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He returns all questions . . . . . . .
Topic: Cooking a pig on the beach . . . .
Subject: Re: Sandy Pig or Seafood?
I will be making the annual pilgrimage to the eastern coast for our "rites of spring/bachelor party" in about a month. Our honoree is a true 'Cue-head, who has extensive experience roasting pigs in the above-ground methods common to the Carolinas and Virginia.
Assuming the legalities are adhered to, we thought we would honor the soon-to-be-non-bachelor by cooking a pig on the beach. I read your answer to cooking a ham (luau style)and it gave me good insight, but I have a few specific questions about a beach pit (getting the pit dug should not be the problem, we'll just be putting a pig in it, instead of the honoree):
1. For discussion's sake, let's suppose we're gonna serve 25 semi-inebriated adult (ha!) males. How much do we need?
2. We are going to be lacking rocks, and I would assume gonna try this with good hardwood charcoal. How much charcoal do we need, and should it all be started at the same time?
3. Would a cotton sheet, aluminum foil and wet burlap be an effective way to cloak the pig?
4. Do we need to consider oxygeon supply? Will dumping sand on top of coals eventually put snuff the whole thing out? Is the sand going to be enough on top of the pit, or should we tarp it as well?
5. Should we just bag the whole idea, leave such tasks to the natives of the Pacific Islands, and go down the road to the local seafood shack?
I know this is alot to answer, but so far I haven't found all the answers in a straight-forward method. Any other sage advice is, of course, always welcome.
Sounds like fun to me!
Having been in all three states, SC, NC and semi-inebriated, I can say from my current states, MS and sober, that it probably is not the safest for 25 spirited young bucks to be horsing in swim suits around a substantial fire pit in loose sand. However, with proper precautions, it could be safe as well as tasty and different.
Therefore to answer your questions in order:
1: About 25 lbs. You will lose 30% in cooking, the bone will represent 10-15% and you will get sand on some of it.
2: If it is legal and possible, wood would make a nice bonfire while reducing itself to coals. Otherwise, about 40 lbs of good quality charcoal and it should be kicked off all at once.
3: Yes, but you need to cover the bottom coals with about 3 inches of sand, put in the pig, cover with 3" sand, then the other half of the coals.
4: The coals will have been heating the sand and will give up their additional heat without oxygen. The sand cover will be adequate.
5: Yes and no. Young males drinking and having fun can have fun longer if they are grazing on something while they are drinking. A rather narrow, long fire pit with a relatively low heat bed of embers or two or three small portable grills could provide a source of a variable feast.
A few skewers, some brats, shrimp, marinated chunks of firm fleshed fish, a few loaves of french or italian bread, a table with a good hand salad with various dressings for dipping, a few potatoes and corn boiled in cajun seasoning would provide entertainment as well as good tastes.
I offer that as an alternative because exhuming and handling an unhandy lump of steaming pork requires good footing, good lighting and a clear head.
Have fun, but stop just before it hurts.
Hope I've helped,