Originally Posted by markdtn
Thank you. This is the direction I am leaning on this particular cook. I can dig the pit during the week, then get off work at noon on Friday and prep the pig, start the fire about 5:00 and put it on at 10:00. All that sounds do-able.
I want to try the other methods, but just not this time. Normally the tending fire is the part I enjoy, but this time I just want to be able to be as flexible as possible on Saturday to visit with family. They won't be there on Friday, so I maximize my time this way.
Just so I understand the big picture:
-dig a pit about 3' deep and 1' bigger than the pig
-line the bottom with firebrick or rocks
-create a bed of hardwood coals approaching 1' deep
-place a metal grate just above the coals. I have a few pieces of floor grate I was planning to use for that.
-wrap prepped pig in foil, then burlap, then chicken wire
-wet down the burlap and place pig on grate
-immediately cover hole with a metal plate that completely cuts off air to hole. (no galvanized) So if you use roofing it can't have any nail holes? Can you use aluminum siding for this? Could you use untreated plywood? This seems like the hardest part for me to find. I don't have anything for this part.
-cook 12-14 hours (~100 lb pig)
The pit needs to be big enough for the bed of hot coals, the pig and at least 6 inches of space above and on the sides of the pig.
I've not used rocks or bricks in my pits but they would help hold the heat in longer.
Holes in roofing are fine if you can cover them so the dirt doesn't fall into the pit. They might be small enough holes that it wouldn't matter.
Siding works if it's not painted or treated.
I've not used plywood, the pit gets pretty hot, not sure if I would trust it.
I have placed 2x4s across pits and covered with tin to reinforce it.... Works pretty well.
After digging the pig up the next day, it still needs a rest time just like any meat.
Another thing.... place the pig on it's back of possible. The skin will hold in the juices as it cooks. An underground pig's skin isn't crisp like a roasted one but it helps protect the meat and keeps every thing moist.
I'm leaving for a campout either today or tomorrow. Just wanted to let you know in case I disappear from the forum. I won't have computer access for a week or so.
Good luck with the pig, I hope all goes well for you!!
Hope you have great luck with it!