Category Archives: Equipment & Utensils

Pig Roast Utensils and Tools

There are several utensils that I’ve picked up over time and found to be useful for a pig roast (and a few useless ones too :-)  ). In other articles I’ve talked about the convenience of having a reliable digital thermometer, a cotton mop to swab the pig with, and a few other items. I’ll list those here as well so it is all in one place but feel free to follow those links to read more if desired. Below I put a link to the higher rated items in Amazon so you can get an idea of what the prices are. Let me know in the comments section if I missed anything or if you have questions about my suggestions.

I’ve talked about the need for a good meat thermometer. I recommend getting a decent digital thermometer for around $50 so you can watch the temperature from inside the house or across the yard.
Bear Claws — whoever came up with this idea is a genius! When I’m carving a pig, there are times when I used to wrestle with large barbeque forks to move large slabs of meat around the carving table. Now with these food-safe tools, it simplified the job quite a bit! They are promoted as good for shredding the meat but since I carve my pig, I haven’t tried that but it makes sense that it would work well for that as well.
You won’t win any fashion contests with these bumpy gloves but, who cares! They are great insulated glovesfor handling a steaming hot pig. When I have the pig ready to be carved, I like to have a pair of these gloves on so I can reach down and pull chunks of pork off the pig and start slicing it right away. Trust me, if you try to do that without some insulated gloves, you will have sore hands no matter how you try to maneuver your utensils. Get gloves like these and you won’t regret it. Might also be a good idea to get an extra pair if you have a helper (I carve and have a helper serving the guests).
 As I mentioned elsewhere, I use a cotton mop to swab the marinade on the pig. The one shown here is considered a “toy mop” but it is actually a good size and quality for marinating a pig. Just be aware that after using a mop for a pig roast, it will only be good for future pig roasts — no matter how much you wash it, you will never get all the sooty gray color out of it to use it for anything else.  
 You may already have a favorite butcher knife or chef knife. Make sure it is very sharp and a good heavy quality. No need to spend a fortune on one but just make sure you have something that can cut through the pig knuckles and such.  

Did I miss anything? Let me know. Happy pigging!

The Meat Thermometer I Use For Pig Roasts

The meat thermometer I’ve found to work best for pig roasts is a small wireless one. I got my wireless Maverick meat thermometer from Amazon for around fifty bucks. It has several features that come in real handy for a pig roast that I will point out later in this article.

Meat Thermometer Description

First a description of the thermometer. It is actually 2 thermometers in one unit — one for the meat and the other for the smoker. It has 2 probes. One gets stabbed into the pig ham (the meaty section but NOT touching a bone). The other probe I just kind of hang freely inside the smoker to monitor the temperature of it. The unit that has the two probes stays close to the meat. The other unit has a stubby antenna sticking out of it. This is your traveling thermometer. No need to stay next to the pig pit. Carry the remote unit with you and you will have a live reading at any time of the pig.

Thermometer Features I Find Helpful For a Pig Roast

  • This meat thermometer has an alarm that you can set to alert you that the pig is almost done. But it also has an alarm to notify you if the smoker is too hot or too cold so you can run over and either put more coals on or take some off (or more drastically, put some water on the occasional flare-up).
  • The best feature of the thermometer is it’s portability. It has a range of 300 feet. I’ve never measured it but it certainly allows me to go across the yard and into the house without loosing the signal. It frees me up to focus on other things (side dishes, early guests, etc). If I were to wander out of range, it beeps to alert me. Plus with the temperature alarms set, I can wander around (after watching a pig all night, I tend to do that!).
  • It is a great conversation starter as well. As early arrivals come in, the first question they ask is “how’s the pig?”. I can take out my handy remote unit and studiously check the temperature… “The pig is 85 degrees. It still has a long ways to go”. Great for quick answers and if desired can start a discussion on how much longer (dunno), what temp we are looking for, etc.
  • It’s even lighted! That seems insignificant but when you are roasting a pig over night, it is great to push the light button and get a lighted panel.
  • Although the temperature reading goes up to 572 degrees (F), I hope you never need it that high! The probe wires survive up past 700 degrees. This is a big improvement over the one I had before where the probe wires would get brittle and crack at normal cooker temperatures. I have not had any problems with these wires.

Ah-ha’s and Gotcha’s

  • The probes on the meat thermometer are not industrial strength. I used to treat them as if they could endure any abuse. When they got kinked, I’d yank on them to straighten out the kinks. I’d dump them in the dishwasher to wash them. I’ve since learned from others that is a good way to find yourself hunting for replacement probes. Fortunately I’ve not had to buy new probes but from some research, I’ve learned that the probes should not be completely submersed in water. Use a sponge or scrub pad to wipe them off. If they get kinked, carefully unkink them so they will last a long time.
  • This may seem obvious when I mention it but when you are tired and there are a lot of things to focus on, make sure you do not put the thermometer unit with the probes in it too close to the heat of the smoker. My smoker has concrete blocks surrounding it and I put the unit on a little shelf I rigged up outside of the blocks. When not focusing, I can see where it is possible to move it and then put it back on top of the blocks or worse, on top of the hot smoker! It’s plastic so, even though it is a sturdy unit, don’t test it’s fire resistance!
  • Get extra batteries! I do this after one pig roast in which the pig was getting close to done. Guests were milling around. Excitement was building. And, yep, batteries started going. Seems that no one had extra batteries in their pockets . So at the most inopportune time, I had to recruit a guest to run out and get more batteries. Now I always keep at least one set of back-ups just in case.
  • Setting the temperatures takes more guess-work than I’m capable of. I always keep the instruction manual handy. If I lose it, I’m probably going to be in trouble. With the various temperature settings, plus a timer that I don’t use, I can never figure out how to set the temperatures. Fortunately the instructions give me the steps to take to get it all set up. But be forewarned… it takes more than a few techie genes to figure it out. Bring along the instructions!

Over all, I give this wireless meat thermometer a rating of several stars (or pork chops!). It is a great tool for a pig roast.

View other wireless meat thermometers