Large Hog Roast Oven - Cooking Tips
Serve the tastiest meat possible with our Large Hog Roast oven - capable of feeding up to 350 people for less than £1.00 per head.
Using our oven/cooking instructions
The Tasty Trotter Hog Roast Oven requires little to no preparation prior to cooking. Really the only thing to remember is to make sure you thoroughly clean the machine before its first use to ensure any manufacturing oils are removed.
This oven is capable of cooking a variety of meats in many different ways with the added extra of cooking joints at the same time using the tray system. The optional roasting cradle can be used to cook chickens, jacket potatoes or joints of any kind.
Please note that we recommend always carrying a screwdriver and spanner with you to ensure that you can tighten any bolts or screws that have come loose during cooking or transportation.
Our hog roast machine for sale can cook many different types of meat, however in our experience the most popular by far is pork, hence the name Hog Roast. With this in mind our meat preparation guide has been written using pork in mind.
There are several different schools of thought on how to prepare a pig for roasting; the best advice would be to consult with your local butcher or meat supplier. The most important point is to firmly secure the pig to the spit distributing the weight as evenly as possible; ensure you fit the spit as close to the top of the rib cage as you can. Most butchers will do this for you but if not then please see our PDF guide in the downloads section and our video showing how this is done in our videos section. Basic rules are that the U shaped retainers will go through the middle (back of the animal) and be responsible for the majority of the meats weight. The 4 pronged retainers are used on either end on the spit shaft to secure the ends of the meat in place. Finally the triangular shaped retainers can either be used at either end of the spit to assist with lift the pig in and out of the oven, or they can be used to secure the legs in place if you are keeping them on during cooking.
You will need to decide if you are going to keep the head and feet in place; our Hog Roast Oven is big enough for the largest pig complete with head and feet in place however please bear in mind occasionally some customers don't like to see this. You may like to give your customers a choice. If you do decide to keep the legs on, please ensure they are secured properly.
To score or not to score
Scoring requires cutting into the skin about 1cm deep in several places, ensuring lines do not cross. Tasty Trotter Event Supplies do not always recommend scoring though, you are cooking the meat for the meat and not the crackling, the crackling, in our opinion, is an added bonus.
Scoring the meat increases the risk of the meat falling off the spit and more importantly it can actually cause dry meat. Refraining from scoring the meat means the juices are kept inside which we believe makes for far more succulent and tasty meat. The only drawback with this is that the cracking may require some good, sharp scissors to cut through it once cooked.
There is very little preparation required for the meat but best results can be obtained by sprinkling the skin with salt and rubbing it in. If you decide to score then it is important that the score lines are not linked and cannot form islands of skin that can fall off. Use short score lines of around 5cm long and NOT criss-crossing other lines.
Optional Roasting Cradle
With the optional roasting cradle you can cook chickens, small joints of meat, turkey joints, jacket potatoes, roasted vegetables and more. Our roasting cradle will hold approximately 24 chickens or 150 potatoes. The oven has been designed so that meat can be cooked on the spit whilst the stainless steel trays are in place. This allows you to cook dauphinoise potatoes, roasted vegetables, heat stuffing or anything else you can think of on these trays whilst the meat is cooking. Use at least one of the trays to carve your meat into, as this makes serving easier.
If you are using the Roasting Cradle to cook joints of meat then we suggest you ask the butchers to prepare thin and wide joints as these tend to fit better in the baskets. For joints, chickens and jacket potatoes you simply balance the items in the baskets, making sure to distribute the weight as evenly as possibly. We recommend that you watch the Roasting Cradle rotate a few times before closing the lid to ensure nothing is going to catch or fall.
There are many different opinions on methods of cooking meat in spit roast machines, scoring or not, seasoning, temperatures etc. all of these are down to personal preference and with time of you using your machine you will inevitably have your own methods to share. This being said below is a brief how to guide of the basics.
Cooking times will depend on the weight of the meat and some varying factors (outdoors temperature etc.) If possible the meat will always cook better and quicker if it is has been brought up to room temperature. It is likely to have been refrigerated at around 3°C so it will ideally need around 2-5 hours or so to get to room temperature prior to cooking.
There is no need to preheat the oven prior top cooking which allows you to fully ensure the meat is in place and secure once placed inside the oven.
For filled bread rolls with stuffing & pork, you will need to allow approximately 160g to 225g per person; 175g per person is usually adequate for most calculations as this is equivalent to a normal average appetite.
We recommend that for the first 45mins or so of cooking you put both burners on full to cook the meat at around 250°C, this should sear the meat and result in a less visible loss of juices. Meat fibers contract when heat is applied, squeezing out juices from the inside, with a high heat applied first these juices will be burnt into a crust on the outside of the meat; sealing it and retaining more of the juices on the inside resulting in more succulent and tasty meat.
Following this, reduce the oven temperature to around 200°C for the remaining cooking time, cooking on a slower and lower heat results in better flavour. One burner should be adequate to provide enough heat to achieve this temperature. A general rule of thumb for pork is one hour of cooking for every 10 kilo of meat. This time will need to be increased if you want to serve pulled (shredded) style pork.
For lamb the cooking time is reduced. The way lamb is served is down to personal preference as it can be served pink so it requires less cooking time.
Test the meat is fully cooked with a suitable temperature gauge and visually check the juices are running clear.
NOTE: Pork must reach 75°C to be classed as safe (78°C in Scotland) so test meat is fully cooked with a suitable temperature gauge and visibly check the juices are running clear.
PLEASE do not solely trust the temperature gauge on the oven. Due to its position it takes some time for the true temperature to soak through to this gauge.
Only cook in a well-ventilated area, ensure that no combustible materials are within 1 metre of the oven, ensure vents are not obscured in any way and that the oven isn't in a windy location. Do not leave unattended and check that the burner(s) are lit and the spit is rotating on a regular basis.