Perfect Spit Roasts in Five Easy Steps

Wednesday 3rd September 2014

BBQ season is coming to a close, and with the knowledge that the sunshine will soon be replaced with the monotony of grey, cold and drizzle, Britons across the country are rushing to make the most of the last rays of sunshine. Whether it’s the last beach trip or the last hike, everyone is finding their own ways to herald the end of summer. So why not end things with a bang (or sizzle) by hosting a full hog spit roast for your friends and family?

Perfect Spit Roasts in Five Easy Steps

So what is in the making of a great hog roast?

  1. The Fire

The type of fire you use to cook your spit roast will have an immediate impact upon its flavour. This is mostly down to the sort of fuel you use and the sort of some they produce - a char grilled roast will have a different quality and flavour to a roast cooked over a fire made from wooden logs. As the meat cooks it will absorb the smoke and this will add to the flavour.

Ultimately this is down to a matter of taste. Some will claim that wood fires, particularly woods such as apple or pine, while others will hold by the superiority of propane and propane accessories. The former will give your meat a tangy, smoky flavour, while the latter gives a clean flame and thus will not obscure the taste of the meat to such a degree.

The sort of fire you make will also influence how quickly a roast can cook. Gas-fuelled fires will cook meat more rapidly, however a wood or coal fire will cook the meat more thoroughly precisely because it takes longer. This gives a much better taste and texture, especially if the meat has been frozen.

  1. Marinade and Sauces

Meat on its own, it must be said, can sometimes lack oomph. Yeah, it has taste and texture, but it’s not very exciting and can often leave people feeling dispassionate about eating. This is where sauces and marinades come in.

You can find all sorts of condiments for spit roasts in any good supermarket, however nothing can quite compare with a sauce made from scratch from fresh ingredients. Wherever possible, try to make your own sauces and marinades. They’re easy enough to make, and there are a plethora of guides and recipes available online and in various magazines and book stores. Ideally, make it up the day you’re cooking, although it should hold in the fridge for a day or too if you’re pressed for time.

  1. Timing is Everything

Perfect Spit Roasts in Five Easy Steps

It’s important to remember that spit roasts are a rather time-consuming method of cooking. It will not be ready in a jiffy, and is unsuited to BBQs where you have to get the food out quickly.

To make sure your roast cooks properly, make sure the spit roast is above the centre of the fire, so as much meat as possible is being heated. Turn regularly, about every ten minutes or so, or else buy a motorised spit-turner. You should roughly be cooking for an hour per every kilo of meat.

  1. Thermometers

Thermometers are an incredibly useful tool, not just for cooking the roast properly but also as a matter of safety. Improperly cooked meat is a good way to cause food poisoning, especially when dealing with pork or chicken. If you’re cooking these, you should ensure the meat hits around 75°C.

  1. Let It Breathe

When you’ve finished cooking, let the spit roast rest for about ten minutes. This will allow the flavour and juices to spread through the meat, improving the flavour, as well as giving the meat a chance to settle and improve the texture. During this time you may wish to apply any last marinades to the meat, or else sprinkle herbs such as sage, parsley or rosemary. The result is a spit that will make mouths water like Niagara.

For more information about spit roasts, or to hire someone to come to your place and do it for you, visit the website of the Hog Father, a hog roast catering company based in South East England.

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