Planning, preparing and cooking your spit pig
What size spit?
When you’re looking to hire a spit you need to make sure that the spit is long enough so that all of your pig is sitting over the coals once mounted on the skewer.
Here are some approximate spit pig lengths to help you when hiring your spit.
- Suckling (approx 9-12kg) – 80 cm
- Small (approx 13-20kg) – 90 cm
- Medium (approx 21-25kg) – 105 cm
- Large (approx 26-35kg) – 120 cm
Dealing with the black hairs...
As our pigs have black hair on most of their body (except for the white saddle over the forequarter) any stray hairs left after processing will be visible on the raw pig.
Use a sharp knife to shave any excess hair by scraping the skin against the direction of the hair. You can then singe any hard to reach or stubborn hairs using a kitchen torch or lighter. The remaining hairs (and hair left in the follicle) should burn off during the cooking process. We usually remove the skin and place it under the grill to create crispy crackling once the pig is fully cooked – this will also burn any hairs.
How to prepare and cook your spit pig
We have two videos for you to watch. They both show you how to stuff, tie and mount your pig on the spit. I would recommend you watch both and take away what information you need.
This first video goes into a lot of detail about how to insert the spit rod and all of the braces. It also talks about how high to mount the pig and how to avoid flare ups.
NB: Suckling pigs are quite small and may not require the back braces.
This second video goes into a bit more detail about preparing and distributing your coals to ensure an even cook and how to remove your pig once cooked. You may not be able to view this video if you live outside Australia.
For the most succulent pork, it’s best to use the low and slow method. This means you need to allow at least five to six hours to cook your pig. Your coals can take up to an hour from lighting to be ready for cooking – depending on weather conditions.
So, if you’re planning to cook and serve a 25 kg pig (for example) by 6 pm, you’ll need to have your pig on the spit and cooking by 11 am. That means, you need to start setting up at around 9 am and have the coals lit by 10 am to give them a full hour to heat through. It’s also good to have the pig at room temperature by the time it is placed over the coals.
A suggested cooking plan:
- 1 hour to prepare the pig and set up the roaster
- 1 hour for the coals to heat through
- Place the pig over the coals
- 5 to 7 hours cooking – cook until the internal temperature reaches 65 to 68°C (it will continue to cook during resting)
- 30 minutes resting (it won’t hurt to rest the pig longer if it’s ready early – better to be early than late!)
The actual cooking time will of course vary depending on the size of your pig and the current weather conditions – if it’s a cold day it could mean a slightly longer cook.