Have you ever been to a professionally catered pig roast, and wondered how exactly it was prepared? Maybe you’ve even picked up a whole pig from the butcher yourself, and prepared it for your own special event. Most people, however, don’t really know how pigs are roasted or what is involved.
You may have seen images of a traditional Hawaiian pig roast, in which the pig is carefully roasted for many hours in a pit in the ground, with smoldering banana leaves to keep it cooking. This is certainly a wonderful thing – but your average catering company in North America is not going to dig up your yard to prepare your whole roast pig.
So how exactly is it done? In most cases, the caterer will arrive to the event with the pig already partially cooked since most pigs take between 6-14 hours to cook. All that remains is to display the pig and “finish it” on site.
But how do they cook it? If they’re not doing in the ground like a traditional Hawaiian Luau, then how exactly are they roasting the pig?
Obviously the answer isn’t the exact same for every caterer; but it’s safe to say that the majority of pig roast caterers in North America are simply placing the whole pig in a roaster or rotisserie for an extended period of time. It may not sound very glamorous, but it’s a whole lot more nuanced than it looks. That’s because roasting a pig to perfection requires the right amount of heat over the correct length of time as well as being constantly watched and getting it right isn’t always easy for the inexperienced. We get many calls each year from people who tried it themselves the year before and say never again.
When you taste the pork, you’ll be able to tell whether it was prepared carefully and correctly. When the pig has been roasted for long hours at the correct temperatures, the meat will basically fall off the bone as the caterer carves it up. And the flavor will be off the charts – again, provided the pig was from a reputable source and was expertly prepared!
If you have specific questions about how your caterer is roasting a whole pig for your event, it’s better to ask up front! Chances are, the method of preparation will not be quite as idyllic as your average Hawaiian luau. But when your guests taste the final result, will it really matter?
Only entrust your pig roast to the best caterer
There are catering companies who specialize in pig roasts and do a lot of them over the course of the year. These are generally the caterers you want to focus on, as they’ll be accustomed to pig roasts, and experienced in delivering the best possible results. On the other hand, there are many inexperienced caterers out there who will attempt a pig roast for your event, but will ultimately not be certain about the final result they can deliver. When it comes to your special event, it’s better to play it safe and partner with a pig roasting expert who can produce amazing results consistently.
We are proud to have been showcased in The New York Times for our amazing pig roasts, here at DRJ Catering, we know what we are doing when it comes to the pigs!