Oh suckling my suckling

Reposting from LA Board. Looking for advice on cooking a suckling pig at a location without benefit of running water or refrigeration. So if you’re not LA-local but know about pig cooking under sub-ideal hygienic conditions then hit me up!

Would like to find a place to purchase a whole suckling pig (thawed) in July. 20-25 lbs would be ideal. I’ll be coming from LA and taking it out to the JTree area. So anywhere between here and there is fair game, SGV in particular.

Price is not a major issue - I don’t need a heritage breed or anything but would like to purchase from a quality purveyor. Since I need it thawed I assume ordering well in advance will be necessary. I plan on spatchcocking it and splaying it out over a cinderblock pit. So I’d like the butcher to crack the spine. Still working out some details of the cook but think I’m leaning toward mopping it down with coconut water for about 5 or 6 hours.

Additional challenges include the fact that I will have no running water or refrigeration on site. So if the butcher can fully clean the pig in advance that is a HUGE plus. Not sure if brining will be an option. Ideally, I’d find a ratty old marine cooler, ice the pig down and then add a few cups of salt before I crash on Friday and wake up Saturday and start cooking. I’ll be at altitude so not worried too much about spoiling overnight even in summer.

So mainly I want help finding this little piggy at market but also looking for advice on how to get him home (and cook him up).

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Looking forward to following this even though we’re in Reno/Tahoe. Our Latino grocery sells pigs so this interests me. Sounds like a great adventure.

In a related note, Aaron Franklin has a show which airs on PBS. One episode involved him going through the process of spatchcock roasting a (I think) 75 pounder.


I’d probably go with Harvey’s Guss meat co or one of the Original Farmers market meat purveyors (I like Marconda’s) They can both get good stuff and help with any cutting you need done.

As for cooking?! this looks like fun

Ended up going with a pig from Huntington. They did a perfect job spatch-cocking it and even threw in a styrofoam cooler. I’d guess it was a hair under 20lbs. Brined it in salt and sugar overnight and wired it up for easy flipping. Cooked it on citrus and scrub oak for about five and a half hours. Mopped with vinegar, chile, hot sauce and beer. It was nice to be able to raise and lower the grill as the fire/coals was pretty variable.

Pretty good in the end. Got eaten mostly anyways.