the same method described here?
A: Yes, you can adapt the method for smaller pigs as well. Adjust the quantities of ingredients and the cooking time accordingly based on the size of the pig you are roasting.
Q19: How do I ensure the meat remains juicy throughout the cooking process?
A: To ensure the meat stays juicy, use the recommended method of stuffing the pig and basting it regularly. The moisture from the stuffing and baste will permeate the meat from the inside out, resulting in a succulent roast.
Q20: Can I follow this method using a store-bought rotisserie or commercial spit equipment?
A: The method described is adaptable for various types of rotisseries or spit equipment, including commercial setups. However, the specific accessories and setup may vary, so you'll need to make sure they match the equipment you have.
If you have any other questions or need general information on how to use a spit rotisserie or what one is read our ultimate guide to spit roaster rotisseries.