Three Guys From Miami

HOW WE ROAST PIGS – Cuban Style

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Splitting the head
Cracking the spine
We crack through the head so that the pig can be completely splayed out. We like to use a machete and a hammer. We use the hammer to drive the blade through the snout, taking care not to cut all the way through.

Raúl Musibay: Once the pig is thawed, we use a hammer and a machete or hatchet to crack the back bone – the spine along the center of the hog.

Glenn Lindgren: We take extreme care not to cut or pierce the skin. The idea is to splay the pig out like a butterfly so it will cook more evenly and quickly.

Jorge Castillo: We pay special attention to the hog's head. It's important to crack through the head so that the hog can be completely splayed out. We like to use a machete and a hammer. Use the hammer to drive the blade through the snout, taking care not to cut all the way through.

Raúl Musibay: The person we got the pig from should have removed all of the hair or bristles from the pig. We use a safety razor and a little hot water to remove anything they missed.

Jorge Castillo: Hey, the skin is a tasty part of the pig and there's nothing like a little "stubble" to ruin your skin-eating experience!

Raúl Musibay: Once fully clean and split, we lay the hog out on a table and rub the outside of the skin with a liberal amount of salt.

Jorge Castillo: We turn the pig on its back and use a sharp knife to cut several slits, or pockets, in the meat, especially in the thicker areas like hams on the rear legs.

Raúl Musibay: We DO NOT cut through the skin.

Glenn Lindgren: We cover the inside of the pig with our prepared mojo (RECIPE: CLICK HERE) taking care to stuff all of the slits we made with the garlic. We salt the outside of the pig liberally.

Season the pig

We season the pig and marinate it overnight.

Raúl Musibay: The pig needs to marinate overnight.

Jorge Castillo: We have placed smaller hogs in a large wash tub filled with ice to keep them cool.

Glenn Lindgren: For larger pigs we have also laid several bags of ice – double-bagged to make sure the bags don't leak – on top of the pig.

Jorge Castillo: Then we cover the pig with an old, but clean sheet and keep it in a well-cooled room!

Glenn Lindgren: Miami Cubans do not dig a pit in the ground, cover the pig with wet banana leaves and hot rocks and bury it.

Raúl Musibay: Maybe that's the way they do it in Hawaii, but NOT in Miami!

Jorge Castillo: For one thing, the ground in Miami is solid coral below about three inches of top soil. You'd need a day or two with a jack hammer to dig a pit in this stuff.

Raúl Musibay: You'd probably hit water after the first foot.

Glenn Lindgren: And besides, we like to see what we're cooking.

Brick diagram

Raúl Musibay: We build a "pig roaster" with standard, 8x8x16-inch (or 16x12x8-inch) concrete blocks, the kind you can pick up for about $1.79 at your local Home Depot. We use 48 blocks to build a roaster four blocks high, four blocks long and two blocks wide.

Glenn Lindgren: The two end walls are inset between the long walls, making the actual width at each end about three blocks.

Roaster details

How We Build Pig Roasters



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Important Legal Disclaimers

This account describes the methods we have used to cook hogs and pigs and the devices we have built solely for our own personal use. If you should decide to build your own pig roaster, understand that these are not complete instructions. The Three Guys From Miami cannot and do not guarantee or warranty anything that you may assemble yourself based wholly or in part on anything described in this account. Your skills and abilities may vary from ours, and there is no way that we can ensure that your "do-it-yourself" project will work as intended.

Thus, it is important that you note the following legal disclaimers:

Use this account and descriptions completely and entirely at your own risk

This is only an account of our own experience with roasting pigs and it is NOT intended as a complete guideline or instruction manual.

The builder of any devices similar to, or adapted from, those described in the account on this site does so at their own risk and peril. The WEBSITE VISITOR IMPLICITLY ASSUME ALL RISKS inherent in the building of said devices AND in the preparation of any food item using these devices.

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