If your pig is frozen, you must give it enough time to fully defrost. An average-sized pig will require about 48 hours to completely defrost.
Whether your pig was frozen or fresh, you will need to let it sit at room temperature for about an hour before you start cooking.
Your meat will always cook better when it is at room temperature as opposed to being cold. Allow extra time if you intend to brine or marinate your pig. This must be done prior to your pig roast.
You will also need to protect the more delicate areas of your pig. One of the most popular and delicious parts is the ears. If you do not protect them, they will burn.
The best way to protect both the ears and the snout is to use a nonstick oil or spray on a piece of parchment paper. Use this to cover the delicate areas.
You can keep the parchment in place by covering it with a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil. This will ensure your entire pig is tender, crispy and juicy without any burned areas.
Brine the pig. For this method, you will use a solution of water and salt.
This will not only tenderize your meat but moisture will be retained in the muscle fibers. If you intend to brine your pig, you will need to place your pig in a large tub, cover it with your brine solution and let it sit overnight.
To make certain your brining solution completely penetrates your whole pig, inject your solution into the thickest areas of your meat.
We also recommend basting your pig. This will ensure your meat has a dark, thick, caramelized coating on the surface of your pig. This will also prevent the superficial meat and skin from becoming dry.
There are a lot of options for your basting mixture and the ingredients you use to add flavor. We recommend olive oil, fruit juices, lemon juice, wine and herbs. You can further enhance your flavor and improve your caramelization by using sugar or honey.
Using a rotisserie is critical for cooking your whole pig. If you use a rack to support your pig over the fire, your pig will be stationary.
The only way to make certain your pig is evenly cooked all the way through is by using a rotisserie. There is no way you will be able to turn over your pig while it is cooking.
It is practically impossible to manually turn an entire pig by hand over a hot fire. Even attempting to do so will lead to a disaster.
One of the most critical aspects of cooking your whole pig is making certain your pig is properly trussed to your rotisserie.
Tightly and aggressively truss your pig to the spit.
You also need to tightly truss the legs, thighs and hips so they are held securely against each other and your spit. Do the same with the head and shoulders of your pig. You need to prevent your pig from wiggling while roasting. Your pig must move along with your spit.
Cook your pig slowly at about 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on your temperature and the weight of your pig, your cooking time can be anywhere from four to 24 hours.
When you think your pig is done, check the internal temperature using your meat thermometer. Check the shoulders and hams since these will finish cooking last. The ideal internal temperature is 160 degrees Fahrenheit.