Whole Suckling Pig

Has anyone tried this? I see them at McReynold’s Farm

Seems fairly straightforward. Unfortunately the recipe which REALLY has my attention is Chilean Suckling Pig BBQ and I’m not sure I’m ready to be breaking the spine of anything.

The one above that is a more likely starting point…

I’m also thinking of maybe using this: La Caja China Box. Anyone tried it? It looks VERY easy so I can probably do the Chilean Suckling Pig recipe here!

I’d be MORE THAN PLEASED if there was a place I could buy a pre-cooked one shipped in, and just warm it as my guests arrive.

I make them all the time at the farm in Spain. Cost there is about 20€ ($30) for a nice small one. Why so expensive here?

I just marinade it from the day before, evoo, salt, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, parsley, pepper and a splash or two of vino blanco. Roast in slow oven. I generally use my wood oven outside for them. I finish in my electric oven at a higher temp to brown the skin.

I’ve used the La Caja china a few times. I’ll post some pics whwn I get to the office. La Caja is very easy to use. a 35-40lb pig cook to crispy in about 4 hours.

Messr. Tallan and I share a La Caja China and have done several pigs (and lamb and goat). I don’t think it can be any easier or quicker. The instructions are on the side of the cooking box! The key is making sure the pig is “room” temperature before strapping it in. All you need to do is marinate, inject or throw a rub on the pig the night before and, voila, it’s good to go. And I have no idea how Suzanne keeps hers that clean [welldone.gif]

we also share the caja china.
One of my share mates is Swiss…that’s why it is so clean.


Carnivorous Gentlebeings, a friend of mine down the road here in the Sta. Rita Hills has a pregnant Berkshire sow that is about to farrow. They should be about ready to go whole hog in late September?

I will try to find out. Any interest in cooking a whole pig back in the boonies somewhere around here? [ken.gif]

I make them all the time at the farm in Spain. Cost there is about 20€ ($30) for a nice small one. Why so expensive here?

I’d love to know the same thing. Your suckling pigs in Spain are often fed better feed too. I ride my bike though a lot of farm country here in Central Ohio and see (and smell) a lot of small family-owned pig farms. I can only guess that most of these farmers are not used to being asked for suckling pigs as the custom and tradition of eating sucklings is not established here as it is in your country. They would see selling a suckling pig as an opportunity cost in comparision to the pay-off for a full grown hog. Some just don’t want to do anything different from what they are used to doing. And I know of one small farmer who decided it was bad luck to slaughter “babies”. Or at least his wife did, and she runs his show.

As I learn more I have more questions… normal I suppose…

I went to a place today that offers whole hog catering. They do the roasting and deliver it hot and ready to eat. There won’t be the cooking for show factor (which would be an added bonus as I may meet some new neighbors that way!), it comes whole on the big metal platter ready to go but sounds pretty easy.

The owner tells me that the process is they gut/clean the pig. Then they stuff that cavity with pig shoulders from other pigs. They then cook it for 18 hours at their store.

For 20 people I’d need to order a 45 pound pig ($9.99/lb) which is the weight after cleaning/gutting I think. He said I should put the picture of a german shepherd in my mind for size/meat comparisons. No way would that feed many people. So he then stuffs it with the extra shoulders so that isn’t in the 45 pound weight. I may yield 45-50 pounds of meat (my guess, forgot to ask.). He says I’ll have plenty of food.

I’m tempted. But this leads me to my question if I wanted to do my own with La Caja China as the price seems to be about the same ($350 for the La Caja China plus maybe $150-$200 for the pig):

if I buy a clean/gutted 45 pounder, I will have less meat as it doesn’t come “pre stuffed” with extra shoulders. As there are bones, hooves, a head in the whole bought pig, what is the right forumula to get everyone fed. 2# per person? 3#?


Can you elaborate? I see everyone injecting the pig, then throwing salt/pepper/spices on it. The injecting seems strange as they say don’t pierce the skin so I’m guessing I flip it on its back and go from there, but there must still be skin on the legs??? (yes I’ve checked youtube.com, still not quite clear. Is the La Caja China DVD any better?)

Must I inject to make this work? can I dry rub or wet marinade? Do you marinade in the fridge (geez how does a 70 pound pig fit into a fridge. I’m thinking I need to buy a monster picnic cooler or see if the Ziplock XXXL bags are big enough)?

Curious how this works/what the best process is… TIA.

Favorite wine-friendly rubs/marinades?

Doing a 35 pounder on the rotisserie on sunday… will post some pics… didnt want to deal with the china box on my deck, but I have used them before, they are fantastic…

Scott, do you know the breed of the pig? Just curious as always.

I will know the breed on sunday…

What pre-cook procedure do you use? injections, wet marinade, dry rub… any details greatly appreciated.

Yum! flirtysmile

My local pig supplier charges $1.89 per pound per piggy, the butcher charges $100.00 fee per pig over or spit ready. So a 10# pig is around $120.00. A 40# pig is around $180.00. Makes sense to get the larger pigs.

Had a Taste of Spain dinner a couple of weeks ago. 2 35# pigs, two large paellas, a meat one and a seafood one. Great tapas, wonderful Sandria and of course lots of spanish wines.

We used the injector on one of the pigs we cooked and I could not tell that there was any difference. As far as rubs, think of bbq ribs - any variation will do. And IIRC, the last marinade had an orange juice and olive oil base with various herbs and spices. But, again, I don’t think the marinade added much. The box gets so hot and cooks the pig so quickly that there is no fear that it will dry out.

We have had 60 lb. pigs in the past and they seem like they could feed an army. There was always a ton left over. I just ordered a 29 lb. fresh hog that I expect to feed 16-20 people.

I stopped of to see my friend Chris King, the vineyard manager for Evening Lands’ project down the road from me on Saturday. His Berkshire sow farrowed and has 11, 5-day old piglets. Very cute but they shall remain nameless because their destinies lie outsides the realm of mere pets, due to their tasty characteristics! He has a couple of wethers that look to be nearing their rendezvous with the plate soon also.


The 35lb piglet was de-footed, de-headed, brined for two days, stuffed, rolled, then tied and put on the rotisserie… it was freaking amazing…

Oh, yeah, don’t forget to cut off the hooves. Probably the most important thing to do unless you want to unleash a G*d-awful smell. I also forgot to mention that the La Caja China website has some info on how to cook up animals.