Tips & Techniques Grilling Spit-Roasting a Pig

Spit-roasting a whole 50-pound pig is one memorable, and tasty, grilling adventure—a big project to be undertaken with the help of others. A large pit fire 
(or large drum barbecue pit) is not something to mess around with, so enlist friends as assistant pit masters. Have them monitor and stoke the fire, help transport and prepare the pig, and assist with getting the pig on and off the fire. Once the pig is done, you won’t be able to resist the urge to take decent-size hunks of it while it’s still on 
the spit, nor will your buddies.

Make a Pit

Use a shovel or rake to clear an area to build your own pit. Choose a nonflammable surface such as a steel drum, brick, gravel, or dirt. Line the bottom and sides of the drum or pit with large stones to retain the heat.

Start a Fire

Fill the pit with logs or kindling. Ignite a large bonfire by placing hardwood logs and charcoal in your pit. Light and let burn down 1 to 2 hours until the embers are covered in ash. Next, place the pig on the rotisserie over the burning fire.

Check for Doneness

The pig is done when the skin is golden brown and crisp. Use a meat thermometer to make sure the internal temperature is 155–160°F in the shoulder, hindquarters, and belly cavity.

Carve the pork

After you have successfully removed the pig from the spit and onto a table or large work surface, it’s ready to be carved. Using a large carving knife, start at the cheeks and shoulder and work your way through the ribs and tenderloin to the hindquarters. Carve against the grain.