What To Bring To a Pig Roast

Knowing what you should bring to a pig roast can be a challenge. Of course you can ask your host and hostess what they would like. But if they respond like I do (“We’re all set… just show up!”), you won’t get anywhere with that. And of course, any self-respecting host of a pig roast is likely going to have more food than any small army can possibly devour in an afternoon. But I know there are some folks who just can’t show up empty handed. And there are some events in which the guests are requested to bring something along. So here are some suggestions.

If the pig roast is on a hot summer day, ask if you can bring a couple of bags of ice. At some of our pig roasts we have more ice than we will ever use. Other times, for whatever reason, the ice just doesn’t seem to be holding up and we are contemplating making another quick ice run.

Do you have an amazing dish that gets a lot of rave reviews? Either ask the host if it is ok to bring it or, just show up with it. If you just show up with it, make sure you have plenty and bring a serving utensil. Don’t be offended if it gets shuttled to the far corner of the salads. After all, there are only so many pineapple cole slaw’s that one pig roast can handle!

Don’t bring anything that creates extra work for the host without prior arrangement. One year, as we were getting everything ready to serve, a guest showed up with farm-fresh potatoes wrapped in foil, packed with fresh herbs and butter, ready for us to toss them in the fire. Because I didn’t have time to figure out where, among the coals, the potatoes could go without slowing down the pig from cooking, I put the potatoes aside and tended to the myriad of other stuff that a pig roast involves. The next time I had a chance to think of those potatoes was after the pig was done and being carved. Of course I felt badly that we missed that treat. If you feel compelled to do something like that, be sure to ask permission in advance of the day of the pig roast and try to take care of any tasks that are involved in tending your special treat.

You can bring a nice bottle of wine or fine cordial if you wish. A word of warning here tho. Make sure you know that the host imbibes. My parents were strongly against any alcohol (that didn’t rub off on their kids tho!). When someone would grandly present them with a bottle of fine wine, everyone around them who knew of their preferences stopped to watch their reaction as they politely but uncomfortably put the “evil” bottle aside. Additionally, if you hand a bottle of delicious alcohol to someone who has been working hard to fight against an alcohol addiction, you have just caused an uncomfortable situation for them. Having given all of those warnings, we get a few bottles of wine from folks who feel compelled to bring something and we love the thought. If the wine is not consumed at the pig roast, we put it in our wine rack and have future toasts to a memorable pig roast.

If you are invited to a pig roast (lucky you!!) and the invitation requests everyone bring a side dish. Here is an article on dealing with side dishes at a pig roast. But mainly, come ready for a fun time. And if desired, come with something that someone else will enjoy. Bring utensils and potholders if needed. Give a hand in setting things up and then step back and let the festivities begin… and enjoy yourself!

  1. Chris miller

    So, I read that looking for ideas on what to bring and you tell bring something people will like. Thanks, great tip.

    • Hi Chris, that’s one heck of a summary of that article (LOL). Seriously I know there are a bazillion ways to make coleslaw and potato salad so I was offering more practical suggestions based on my pig roasts. Here’s also another article on Tips for side dishes or check the category for recipes and sides and you should find some helpful recipes.

  2. One dish that is never remembered is Fresh Home Made Applesauce. I make mind with a Mix of apples, pears and fresh mango, plus lemonade rather than the water, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, and a dash of vanilla. I mash it some but most like it chunky.

    • OMG, you are right! Someone brought homemade applesauce to our pig roast a couple of years ago and it was a big hit. Thanks for the reminder.

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