How to Cook a Pig

     Where I'm from, people roast pigs, too.  It generally involves hiring some guy with a giant grill that he pulls behind his truck on a trailer.  Here in Tonga, they have simplified the process to something that a couple of Boy Scouts with a free afternoon could do.  There is something so primal about roasting a whole animal over an open fire that it's probably illegal in your subdivision.  But if you really want to get your neighbors talking about you, here's how you do it:


  1. Catch a pig.  Kill it, gut it, wash it.  Do you really need to hear the details?Step 1

  2. Start a big hardwood fire.  Cut a forked stick at least 2 inches thick and drive it into the ground on one end of the fire.  The fork should be a foot or so above the flames.

  3. Find a long, straight stick of green wood, three inches or so thick and as long as you need to not get burned by your own fire  (7-8 feet is nice).  Strip off the bark and sharpen one end slightly. 

  4. Now here's the part not appropriate for delicate ears:  While your assistant holds the pig, ram the narrow end of the stick into what was the pig's rectum.  Continue pushing through the body cavity into what was the pig's throat.  If it get's too hard to push at this point, stand the stick up straight and pound the non-pig end into the ground like a pile driver until the pig is well secured a foot or so from the end of the pole.  Step 4

  5. Tie the legs to the body if you like.  But it's really not necessary.  If you don't tie them close, the feet may scorch, but there's not much meat there anyway.

  6. Put the pig on the spit over the fire and slowly turn for 4-6 hours, depending upon the side of the pig.  Having friends around to trade off "spinning the pig" and an ample supply of cold beer really helps for this part.Step 6

  7. When the pig is ready, the skin will be brown and crackle when you cut it.  Go ahead and use a meat thermometer if you must.

  8. Resist the temptation to carve up the pig until it has rested off the fire for 15 or 20 minutes.  This is important as it helps keep the meat juicy when you have cut it.Step 8

  9. Remove the head.  (the Tongan's save this as the best part)  Cut the rest into manly chunks and serve.