If possible, place the roaster in an area where it is somewhat protected from the wind. Also away from anything flammable.
Coat the cooking grate with spray cooking oil.
Remove the cooking grate from the roaster and place the pig on it.
Optional-inject the butts and hams with a mixture of apple juice, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper and garlic salt or as we do, Pro grade Butcher Pork Injection.
Lightly rub the skin of the pig with vegetable oil.
Wrap tinfoil on the feet, snout and ears.
Remove the roaster drip pan.
Fill pig roaster with 3/4 lb. of charcoal per lb. of pig spread evenly across the length of the roaster.
If you have a gas roaster preheat to 300 degrees.
If you have a gas roaster with a charcoal insert, place about 8# of charcoal in each trough, light and you can add a couple of small chunks of wood for smoke.
Bring the roaster up to 300 degrees.
Light each end of the laid out coals (do not light everything).
If you have a few pieces of wood (6”x6”) put them just in front of the lit coals.
Replace the drip pan and close the lid.
Fully open the top and side vents.
Allow approximately 45-60 mins. for the roaster temp. to reach 300.
Ideally when the roaster reaches 300 place the pig and cooking grate on the roaster.
Your temperature is going to drop because of putting on the cold pig.
Don’t worry. Once the pig starts to warm up your temp. will come back up.
Maintain about 300 degrees on the gauge or less. Exceeding 300 runs the risk of a dark pig.
Maintaining temp. will be accomplished by either slightly closing the vents to lower temps and opening to raise temps.
Once adjusted it should stay at 300.
Optional-2 hrs. into the cook take steel or wooden rod about 4’ long and push it through one of the bottom vents on each side of the roaster 2 times. This helps to knock down some of the ash on the coals. Do this periodically.
When the meat temp. reaches at least 185+ (higher like 190+ is OK) by using an instant read thermometer ( not dial ones-they can be off 25 degrees) your ready to remove the pig. Test the temp. both in the hams and butts. If the temps vary bring the lowest temp up to 185+ and don’t worry about the high temp.
You need at least two people to remove the pig.
Place a table close to the roaster. On it have large pieces of tin foil draped over the table so you can envelope it over the pig to keep it hot. Ideally it is best just to leave the pig on the cooking grate. Moving large pig is risky, but if you have to take it off the grate:use a pizza piel, slide it carefully under the trunk of the pig to loosen it from the grate. Check that the feet are not stuck.
Carefully lifting the head and the butt and also trying to support the trunk move the pig onto the other surface.
You can also leave the pig on the grate for serving.
Double wrap the pig with heavy duty tinfoil.
Cover the pig with a blanket.
Allow to rest at least 1 hr. or so.
The pig will stay hot for at least 3 hrs. and warm for several.
Garnish with greens and cut up fruit of varying colors.
Rule of thumb:
1 hr. of cooking time for every 10 lbs. of pig.
Add another 1.5 to 2.0 hrs.to the cook time in case the cook is taking longer and also to give the meat time to rest.
Plan 3/4lb. of charcoal for every LB. of pig. Again on larger pigs you may need less per lb.
Lard Have Mercy