Step 16: Remove Pig from Spit

Picture of Remove Pig from Spit
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After anywhere from 4 to 8 hours have passed since you started roasting the pig, depending on the size of your pig and the temperature of the fire, the pig will be done cooking.  The skin should be dark golden brown, and very crispy.  Joints should wiggle freely, juices should run clear, and when you place a thermometer into the thickest parts of the pig you should get an internal temperature of at least 140 degrees F.  What temperature to cook your pork is up for debate depending on what you've learned.  I cook pork to around 140.

Remove the spit from the fire and place it back on the work surface (wash all your surfaces first).  Use a wire cutters to cut and remove all of the bailing wire from the front and back legs and free the pig from the spit.  Remove the spit rod by sliding it out of the pig.  

Take the wire cutters and snip every stitch along the pig's belly.  If you pull the wire it will simply rip through the delicious belly meat and make a mess.  Instead, take each stich out individually with a needle nose pliers.  Pretend you are a surgeon and the pig is your patient.

A clean pair of work gloves, some clean towels, and a little patience helps a lot with this step, and the next.  The pig is piping hot, everyone wants to eat and the whole party will be watching your every move, so you've got to do it right.

Once the body cavity is opened up remove all of the stuffing and herbs.  If juices begin to flow and collect on the worksurface, place a rock underneath one of the table legs to create an incline on the table.  Then, take a pot and place it under the low point on the table to collect the juices.