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Old 07-22-2012, 02:52 PM
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Location: uk
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Default Whole pig

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.
Attached Thumbnails
Whole pig-pig-before-prep.jpg   Whole pig-pig-going-oven.jpg   Whole pig-pig-embers.jpg   Whole pig-half-cooked-pig.jpg   Whole pig-cooked-pig.jpg  

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  #2  
Old 07-23-2012, 08:58 AM
Aegis's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Southbury Ct. USA
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Default Re: Whole pig

Quote:
Originally Posted by axeman View Post
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!
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Old 07-23-2012, 11:16 AM
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Location: Northern Ontario
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Default Re: Whole pig

WOW Indeed!

Roast pig is now on my list of things to cook in my WFO.
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Old 07-25-2012, 01:24 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Jacksonville,Fl
Posts: 160
Default 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
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Old 07-26-2012, 12:41 AM
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Location: uk
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Default 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.
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Old 07-26-2012, 06:02 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Jacksonville,Fl
Posts: 160
Default 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
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Old 07-26-2012, 09:46 AM
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Default Re: Whole pig

Wow.

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

Bill
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  #8  
Old 07-26-2012, 11:30 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: uk
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Default 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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