Roasting a whole animal be it a pig or a turkey is a great tradition among some cultures. Whole roasting a pig out in the open over a charcoal flame is associated with family feasts and get-togethers. The whole process of setting up equipment for a roast and preparing the pig for roasting lends well to spreading bonhomie and camaraderie. Since the whole family can help in some way in setting the whole thing up, roasting a whole pig can be a lot of fun. The sheer volume of food prepared from a whole pig roast is enough to feed a huge crowd at the party.
If you are planning on roasting a whole pig, then you would need a pig cooker or a pig roaster. These are hard to come by and even if you do find something that you like, it is bound to be too expensive. Since pig roasting is not something that you do everyday and at best you are going to roast just 2-3 pigs a year, it does not make sense to invest a lot of money in a pig roaster. So the best thing to do would be to make your own pig roaster. Although the whole prospect of making a homemade pig roaster might seem intimidating, it is not a difficult task at all. All you need are a few supplies that you can purchase from your local hardware store.
Making a Pig Roaster
A pig roaster is in essence an oven which is large enough to accommodate a whole pig. The heat supply for the oven is provided with either charcoal, wood or propane gas. One of the simplest ways to make a homemade pig roaster is by using a drum. Given below are the list of supplies that are required to make a pig roaster with a drum along with instructions for making the roaster.
- 55 gallon steel drum
- Hand held drill
- Steel rod
- Steel hinges
- Iron bars
- Saber saw
- Piece of sturdy wood
To make this drum pig roaster, first you need to mark the center of the drum on both the sides. Once you have ascertained the center of the drum, cut the drum half lengthwise from top to bottom using a saber saw. While cutting the drum lengthwise, make sure that you wear protective eye goggles to avoid any metal chips from harming your eyes. After you have cut the drum into half, clean the inside of the drum to remove any dirt and debris. If the drum is greasy, now would be a good time to clean it out with hot water and dishwashing soap.
After cleaning the two halves of the steel drum, attach two steel hinges on one side of the drum so that the two halves of the drum can be opened and closed. With the hand held drill, drill about 25-30 small holes on the bottom portion of the drum. Try to drill holes that are evenly spaced as this will help in the ventilation process while roasting the pig. Drill a single hole in the top portion of the drum so that you can insert a thermometer into the roaster without having to open the lid or cover of the roaster.
Drill two more holes on the sides of the drum bottom so that you can mount the steel rod through it. Make sure that the holes that you drill are aligned in a straight line so that the steel rod can go through. Finally make a frame with iron bars to fit inside the bottom drum to hold the charcoal. Cut the wood piece in such a way that it can support the steel drum and then secure it to the drum with rivets. Your pig roaster is ready.
This is a rustic pig roaster that can easily roast a pig that weighs about 20-24 pounds. For a pig that is any bigger than this, you need a cylindrical gas tank to make the roaster. Pig roasters should always be used out in the open in a terrace or yard.