There are few party foods more spectacular and delicious than a whole roast pig served with quarts of thick barbecue sauce. A properly roasted pig can be the life of the party, so to speak, but correctly selecting, preparing and serving the whole hog presents a technical challenge that few home chefs are prepared to tackle, with most people choosing to leave it to the professionals.However, with practice, patience and this handy cooking guide, you too can turn out the perfect pig from your roasting box for your party.
Whilst you can have fun creating your own hog roast, there are many professional options such as The Roasting Pig’s hog roast hire in Warwickshire, also catering for hog roast’s in Nottingham and around the Midlands. These professional hog roast caterers can deliver all of the preparation, cooking and serving of the food but obviously at a higher price than doing it yourself.
Roasting a whole hog is particularly challenging because all of the different cuts of meat cook together at the same time, and getting all the portions both moist and cooked through can be tricky. When cooking cuts of pork individually, desired internal temperatures can range from 145 degrees for the juicy tenderloins all the way up to 203 for the thick and fatty shoulders, so when roasting a whole pig, some compromise is required. With a little extra care and a few tricks, you can get all the individual pieces to come together to form a delicious whole.
Getting the right pig starts with asking your local butcher. If they can’t get a whole pig for you, it’s likely that they know someone who can. It’s important to know how many guests you will be serving at your party beforehand so you can get a pig of the proper size. Experts suggest purchasing anywhere from one to two pounds of hanging meat per guest; one pound of hanging meat will cook down to six ounces of cooked pork, so make sure to purchase enough for each hungry guest. Remember that the heavier the pig is, the harder it will be to lift and turn. Important questions to ask your butcher include whether the animal will arrive frozen and whether it will be dressed (with organs, hair, and sometimes head and feet removed). You can also request that your butcher crack the skull and spine for you so that you can splay the hog out flat on your grill.
While you can build your own pit, many at-home pig roasters choose to rent a pit for their party. Choosing a gas pit allows you precise control over cooking temperatures while still letting you add wood for that smokey flavor.
Like all good barbecue, a roast pig should be cooked low and slow. Many experts recommend a 250 degree pit, with varying cook times depending on how large your pig is. You will need at least 2 quarts of your favorite barbecue sauce, as well as cooking oil and seasoning injection if desired.
Roasting a hog is a time consuming task, but the result of a perfectly cooked pig is well worth the time and effort.