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axeman 07-22-2012 03:52 PM

Whole pig
 
5 Attachment(s)
I saw that others had done suckling pigs in their ovens, and I've cooked a suckling pig in our indoor oven, but yesterday I cooked something a bit bigger, one of our pigs that was about four months old and weighed in at about 30kgs oven ready. I slaughtered him and prepared him Friday afternoon, and on Saturday morning (yesterday) smeared the inside of the carcass with a blended mush of garlic, lemon, olive oil, rosemary, sage and mint, and a large bunch of the same fresh herbs, plus covered the skin with olive oil and sea salt.

It went in at about 3.30pm and came out four hours later, just about fitting into the oven which is a standard 1m diameter (I had to cut his back legs at the knee to fit him in).

I lost a lot of heat after I'd cooked pizzas and then a batch of bread so fired it for an hour with some more wood and left the burning embers in place when the pig went in which meant I had 250 deg C plus at point of entry, which both crisped the skin up nicely and meant the finished effect was subtly smokey and delicious with a fantastic crackling.

It fed 20 adults and about 20 children with plenty to spare.

Photos of the pig fest attached.

Aegis 07-23-2012 09:58 AM

Re: Whole pig
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by axeman (Post 135383)
I saw that others had done suckling pigs in their ovens, and I've cooked a suckling pig in our indoor oven, but yesterday I cooked something a bit bigger, one of our pigs that was about four months old and weighed in at about 30kgs oven ready. I slaughtered him and prepared him Friday afternoon, and on Saturday morning (yesterday) smeared the inside of the carcass with a blended mush of garlic, lemon, olive oil, rosemary, sage and mint, and a large bunch of the same fresh herbs, plus covered the skin with olive oil and sea salt.

It went in at about 3.30pm and came out four hours later, just about fitting into the oven which is a standard 1m diameter (I had to cut his back legs at the knee to fit him in).

I lost a lot of heat after I'd cooked pizzas and then a batch of bread so fired it for an hour with some more wood and left the burning embers in place when the pig went in which meant I had 250 deg C plus at point of entry, which both crisped the skin up nicely and meant the finished effect was subtly smokey and delicious with a fantastic crackling.

It fed 20 adults and about 20 children with plenty to spare.

Photos of the pig fest attached.

WOW WOW WOW ! Looks Fantastic! What a feast indeed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Great Job!

trapper 07-23-2012 12:16 PM

Re: Whole pig
 
WOW Indeed!

Roast pig is now on my list of things to cook in my WFO.

ThermoJax 07-25-2012 02:24 PM

Re: Whole pig
 
I did a smallish pig in my oven a few months back. I brined it in a bag in a big cooler first, salt sugar water, spices, orange juice.

Meanwhile, I ran the oven up to 800 degree F. So, a little too hot. But, the meat turned out good, but the skin was blackened. Was very good.


Tom

axeman 07-26-2012 01:41 AM

Re: Whole pig
 
That sounds good. Brining seems to be a common US approach to meat prep. I salt a lot of pork as charcuterie (we started a 9kg air dried ham with salami and chorizo while we waited for the pig too cook) but I've never used the brining method as a precursor to roasting.

I was v worried about the temperature, first that it would be too cool (which is why I refired it for a bit) and then that it would be too hot - it was probably closer to 300 deg C at the outset. But, as I had hoped the oven provided the perfect falling heat first to get the skin crispy and then to turn everything inside to melting succulence.

As to cooking times, there is, I think, a big distinction between a traditional hog roast or fire pit approach which needs up to 20 hours, and simply roasting the meat which could probably have been accomplished in 2-3 hours (we would roast a leg of pork in a conventional oven in 2-2.5 hours) with the extra hour or so of falling heat tenderising it still further. I think it is easy to become fazed by the idea that a whole pig is big piece of meat that must require a huge roasting time when in fact the cooking time is really dictated by the size of the thickest part (leg/shoulder) which of course doesn't change whether or not the leg/shoulder is still attached to the rest of the carcass.

Although it is not clear from my photos, I did of course use the oven door throughout the cooking time.

I'd really recommend doing this to anyone with lots of mouths to feed who can get hold of a whole pig.

Next up one of this year's spring lambs.

ThermoJax 07-26-2012 07:02 AM

Re: Whole pig
 
I think brining is like having an insurance policy. If you brine, you are less likely to have dry meat, even if the oven is too hot, as mine was. I liked to way your final presentation turned out. All of my skin was burnt black. But, I do agree that the old adage of "low and slow" is not always appropriate. " high and hot" can work well with whole pig. I can tell you that I cook a whole chicken with sliced potatoes and sliced onions at least once a week and I cook that at 600-650 F. You should try a chicken as well. Like it was sent directly from heaven to your plate.


Tom

WJW 07-26-2012 10:46 AM

Re: Whole pig
 
Wow.

Very cool. Wonderful presentation. I'd love to do that some time.

Bill

axeman 07-26-2012 12:30 PM

Re: Whole pig
 
A good day for us is pizza for late lunch, a batch of bread and then, if I've got the heat right, a tandoori style whole chicken roasted off in the remaining heat early evening.


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