Tink Pinkard's Goin' to Law School Roasted Pig


This recipe uses a two-piece steel grate with handles for turning (Pinkard’s own is custom-made by local company ASERO Enterprises, Inc.). Brining will add moisture and a sweet crackle to the skin. This is measured for a 30-pound animal using a 75-quart cooler. If using a different size of pig or cooler, measure how many gallons it takes to cover the pig (factoring in the amount of ice that will melt: 10 pounds of ice melts to just over one gallon of water), and then use that number of cups of salt and sugar for the brine concentrate. While the salt and sugar amounts are nonnegotiable, the other ingredients are to taste.

1 pig will feed 20-40 people.

Fairly difficult

Tink Pinkard's Goin' to Law School Roasted Pig


For 1 Batch(es)


  • 1 30-lb. roaster pig with head on, skin on, hair scraped and internal organs removed (many processors will butterfly an animal for you)
  • 20 pounds ice
  • 6 (or more) gallons of water
  • 8 cups salt
  • 8 cups dark brown sugar
  • 25 allspice berries, ground
  • 5 ounces bay leaves
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste

Tink Pinkard's Goin' to Law School Roasted Pig Directions

  1. Place the pig into a cooler and cover it with the ice and the 4 to 5 gallons of water—making sure that the animal is fully submerged. Set aside.
  2. To make the brine concentrate, pour the remaining 2 gallons of water into a stockpot along with the salt, sugar, allspice, bay leaves and red pepper flakes. Bring the mixture to a quick boil, and cook until all of the sugar and salt have dissolved and then chill. Pour the concentrate into the cooler, and brine the pig for about 48 hours.
  3. Lay the animal on a table, belly down, for 10 minutes before roasting.
  4. To prepare the oven, make a bed of coals with mesquite and pecan wood in the front and back with a very small smolder in the middle—making sure to not allow direct flames to reach the pig. Roast at 150° for about 40 minutes and then add more wood to bring the temperature up to about 225°. Roast for about 3 hours, flipping the pig several times (or every other beer, as Pinkard says), until the internal temperature of the roaster reaches 160° and the skin has a deep red color. Open up the grate, turn the pig belly-side down and serve with tongs and a knife.

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