The art of roasting a pig (whole or part) differs
widely. I just did a picnic (front leg) and it came out great. Well
seasoned and juicy it disappeared as fast as I could slice it! You
don't need a whole pig to enjoy this dish, just buy a fresh picnic, regular
fresh ham, or, a boston butt roast. Roasting can be done on the
pit or even in the oven given the size of the roast! I know most of
you won't roast a whole pig so I'll write this recipe for
application to roasts.
You will have to prepare the meat the day before
you cook it. Allow at least 8 hours to marinate and 4 hours to cook
for a 5 lb. roast (bigger = longer, 45 minutes per pound on average)
The most important things are seasoning and juiciness
as pork is, by nature, a dry meat. Pork is dry because the meat
itself has little or no fat in it, it's mostly just surrounded by
Prepare the Seasoning:
You will need a meat injector and the following ingredients:
1/4 cup melted butter or margarine
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbs. garlic juice (your choice)
1/2 tsp. granulated garlic (not powder)
pinch of black pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper
3 tsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
Prepared Mustard (the yellow stuff in a jar)
Prepare the meat:
Trim the roast leaving just a little fat on
Mix all the ingredients above except the Mustard.
Bring mixture to a boil then let cool stirring every few minutes to
release the seasonings. Draw mixture into an injector and inject the
roast putting the needle as close to the center of each muscle as
you can (doesn't have to be perfect). Rub the outside of the roast
with mustard then sprinkle a little Old Bay seasoning all over it.
Put the roast in a zipper lock bag or in a covered bowl. Put it in
the fridge overnight (at least 8 hours).
Light the pit and get a nice hot fire going. Add a
bunch of soaked hardwood chips to the fire. Put the roast right over
the fire. Let the roast get dark brown all over. Take it off the
fire and put it in a covered pan. Use a disposable aluminum pan if
you're going to finish it on the pit. Note:
You have a choice here, you can finish it on the pit, or, in the
oven. What's nice about this is that you can take care of the
browning, remove it, and continue to barbecue other things.
In the oven, set the roast in a pan and broil it
until the browning completes.
Now, here's the juiciness trick. Add about 3/4 cup
of water to the pan, or, keep enough water in the pan to cover the
bottom. Cover it well with aluminum foil and, on the pit, set it off
to the side away from the fire. Note:
The heat should be at least 275ºF in this section of the pit. Check
the water content every half hour and flip the roast each time. In
the oven set the temp to 275ºF and do the same.
When is it done? Use a meat thermometer and
test the thickest part of the roast, 160ºF is where you want it.
Here's where you have a choice. You can take it out and slice it
now, or, continue to let it cook. If you continue to let it cook the
muscle sections will begin to pull away from each other, and become
more and more stringy. It is more apt to be dry so you must baste it
from here on out. If it gets too dry you won't get the moisture back
in the meat immediately, you'll only have dry meat in a sauce. I
like to let it just begin to separate and I call it done, that way
you have a little stringy meat and some nice slices to work
As you slice it dredge it in the liquid, or just
leave it in the liquid. Taste the liquid to see if it needs any
After the first few taste testers visit be careful
with the knife so you don't wind up with additional finger food.