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Roasting a Pig: What You Need to Know

Haley Kurisky
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Pig roast

George Kurisky and KC Carmody wrapping the pig - "Nigel" - in bacon. (Photo: Haley Kurisky)

My family celebrated the Fourth of July with a pig roast. We invited a few friends over to our beach house in Galveston, and spent the weekend cooking and hanging out at the beach. Roasting a pig is no simple task.

The easiest way to do it is using a Cuban-style roasting box, called a Caja China. They can be purchased on their website. Then, depending on how much your pig weighs, you roast the pig in the box for a certain amount of time, adding more charcoal to the top of the box (no peeking!) until the total amount of time has passed. After slow-roasting for hours, the tender meat falls right off the bone.

We bought our pig at a meat market in Dickinson, Texas. If you’re thinking of buying a whole pig, make sure you call your nearest meat market ahead of time to ensure they can order you a pig on time. We ordered ours on time and it came at the last minute - for a while, we thought we would be having a pig roast without the pig!

Pig roast

George Kurisky, KC Carmody and Dave Tresch attend to the cooked pig. (Photo: Pete Charba) 

For added “oomph,” we wrapped our pig (who we dubbed “Nigel”) in bacon, so as to make sure that there was enough pork to go around. We didn’t put an apple in his mouth, but we covered him in lemons, limes and spices so the skin would be crispy after cooking. We made sure we took lots of pictures before letting the pig cook for about six hours.

Party-goers included many Buzz residents; both pig and non-pig eater, including Dave and Bonnie Tresch, Becky and David Funderburk, KC Carmody, Gayla Kusin and Paulina Chelala, in addition to several students from Rice University. In addition to Nigel, we also cooked chicken legs, hamburgers, sausage and other dishes to ensure that guests who weren’t fond of pig would have choices. Overall, though, the pig was a big hit.

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