How to host a pig roast

Roasted pig

Without a doubt, hosting a pig roast is a bigger deal than your average barbecue. It’s an event; something to be remembered for years to come. But the thought of building a fire pit, sourcing equipment and skewering a pig is pretty daunting. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be that difficult. Here’s how to make your pig roast easy peasy.

Pick a date

This is step number one. You’ll need to pick a date and invite the people. The longer lead time you have, the better, as you’ll be feeding a lot of people and you’ll want to make sure they can all make it.

Find a supplier

There are a million ways to roast a pig, all with varying degrees of difficulty. We suggest finding a one-stop shop. Shaws Catering is one such operation. The pig farm rents the barbecue and prepares the pig for you too. “The only thing we don’t give our customers is a sharp knife,” says operator Terri-Lynn Shaw.

You just need to show up at their farm south of Orillia, with a capless pick up truck. They’ll give you some coaching, then you load in the pig, barbecue, meat thermometer, heat gloves, serving tray, maple charcoal and lighter fluid and continue on your way to the cottage.  They’ll also answer the Shaw’s Pig Help Line if you have any questions later in the day. For an added fee they’ll even deliver everything to your door.

Schober Farms runs a similar service just outside Wasaga, if your cottage is in that area.

R&R (roast and relax)

The beauty of services like Shaws Catering is that once you fire up the barbecue, you can relax. The fully enclosed unit works like an oven, cooking a 110-pound pig in about 8 hours. That’s enough pork to feed 100 people. There’s no stoking the fire, maintaining the rotisserie, or problem-solving on the fly. You can sit back, crack a cold one and start entertaining.


Because the pig’s skin isn’t punctured by skewers, the meat retains it’s juices, making for incredibly juicy meat. And once you’ve served a few slices from the tasty beast, heard the mmm’s and ahhs from your satiated guests you’ll be able to tuck into a plate of pork unlike any you’ve ever had before. Congratulations.

Clean up

After hosting the best barbecue of your life, the clean up is the true miracle of Shaws: there isn’t any. Simply return all the gear to the Shaw family farm. They’ll clean it with power washers and you can continue on your way home. “The hardest part of the day is picking up the pig and returning it,” says Terri-Lyn.

Amen to that.