The Pig Roast

A time-honored staple in South Florida, a traditional holiday pig roast is on the agenda for most families living at the tip of The Sunshine State. But before you get the spit fired up, read on to get a few tips that might help you serve up the tastiest little piggy ever.
Text by David C. Cleland | June 20, 2018 | Lifestyle

Working in restaurants, we would often roast a whole suckling pig, head and all, for special events. We’d roast these pigs in huge convection ovens for hours, so unless you have a professional kitchen in your home, if you want to roast a pig your options are more…well, archaic.
There are few things more satisfying than cooking an entire animal, especially one as delicious as a pig. The pig roast is a part of cultures worldwide: In Hawaii, for example, there’s the tradition of roasting a pig underground with hot rocks on Memorial Day; in The Philippines, they roast pigs year-round on bamboo spits over hot coals; and locally, Latinos often use a caja china-style grill box on Christmas Eve.
To get started planning your roast, it’s essential to know where you’re going to get your pig, and how you’re going to find the equipment to cook it. A suckling can range anywhere from 20-90 pounds, and as a rule of thumb, never get a pig that’s over that range as the meat starts to get tough. The standard rule is a 2 lbs of whole pig per person. Also, keep in mind that a pig roast always draws a crowd, so make sure to get a little more than you need and keep the guestlist tight.
The best place to get a whole pig (if you can’t get it directly from a farm) is a butcher shop, some especially good ones in Miami are The Butcher Shop in Miami and Laurenzo’s Italian Market in North Miami Beach. Just be sure to call and order your pig at least a week ahead!
For the equipment, unless you’re planning on a lot of pig roasts, you’re best bet is to rent at places like A Party 4 Less in Miami.
When it comes to the actual cooking of the pig, there are tons of cookbooks, websites and blogs that detail the entire process. For those who want to take the easy way out, there are several catering companies in the area that will do a pig roast for you, including The Big Pig Roast, which offers a huge selection of different packages and operates all over South Florida.
A pig roast is one of the ultimate parties, so be sure to have plenty of great people and good beer handy as you prepare for hours of sitting around watching a pig cook with friends and family this holiday season and beyond.