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Old 12-16-2012, 08:07 AM
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Default Roasting a suckling pig

I am ready to roast a suckling pig in my wood-fired oven and have been reading several earlier posts on the subject. All the posts are about 5 years old and there is no obvious pattern as to the best pig weight, cooking temperatures, and cooking times. Does anyone have any suggestions or recommendations (based on experience) for cooking (say) a 20 pound pig? All suggestions are welcome!
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Old 12-17-2012, 05:28 PM
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Default Re: Roasting a suckling pig

I cooked a sucking pig about a year ago, it was about 20lbs. I injected the back end with apricot jam & the front half with lemon/olive oil. I put the pig in the oven when the temp was 250C/480F. It was ready in about 3 1/2 hours. The meat was tender and sweet but the skin did not crackle as much as I would have liked. Will try and post photo later
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Old 12-18-2012, 06:39 AM
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Default Re: Roasting a suckling pig

Thank you for your prompt response. I will look forward to any photos you post. Also, may I assume you basted the pig periodically?
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Old 12-18-2012, 05:19 PM
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Default Re: Roasting a suckling pig

Yes I did, but maybe thats why it did not crackle up. I am doing another one early next year. will post results then
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Old 12-18-2012, 05:23 PM
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Default Re: Roasting a suckling pig

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Old 12-18-2012, 06:41 PM
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Default Re: Roasting a suckling pig

Red,

It looks like there are grill marks on the back - did you turn it over while cooking it?
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Old 12-18-2012, 07:16 PM
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Default Re: Roasting a suckling pig

They are not grill marks, they are cuts. I used a Stanly knife with a blade set to about 5mm deep and cut slices in it. Its easier to cut and everybody gets some crackle. By doing this I am able to rub salt into the skin so you draw the moisture out. You should get a good crackle.
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Old 12-18-2012, 07:34 PM
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Default Re: Roasting a suckling pig

Gotcha - thanks!
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Old 12-21-2012, 10:06 AM
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Default Re: Roasting a suckling pig

To Red Dwarf: I apologize for the delay in responding. I was traveling for the holidays. In position now with the grandchildren!

I like your photo -- very impressive.

I have researched several web sites claiming some expertise in roasting suckling pigs. None of these use wood ovens, unfortunately. They seem to share two items that may be important to what both of us seem to be attempting to accomplish. One, they roast at medium temperatures for extended periods (as you reported you had done); but they then return the roast (after resting for up to two hours) to a hot (500 degree F) oven for up to 30 minutes to create blisters and an "extremely" crisp skin.

I'm just speculating, since I haven't actually done this yet, but after roasting the pig in our wood ovens, we could use a conventional oven to crisp the skin; or, more interestingly I would argue, we could use the "rest" period to reheat the oven to 500 degrees or more and do the crisping maneuver there!

To read more about this, visit The Food Lab: How to Roast a Whole Suckling Pig | Serious Eats. Be sure to click on the Whole Roast Suckling Pig link near the bottom of the page.

Also, thanks one more time for your interest in sharing your views on this culinary adventure. I appreciate your advice and experience. Happy Holidays to you and your family.

Grandpa Joe
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Old 12-21-2012, 10:50 AM
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Default Re: Roasting a suckling pig

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfgentile View Post
One, they roast at medium temperatures for extended periods (as you reported you had done); but they then return the roast (after resting for up to two hours) to a hot (500 degree F) oven for up to 30 minutes to create blisters and an "extremely" crisp skin.
With a two hour rest you could bring your oven back to any temp you desired, I have read on this site somewhere that same process but could not find it. You can easily bring a 400 degree oven to well over 500 in less than 20 minutes.

I think you have something there. Worth trying anyway.

Chip
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