Cooking a half hog on a large outdoor barbecue pit -- also referred to as a pig roast -- translates into good times in most places in the world, and America is no different. The key to a tender succulent hog is to cook it slowly over a low to medium heat. Meat from a slow cooked half hog is a delicious way to entertain a large group of family or friends.
How to Cook a Half Hog
Preheat your large outdoor barbecue pit with plenty of hot coals from a good hardwood such as apple or pecan. You may choose to use a good quality charcoal instead of wood. Your pit temperature should be between 250 and 275 degrees Fahrenheit at all times.
Clean your half hog with plenty of cool running water. You will want to remove any form of debris left over from the packing process such as plastic or absorbent padding.
In a large bowl pour brown sugar, garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, lemon pepper, sea salt, mustard, cinnamon, ginger and course black pepper. Cover the entire half of hog with the dry rub making sure to get inside the crevices.
Place the half hog skin side up on the pit's grill. Ensure the ambient temperature is in the ideal cooking range. Allow to cook one hour with the rib side down. Then flip the half hog over with two large professional grade barbecue forks to cook on the opposite side. Baste with a long handled basting brush moping the hog with apple juice each time you turn the meat.
Begin checking the half hog after about three to thee and half hours of cooking time. When the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit the half hog is done enough to remove from the pit. Allow the hog to rest for at least 30 minutes to allow the meat and internal juices to gain equilibration, this will lead to a better eating experience. Carve the half hog and serve.
There are several types of microorganisms associated with pork -- wash your hands with hot soap and water before and after handling raw pork. Be sure to disinfect all utensils as well as any surfaces that the raw pork may have had contact.