Step 9: Stuff the Pig
With the pig in place and the chest cavity facing up, it's time to load the pig with delicious flavors. Mainstays are salt and pepper of course.
Other flavors to consider using are fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano and marjoram, and dried spices that work well with your flavor pallet - things like juniper berries, bay leaves and whole garlic cloves. Note, there will be a marinade applied to the pig while it roasts to add flavor as well. This is more of a rub applied inside the body cavity.
I've always thrown a few quartered onions inside the cavity and squeezed in a few fresh valencia oranges, but I have really tried not to over-stuff the pig on the more recent roasts that I've done. The more you put inside the pig, the more mass there is to cook, and that means the greater the chance that the meat will dry out or the skin will over-crackle while you're waiting for the center to come to temperature.
The same theory applies to stuffing a turkey - die hard turkey roasters wouldn't dare slow cooking times down with stuffing and risk drying out the bird. I've come to believe the same thing for pig roasting and now try to keep the stuffing to a minimum. The photo above shows us stuffing the pigs with loads of onions and sweet potatoes. That was our first time - those piggies took a long time to roast - and when all was said and done - they were steamed so heavily inside the body cavity that they really weren't tasty enough to eat. Stuff lightly.