I love a hog roast! I went to my first one at a wedding about 20 years ago. The bride sent home little baggies with pork as take away gifts…I nibbled, nibbled, nibbled all the way home!
The Hubs and I went to California for a vacation 3 years ago and while driving in Sonoma we spotted a sign that said “Hog Roast Today” at a vineyard. We pulled over and spent the day under olive trees smelling and then eating the delicious roast pig!
I was watching Bobby Flay one day and saw him roast a pig in a La Caja Asadora. It looked like so much fun! A few days later my Hubs mentioned he saw it too and wanted to know it I wanted one of those roasters…and the rest is Hog Roasting History!!!
Hog Roastin’ was on the agenda for this reunion from the very beginning. It really is easy, impressive and a great way to feed a crowd…for days! This was Hog # 10 for me….it gets easier every time. Here are my tips and tricks and my recipes for a perfect family feast.
I like a good deal. Suckling pig is impressive but expensive, they can range from $4.99 a pound to $9.99 a pound so I have never tried one of those. I would rather cook a few shoulders (Pork Butt or brisket for that money.) I have found that a split whole hog is the most bang for my buck. I get about 100 pounds of pig for $1.00 to $1.49 a pound. You get all the bang and can still afford side dishes. I prefer scalded to skinned and I usually ask the butcher to cut off the head and feet. It fits better in the roaster and I don’t enjoy either at a bbq.
If you use the Cajun Microwave aka La Caja Asadora–put it together and fire it up! I use about 2 & 1/2 twenty pound bags of charcoal. I like hardwood for slow even burning. I use my charcoal starter, light it up about 30 min before you need to start the pig. I spread charcoal over the top and sprinkle the red hot coals over to start up the hog lovin’ oven.
I add charcoal every two hours, I add a bit more to the ends than the middle. About 2 hours before you wanna eat, empty the ash pan and flip the piggy.
The best part of the whole process is the smell. The aroma starts wafting hours before it is time to eat and beckons everyone in the valley to the table! Really, aside from Thanksgiving cooking-This smells better than anything on earth!
Ove-Gloves and nail thermometers are a must! We bring our pigs to 165 degrees and we do just fine. I use smoked salt on the scored skin side and on the “bone” side I use 1/4 cup liquid smoke, smoked salt, garlic, onion powder, paprika, cheyene and black pepper. I don’t use anything with brown sugar–it burns.
So, Dinner is ready. The family gathers around, picks tidbits while we are carving. We have a delicious, succulent, tender roast pork-no sauce required.
In the next few days I will tell you about the side dishes for this dinner and how we used the left-overs to feed the fam the rest of our time together.
It ain’t fancy-it’s just family and that is fine with me~