1. DO NOT buy more meat than you need. DO buy more charcoal than you need.
  2. Use a body bag to transport and store your pig.
  3. Plan thoroughly and in as much detail as you can.
  4. Plan to do most of the work.
  5. Plan to have it take longer than you think. Much longer.
  6. Plan to stay sober until the meat is served. Assume no one else will be sober.
  7. Truss your meat to the spit the night before.
  8. Leave 2 hours for trussing. Invite some friends to help. Offer beer.
  9. Truss the meat way more securely than you think is necessary. Use both u-bolts.
  10. Do not put the spit through the butt. Lay the hams over the spit.
  11. Use a meat saw, hack saw, or Sawzall if you need to
  12. Sew up the belly and do not stuff it unless you really know what you are doing.
  13. Use heavy foil to protect the ears and tail.
  14. Inject the night before.
  15. Scrub the skin (or outer surface of the meat) with a brine-soaked towel.
  16. Salt the inner cavities.
  17. Have a pop-up canopy ready.
  18. Get your meat to over 50F before cooking.
  19. Use natural lump charcoal, not briquettes.
  20. Use the dual sensor thermometer. Both if you have two.
  1. Baste with fat only, melted lard for a pig is preferable.
  2. Use a leaf blower to stoke the fire when needed.
  3. Use a pump sprayer to douse the fire when needed.
  4. Think about things to talk about with spectators.
  5. Do not take any cooking advice from spectators, even if they are sure they know what they are talking about.
  6. Never leave the pit unattended for more than 3 minutes. Never fully trust anyone you leave in charge.
  7. Stay sober.
  8. Make lunch with a small grill over the pit. Sausage and grilled garlic bread are my favorites.
  9. Keep the thermometers at 250F (external)
  10. Do not expect any movement on the internal temps for at least 2 hours.
  11. Be patient.
  12. The cooking will stall at about 165F internal and stay there for up to 2 hours.
  13. Cook until internal temps read 195-200F.
  14. Be patient, stay sober.
  15. Crisp the skin (see our instructions)
  16. Remove the spit from the motor CAREFULLY and place it on a large table.
  17. Take off the skin and distribute the crispy parts.
  18. Pull and shred what you can, cut and chop what you cannot. Quickly.
  19. Put processed meat in a chafing dish or covered pan kept warm near the fire.
  20. Season the meat (it will take more than you think)
  21. Enjoy the feast – now, you can party!


Did I miss anything? Please, send me your tips and tricks for whole pig cooking.