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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 08-14-2006, 04:34 PM   #1
Neil
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Default Pig Roast

Okay everyone, I need help. A buddy of mine is thinking about buying a pig to Q for Labor Day weekend down on his beach and wants me to help cook. Does anyone know anything about roasting a pig in pit dug out of the sand?
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Unread 08-14-2006, 05:52 PM   #2
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Nope. We spin em here. I can't spell rotisserie, but dictionary dot com can.
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Unread 08-14-2006, 07:55 PM   #3
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I have only been to one function where they cooked a pig in a dug pit, and I was not involved in the process. However, it seems to be a lot of unnecessary work to me, for the result. You end up with a steamed pig.

Why don't you suggest he do the pig in a smoker or pig cooker instead. That puts it in the area of your expertise, and in my opinion, will result in a much better meal.
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Unread 08-14-2006, 08:01 PM   #4
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Default Pimps EZ method (but not really)

I've done a goat before, and a swiner I don't think would be much different.

Here's what we did:

1) Dig a pit big enough to fit the animal, about 4 to 6 inches of coals and 6 - 8 inches of dirt or sand on top.

2) Start a nice hardwood fire in the pit, let it burn down to hot embers.

3) Wrap the porker in several layers of wet burlap.

4) Here's the tricky part, laying wet burlap over the embers, so you get some steam and no dirt on your swine, but don't kill the fire totally. The way we got around this was to put a bunch of rocks in the fire so we could keep the meat from being directly on the fire. (Make sure you use LAVA ROCKS or rocks you know didn't come from a river bottom, these will explode)

5) Place the carcass in the pit and cover with either more rocks or wet
burlap. Then cover with as much dirt or sand as you can recover.

6) Drink alot of beer or Jack on the Rocks (optional)

7) ten to twelve hours later, you should be ready to pull the pig out. (Depending on size)

Remove the pig to a table. We had coat hangers bent into the burlap which we grabbed with leather gloves (makes it easier to get out)

9) Holding both ends of the burlap quickly turn the animal over onto a clean prep service. (This is the hard part as you dont want any dirt to get in your meat. If you use enough layers of burlap this isn't a problem. In Hawaii they use banana leaves, but I doubt you're local Wally's is gonna carry those)

10) Pick through and remove skin, bones etc.

11) Pig out.

Real simple right The hardest part is making sure the rocks get hot enough, as they will be where most of the heat is maintained. Believe it or not you do get some smoke flavor from the smoldering embers.

Sky's the limit basically. If you want you could inject the whole hog for more assurance of doneness. Rub the whole thing, heck anything you want!
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Unread 08-14-2006, 08:02 PM   #5
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Exactly qman. Steamed pig. Not a bad thing by any means. There is an annual party up by New Ulm (an old German town near me) that cooks a pig in the ground stuffed with sauerkraut. Good stuff for sure, but not barbecue.
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Unread 08-14-2006, 08:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin
Exactly qman. Steamed pig. Not a bad thing by any means. There is an annual party up by New Ulm (an old German town near me) that cooks a pig in the ground stuffed with sauerkraut. Good stuff for sure, but not barbecue.
Kevin, you are right on. The pigs cooked this way are delicious, but not BBQ. If you do one of these, anyone who knows real bbq and is expecting some form of ultimate Q, will be dissipointed.
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Unread 08-14-2006, 08:10 PM   #7
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In my experience (not a ton!!) it's pretty hard to screw up. If you can wait it out, the animal will most more often than not be done.
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So here we are in my paisley crib, what you want to eat?
"Ribs"...ah, Latoya, I don't serve ribs.
Better be happy that dress is still on,
I heard the rip when you sat down.
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Unread 08-14-2006, 08:19 PM   #8
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Ive helped do one hog in da ground. You gotta burn a huge fire for hours for coals. Dump half the coals in the hole in the ground. I think they used a half mile of aluminum foil to wrap the meat unit. Place hog on top of coals, cover w/few inches of sand. Then we put the rest of the coals on top of the sand. We cooked pig all nite and into the next afternoon. We had to keep a fire going all nite long on top. The best part is digging up the coals and sand next day without tearing aluminum foil. Yea right, hog meat still tasted very gritty.
Long story short, steamed pork. Fat has no place to go as pig is wrapped in foil.
IMHO I would never help do that again. Way too much work. No bbq taste from the coals and smoke whatsoever.

Just my 2cents here.

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Unread 08-14-2006, 09:01 PM   #9
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Sounds more like a novelty than anything.
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Unread 08-15-2006, 07:13 AM   #10
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It is hard to get it done in a Bullet. GRiN
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Unread 08-15-2006, 07:39 AM   #11
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The main reason for doing the hog in a ground pit is that the guy who is buying the pig lives on Lake Michigan and has a huge private beach. We figured it would be a good time to stay up all night drinking Jack, 1792, and Woodford Reserve tending a fire, listening to the waves crashing,and watching the end of summer night sky. It would be way to difficult to get a smoker down to the beach area. Too many stairs mod.
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Unread 08-15-2006, 08:07 AM   #12
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One way is to build a cinder block cooker (no mortar) like these guys:
http://cuban-christmas.com/pigroast.html If you do traditional hole in the ground you'll have to haul rocks - so hauling he cinder blocks wouldn't be any worse.

For a Brethren type look at a pig roast try this site - they mention using the "Cajun microwave" and burying it partially in the ground.
http://www.deltablues.net/roast.html

If you do wind up burying the pig you will want to think about wrapping the pig in chicken wire and having some pipes around for poles to move the pig - it would be a shame to have 1/2 the pig wind up in the pit when trying to lift it out.

Here's a good description of pit roasting a pig:
http://www.recipecottage.com/outdoor...ast-pig02.html
It gives some tips of what to get the butcher to do before you start.
They use garbage can lids, etc. to cover but this is where the wet burlap, tarp, banana leaves, etc. would come into play.

And, finally, here's a good set of instructions from the VA Extension Service that describes several ways to cook a whole pig.
http://www.ext.vt.edu/pubs/foods/458-001/458-001.html
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Unread 08-15-2006, 09:44 AM   #13
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http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=18484
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Unread 08-15-2006, 10:57 AM   #14
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Saying that cooking a pig in a pit wrapped in burlap isn't BBQ is a distortion of what BBQ is. It may not be what you think is BBQ (which is fair), but it is based on the Mexican tradition of barbacoa, which is as valid a form of BBQ as anything anybody here is doing.

I've done pigs in pits a couple of times and my memory is a bit hazy. Anybody who wants the full BBQ experience should cook one at least once.

One of the most important issues doing it on a beach is to make sure that when the tide comes in, the bottom of your pit does not extend into the water table. The next issue with doing it on the beach is permission. Nothing worse than getting half-way-done, and having the cops come along and tell you to move after giving you a ticket. Both issues not applicable in your situation.

Always kept the pig below 100#'s. We typically would dig a hole, and build a charcoal/wood fire. we'd add rocks, and once the fire had burnt down to a solid bed of coals, we'd spread the rocks and coal out, and cover them with either dampened banana leaves, seaweed, lettuce or burlap. We would then set the pig on top of the covering layer. The pig would be butterflyed and in a frame or chicken wire so that we could move it around. We would then cove with the same material as above, and then place hot rocks on top. After that we would take a moistened burlap and cove the top of the hole followed by a sheet of plywood, which was then weighted down. Depending on our mood, we would either flip the pig or not. Skin came out crisp, and the meat was fall-off-the-bone. I'm probably forgetting a couple of things, but I think I have hit the important items.

Neil - Good luck and have fun.
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Unread 08-15-2006, 12:43 PM   #15
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Thank you Richard (and others), I glad that somebody can remimber what basic BBQ is. Low and Slow= BBQ
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