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Unread 04-28-2013, 04:59 AM   #1
jbushee
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Default Pit Roasting Time for 30# Pig

So I'm going to try pit roasting my first pig soon. Have been looking at a bunch of sites, trying to get my ducks in a row, but I'm having a hard time getting an idea of the cooking time, mostly because I'm going to be using a small 30# pig and the times usually given are for much larger pigs.

I realize that it's hard to nail down cooking time, since there are a lot of variables, but if someone has experience with this, and can give me a rough idea, that'd be great.

Using a small rock lined pit. Plan about 1' of coals over the stone. Rebar grate a couple inches over the coals, with a piece of sheet metal roughly pig size on the grate for a deflector.

I'm in CT, so no banana leaves, but will wrap a few times with wet burlap, and plan to add a coffee can of water for steam, then cover pit with another piece of sheet metal and bury.

I'm thinking 6 hours, but am sorta guessing, and don't want to wait too long to unearth before checking. Course I don't really want to have to bury it back up again either :)
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Unread 04-28-2013, 08:02 AM   #2
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Cupalla thoughts on this. Easy on the water it may cool the stones. Whatever fuel you use make sure it will heat the stone hot enough to do the cook. In this case I would recommend a thermometer to monitor the internal temp. Only trial and error will tell you X number of hours =X pounds of pig.
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Unread 04-29-2013, 10:16 AM   #3
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I get ya Cap, just hoping someone would have some tips. Check it after 6 hours, wait until 8 hours etc.

Was planning on setting the can of water on the sheet metal over the grate beside the pig. No good you think?
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Unread 04-29-2013, 11:59 AM   #4
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You won't need water if you use wet burlap. Season, inject and stuff the pig, wrap in burlap and hit it with the garden hose to wet it down. I've wrapped pigs in foil and they still come out moist. The underground pit makes meat nice and moist.


I'd up the hot coal amount, 1" doesn't sound like enough heat to make the hot rocks last long. Not sure what you plan on using but hardwood coal is going to give you a longer cook. Charcoal will not work well.

A 30lb pig isn't very big but when I cook pork butts, (no rocks) they still take at least 8 hours.
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=102034

If you butterfly the pig it will cook fast. If not, I'd plan on at least 8 hours, give yourself time to let the pig rest too.

When cooking a large hog (without rocks) I make the hot coal bed about 1 ft deep so it will last for at least 12 hours.

http://cowgirlscountry.blogspot.com/...derground.html


It's hard to pin point a time for a 30lber.

Good luck with it!!
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Unread 04-29-2013, 12:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowgirl View Post
You won't need water if you use wet burlap. Season, inject and stuff the pig, wrap in burlap and hit it with the garden hose to wet it down. I've wrapped pigs in foil and they still come out moist. The underground pit makes meat nice and moist.


I'd up the hot coal amount, 1" doesn't sound like enough heat to make the hot rocks last long. Not sure what you plan on using but hardwood coal is going to give you a longer cook. Charcoal will not work well.

A 30lb pig isn't very big but when I cook pork butts, (no rocks) they still take at least 8 hours.
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=102034

If you butterfly the pig it will cook fast. If not, I'd plan on at least 8 hours, give yourself time to let the pig rest too.

When cooking a large hog (without rocks) I make the hot coal bed about 1 ft deep so it will last for at least 12 hours.

http://cowgirlscountry.blogspot.com/...derground.html


It's hard to pin point a time for a 30lber.

Good luck with it!!
Thanks!

Only about 20 of us, so a small pig, and that's part of the problem. Lack of info about such a small beast!

I did plan 1' of coals (oak), not 1" :)
Racing style, not butterflied, so will plan on 8+

BTW, I'd checked out your posts before I signed up here. Good info
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Unread 04-29-2013, 12:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbushee View Post
Thanks!

Only about 20 of us, so a small pig, and that's part of the problem. Lack of info about such a small beast!

I did plan 1' of coals (oak), not 1" :)
Racing style, not butterflied, so will plan on 8+

BTW, I'd checked out your posts before I signed up here. Good info
Welcome and thanks!
Wish I could be of more help. I've cooked briskets and turkeys too and they all seem to take about 8 hours.
Hope it all works out well for you!

I know you probably already know this but just in case..... make sure no smoke is escaping from the pit when you bury it. If so, throw more dirt on. Air in the pit will cause flair ups.

Good luck!
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Unread 04-29-2013, 12:26 PM   #7
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Is there no way to monitor internal temp of the pig without opening the pit? I use a wireless thermometer on my uds. Would one of those hold up in there maybe?
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Unread 04-29-2013, 12:27 PM   #8
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Yes a thermometer in the meat would work well.
I've never needed one.
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Unread 04-29-2013, 01:56 PM   #9
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30# is small! Post some pron so we can see how you do! Good luck!
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Unread 04-29-2013, 02:38 PM   #10
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Haven't done one in a pit, but I've roasted several wild hogs that size whole or halved in regular smokers at 250* or so, usually takes about 7-8 hours. This one my son killed a while back took was in the 30 lb range on the hoof, took about 7 hours to cook.




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Unread 05-19-2013, 05:01 AM   #11
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Well turns out I got a 50# (dressed).
I lined my pit with stone, and started the fire about 1am, and let it burn for 4 hours to heat the stone and build up over a foot of coals.
Wrapped in several layers of burlap, then chicken wire, then tie wire.
I suspended it a couple three inches over the coals with chain, to some rebar across the pit, about 5am.
Checked it at 1pm and it was done. 170-180.
Not everyone was there yet, so put it back in for another hour.
When it came out at 2, it was SUPER juicy, and after handling it a little getting it unwrapped, the bones were just about jumping out of the thing!

Thanks for all the suggestions. I figured I'd circle back and let folks know what worked for me.
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Unread 05-19-2013, 08:39 AM   #12
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Pictures??
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Unread 05-19-2013, 07:27 PM   #13
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Really only took a couple shots of the pit, in the works, and one of my son watching the fire in the wee hours. I'll see if anyone grabbed any as we dug it out etc. I know one friend took some video. Maybe there were some stills too...
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Unread 05-19-2013, 08:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbushee View Post
Well turns out I got a 50# (dressed).
I lined my pit with stone, and started the fire about 1am, and let it burn for 4 hours to heat the stone and build up over a foot of coals.
Wrapped in several layers of burlap, then chicken wire, then tie wire.
I suspended it a couple three inches over the coals with chain, to some rebar across the pit, about 5am.
Checked it at 1pm and it was done. 170-180.
Not everyone was there yet, so put it back in for another hour.
When it came out at 2, it was SUPER juicy, and after handling it a little getting it unwrapped, the bones were just about jumping out of the thing!

Thanks for all the suggestions. I figured I'd circle back and let folks know what worked for me.


Thanks for letting us know, sounds like it worked out well for ya!
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Unread 05-19-2013, 08:53 PM   #15
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When we do an imu over here our pit is usually 2'x3' and we heat the rocks until they are white hot. Be careful if you are using rocks as they have water inside that will steam and make them explode. We did a 30lb pig, chickens, and a turducken for thanksgiving 2011 and used a wireless thermometer. Surprisingly the pig hit 180 in 2 hrs, and we pulled it at 6. Everything was cooked and tasted good, only thing to do differently would let the pig rest longer ~1hr and not do the turducken, it looked funny.
Forgot to mention how we prep the pig. Hawaiian salt the belly, 2-3 small rocks inside smells so good at this point. Lay chicken wire on the table, then stack banana leaves, ti leaves, pig, ti leaves, banana leaves and wrap the chicken wire tight. Banana stumps split on the hot rocks, banana leaves, food, ti leaves, banana leaves, soaking wet burlap bags, blue tarp, and dirt removed for the pit. Wait one hour and make sure no steam is escaping, if it is add more dirt.
Good luck and post pics of the finished product.

Last edited by nrm; 05-19-2013 at 09:23 PM..
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