How to Build a Compact Pig Roaster

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    • 1). Find a good location for your roaster, preferably a flat, stable surface. If you need to dig a bit to make an area flat, that is an option. Do not pick a location directly over grass as burning grass and roots can give the pig a bitter, burned flavor. Remove any sod from the area.

    • 2). Lay the 36-inch sheet of 3/4-inch aluminum or copper on the ground in the center of the roaster area. This will serve as your reflector to retain heat.

    • 3). Place the first cinder block in the upper corner of the reflector, open side up, so that one half of the block is on the reflector and the other half is on the ground. Lay the blocks side by side horizontally along the edge of the reflector. There should be three blocks on the ends, and five on the sides. This will give you a roaster big enough for a small pig or two.

    • 4). Lay the second course of blocks on top of the first in the same manner with one exception. On both ends of the roaster, turn the blocks so that they are laid vertically across the top of the first row of blocks. When the vertical blocks are laid over the horizontally placed blocks it will leave an opening at both ends for adding coal or wood for the fire.

    • 5). Add one more course of blocks and place the piece of 16-gauge expansion metal over the top. Add another course of bricks on top of the expansion metal. The expansion metal is where you will be placing the pig. Expansion metal can be found at a local home improvement store and is made of steel or stainless steel. If this piece is made of galvanized metal, do not use it. Since you are not applying mortar, the top course of blocks can be removed to light the fire, and then replaced to roast the pig.

    • 6). Line the inside walls with commercial grade heavy-duty aluminum foil. This serves to retain the heat generated by the fire. Fold the top of the aluminum lining over the top block and put another block on top of the aluminum fold to keep it from blowing away.

    • 7). Remove the top course of blocks and the expansion metal when you are ready to begin roasting the pig. Begin the fire by dumping the 20 lbs. of charcoal or wood chunks into the center of the roaster and spraying liberally with lighter fluid. Toss a match in to light the fire and wait for the coals to burn white-hot.

    • 8). Split the amount of burning coal in half and use a shovel to move the halves to each end of the roaster. This will provide an indirect heat that will roast the pig instead of grilling it. Replace the expansion metal with the pig on top and cover the top of the roaster with sheets of aluminum foil. Replace the top course of blocks. The aluminum lining on the sides and top of the roaster will eliminate the need for turning the pig on a spit. Your roaster is ready to go.


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