Step 13: Roasting & Turning

Picture of Roasting & Turning
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With all the animals affixed to their respective spits, it's time to put them over the fire and begin cooking.  At first, watch the roasting process closely and get a feel for how hot your fire is.  You don't want to burn the outside of the pig before the inside comes to temperature.  Move coals away from the pig if things get too hot.  Add coals with a shovel if things look like they aren't hot enough.  You'll know the fire is too hot if your skin begins to crack or get crispy in the first hour or two.

If you are using a commercial spit then the motor will turn the pig constantly at a slow speed the entire time.  Until recently I had only roasted animals on non-mechanized spits.  The same effect can be achieved by rotating the pig every 15 minutes or so.  Set a timer and remember to keep it close by.  When the alarm goes off, remove the hanging weight or clamp holding the spit in place, give the pig a 1/4 or 1/8 turn, replace the weight or clamp, and go do something else for the next 15 minutes.  This process sounds tedious, but it's really not.  Checking back in with the pig on this kind of basis is probably a good idea to make sure everything is proceeding as planned, and if given the choice between motorized and manual rotation, I think I'd choose manual just because it's fun to hang out with the pig for a while.