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thirdeye

Anybody Spit Roast Small Pigs?

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My buddy and I got a great deal on two 40# pigs (fully processed and frozen) from a butcher shop after someone backed out on the order.  Out plan is to spit roast them for a Labor Day pot-luck.  Looking for any additional tips or suggestions for smaller pigs like this.  Were doing them on the spit pictured below and our plan so far is to:

  1. Have the butcher slow thaw in their walk-in for 4 or 5 days or per their recommendation.
  2. Pick-up the day before and remove any missed hair, then inject and hold in a kiddie pool with ice and a blanket for insulation.
  3. The morning of the cook we will head to the site and start the fire so it has time to settle down, meanwhile --- remove the heads, tail and trotters --- u-bolt the pig's spine to the spit along with a couple of twine trusses --- score the skin about 1/8" deep --- season the outside with salt ---  season the cavity with salt + pepper + BBQ rub --- add some garlic cloves and lemon quarters to the cavity --- stitch the cavity up with cooking twine --- tie back the legs --- oil the skin --- then start the cook with coals under the shoulders and hams --- use an apple juice based spray during the cook --- monitor the loins so we don't overcook --- and remove when the shoulders and hams get 175°.  We're allowing 4 hours for the cook time.
  4. We will have a cafeteria table with a couple of jack stands to set the spit on --- let rest for 30 minutes --- then start carving away starting with the loins, then breaking down the shoulders and hams. I want to reserve some nice crispy skin in each of the foil serving trays, and I have a Cambro for holding if needed. 
  5. Here is my buddy's spit roaster built by his Father in the 70's for roasting lamb, which we do each year, sometimes with a goat too. It's lined with fire brick and holds the heat well.  The motor is a variable speed.
  6. We will have an portable shelter to keep the cooks out of the sun, and a couple of fire extinguishers just in case.

 

StZW2x4.jpg

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I would speed the thaw time up. Bacteria multiply at a certain pace and while temperature is a factor prevailing wisdom says keep it in the danger zone as brief as possible. Every multiplication cycle the bacteria count doubles so things can change rapidly.

You might consider bringing or salting it when frozen so as it thaws the salt inhibits bacterial growth plus helps make the pork yummier. 

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9 hours ago, thirdeye said:
  • Have the butcher slow thaw in their walk-in for 4 or 5 days or per their recommendation.
  • Pick-up the day before and remove any missed hair, then inject and hold in a kiddie pool with ice and a blanket for insulation.

It sounds like you have this handled. Man that is going to be some good pork!

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9 hours ago, PurpleFloyd said:

I would speed the thaw time up. Bacteria multiply at a certain pace and while temperature is a factor prevailing wisdom says keep it in the danger zone as brief as possible. Every multiplication cycle the bacteria count doubles so things can change rapidly.

You might consider bringing or salting it when frozen so as it thaws the salt inhibits bacterial growth plus helps make the pork yummier. 

Good point. I was hoping their walk-in would be in the 36°-38° zone just below the danger zone. I know they store their fresh sausage and boxed beef in there.  If we picked up too early we would run the risk of not keeping it cold enough.  I'll get with them and see how they normally handle a slow thaw.

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