How to Brine a Whole Pig

by Jordan Whitehouse ; Updated September 28, 2017

Brining a pig is the most time consuming part of a pig roast.

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Brining is a cooking preparation method wherein meat is soaked in a mixture of water, sugar and salt. Although other spices are usually added to the mixture as well, these three ingredients must be present for it to be a brine. Brining not only adds flavor to meat, it also helps the meat retain moisture, so to help this process you must ensure the meat stays in the brine for a long period of time. For a whole pig, you'd have to leave the pig in the brine for a few days.

Clean the 50-gallon plastic garbage can with hot water and dish detergent. Rinse it thoroughly to remove any excess soap.

Pour hot water into the garbage can. For every four pounds of pig, pour one gallon of water into the can.

Add salt and sugar to the water. For every two gallons of water, add 1 cup of salt and 3/4 cup of sugar. Stir the solution with the paddle until the ingredients have dissolved.

Add the red wine, bay leaves, peppercorns, allspice, garlic and rosemary to the brine solution. Stir the solution with the paddle.

Add the pig, tail down, to the garbage can.

Add cold water to the garbage can until the entire pig is submerged. Add two bags of ice to the garbage can.

Leave the pig in the brine for three days. After every twenty-four hour period, remove the bags of ice and add two more.

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About the Author

Based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Jordan Whitehouse has been writing on food and drink, small business, and community development since 2004. His work has appeared in a wide range of online and print publications across Canada, including Atlantic Business Magazine, The Grid and Halifax Magazine. Whitehouse studied English literature and psychology at Queen's University, and book and magazine publishing at Centennial College.