How to Cook a Pig in a BBQ Pit

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Cooking a pig in a BBQ pit is a fun and exciting experience, ideal for a large party, family gathering or group of friends on a nice summer day. It takes some time for preparation, and also to fully cook the pork. Make sure to designate an area where you are building the BBQ pit, if you do not have one already.

Things You'll Need

  • BBQ pit in ground
  • Pig
  • Stuffing, vegetables, other filling
  • Glaze or seasoning
  • Coals
  • Matches or lighter to ignite fire
  • Lighter fluid
  • Aluminum foil
  • Burlap
  • Twine
  • Canopy, if desired
  • Make sure that your BBQ pit is larger than the pig by a foot on either side, and that the sides are properly lined. The best objects to line a BBQ pit with are stacked bricks or large rocks about the size of your head. This is to ensure even cooking and distribution of heat.

  • Make a large pile of coals that is about 10 to 12 inches deep and covers the entire area you want a fire to cook the pork. Using wood takes much longer to stack and light than coals, so these are your best bet. Do one layer of coals and light them, then layer another spread of coals on top. Once these coals start to glow, keep layering the rest of the coals until you get to the desired depth. You want all of the coals to be burning when you place the pork in the pit.

  • Season the pig as desired. A lot of people will stuff the pig with stuffing or other vegetables, or use a glaze over the flesh, or just season generously with salt and pepper. Make sure that the pig's mouth is propped open while cooking though to let heat escape. Keep it open with an apple or an onion.

  • Wrap the pig in several layers of aluminum foil, tightly. Once it is thoroughly wrapped, layer a few burlap sacks or length of material over the foil to provide protection from the harsh flames of the fire.

  • Wrap twine ropes around the burlap to hold it all together.

  • Place the pig on top of the burning coals, all wrapped up. You may need assistance from other people to do this. Make sure you lower it carefully and stay back as far as you can from the flames. If possible, cover up the pig over the coals with wet green branches to create a canopy, such as a wet canvas or wet wood, or something else that will not burn up. This helps decrease the oxygen getting to the fiery coals, so that it won't burn the pig while roasting.

  • Place the pig on top of the coals far in advance of your guests arriving. An average cooking time is from 10 to 12 hours, so place the pig on the coals around 7 to 8 hours before guests arrive (depending on the length of your party).

Tips & Warnings

  • Add foil-wrapped vegetables to the fire to cook along with the pig to have as a side dish.
  • Supervise animals and children around the BBQ pits.

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