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The Pig Roast Part I: How to Get Started

July 10, 2012

Last November, Dave and I were driving to a friend’s house for dinner when we started talking about pig roasts. I’d never been to a pig roast and it had been years and years since Dave had been to one. Since there didn’t seem to be any invitations coming anytime soon, we started thinking of hosting our own.

So here is an account of how we hosted a pig roast. We’re not saying it’s the *right way* but it’s the way we did it. If you’re going to undertake it yourself, we would suggest doing as much research as possible and taking the necessary safety precautions.

To start, we obtained a 55 gallon metal drum from a friend who had the hook up from a bakery. The drum had been the home of corn syrup and needed a really good cleaning before we could do anything with it. Dave took one for the team and cleaned it out with a good dose of PBW from his beer making stash.

This is the drum:
The Drum

We then took the drum over to Dave’s younger brother, Patrick’s house. Patrick works on cars in his garage and had all the tools, including welding tools, to turn our ordinary drum into a pig roaster. Here’s how they did it:

1. They cut the drum in half length-wise using a Sawzall.
Saw It

Be smarter than we were – wear safety glasses and ear protection. Laziness like ours is not an excuse.

Not the smartest plan

2. We admired their hard work. Dave then began sanding all of the sharp edges down using an electric sander.
Half the drum

Sanding

3. Meanwhile, Patrick cut 4 long pieces of scrap metal to be fitted into the bottom of the pig roaster. Dave sanded off the paint to weld the metal to the inside of the bottom half. He also sanded the edges of the scrap metal to clean off the rust. *A note on this step: we placed the scrap metal pieces halfway down the bottom of the pig roaster. We should have placed them higher to make room for the charcoal. This would bite us in the ass later. Don’t be like us, place the metal at ¾ of the bottom of the pig roaster.
Bottom

Sparks

4. And then the welding began! Patrick welded all the long pieces into the bottom section of the pig roast to create support for the grill. He also found a piece of pipe and welded it to the top section to create a handle.
Welding

Almost done

5. While Patrick was slaving over the welding, Dave and I ran to Home Depot where we bought three hinges and chicken wire. When we got back, Patrick welded the hinges onto both halves to connect them. And while Dave and I were contemplating how exactly we would stand up a round pig roaster, Patrick was busy cutting more scrap metal and welding away. Like magic, he created four sturdy legs for our roaster.
Finished

Open
(Pig roaster says “FEED ME PIGS!”)

*Not pictured is the chicken wire we cut to fit the drum. We laid this across the support bars to create a grilling surface.
Stay tuned for The Pig Roast Part II – this one will contain graphic pictures of our pig before and after it was cooked. Beware.

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