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The Evolution of Hog Roasts throughout the Ages


The Roasting Pig supply hog roasts for weddings and special occasions as well as a hog roast hire, but what about before you were able to pick up the phone and call someone? we look at the history of the hog roast and how it became what it is today.

Can you imagine that early caveman who roasted his first hog? Clearly, his thought was, “I can’t wait for someone to invent BBQ sauce!” As long has humankind have been cooking their meat, there has been some form of hog roast. It’s not hard to imagine the learning curve of those early chefs. They knew that cooked meat was better, but they couldn’t simply throw the hog on the fire. Instead, they had to develop was way to lift it off the flame and cook it slowly. This is where the concept of skewering was born. It would take the development of metal to bring hog roasting to the next level.

When bronze and iron were invented, there was a rush to find ways to use these precious metals. One popular area was in the kitchen. Overnight there were all kinds of pots and pans built that revolutionized the way we cook. These are the same items we use today.

The Middle Ages and Beyond

Along came the Middle Ages and hog roasting was all the rage. Every kitchen had a version of the spit roast. This allowed the entire hog to be skewered on a heavy iron bar and slowly roasted over an open fire. In the big castle kitchens, there was probably a worker whose sole job was to slowly crank that hog while the chef would baste and add spices.

Actually, we can thank the Renaissance for the addition of sauces to hog roasting. While most of the population was busy painting, the chefs in Florence began basting their pigs with orange juice and sugar. It really didn’t take much effort for the concept of “basting sauce” to spread across the land.

As kitchens evolved, the notion of roasting an entire hog lost favour. There just wasn’t room for an open hearth. Instead, butchers would cut up the hog for more convenient cooking. By the time the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, hog roasting was relegated to special events. It was also something you did outdoors in open fire pits.

The Evolution of Hog Roasts around the World

Meanwhile, over in the Pacific, the islanders were developing their own method of hog roasting. This involves lining a pit with heated lave rocks. A hog is then seasoned with salt and wrapped in banana leaves. It is then lowered into that pit and covered with palm fronds. By the time the sun sets, the pig is good to go and it is some amazing eating.


Today, hog roasts are regaining their popularity. It is not becoming the featured dish for holiday gatherings, weddings, and special theme parties. There are entire festivals devoted to coming up with the most amazing flavours of pig. If you’re ever invited to a “pig picking,” make sure you RSVP right away! You’ll be glad you did.

If you are interested in a Hog Roast for your venue and based nearby in the Derby or Nottingham area then The Roasting Pig would love to help prepare and serve the tastiest modern hog roast!