Having a pig roast is a social occasion that includes a group of hungry people and a facility for cooking a pig in its entirety. Whole-pig cookouts are called luaus in Hawaii and Pig Pickings in North Carolina. Tiny suckling pigs are sufficient for smaller groups and can be cooked in a standard oven, since these little pigs are not much different in size than a large turkey. Larger pigs are cooked in special ovens outdoors that are large enough to accommodate an entire hog. These large animals are butterflied to ensure even cooking while the suckling pig is roasted intact. With any type of pig roast, it's important to calculate how much meat to buy.
Make a list of the guests you want to invite.
Count the names on the list.
Multiply this figure by one and a half. This is the number of pounds of dressed hog carcass you will purchase from the butcher. For 50 people you will need 50 x 1.5 or 75 pounds.
It's always better to have too much rather than run out, so don't worry if the available carcass is a bit over the weight limit.
Order your pig carcass well in advance to be sure it is available in time for your party.
Whole pigs take a long time to cook. Grill time will be approximately one hour for every 10 pounds of carcass or however long it takes for the internal meat to reach 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
Your barbecue guests will not be eating a pound and a half of pig meat. This rough estimate accounts for the normal amount of fat, skin and bone in the pig. The actual ratio of meat to fat and bone will not be exactly the same from pig to pig.