The cooking technique of spit roasting has been around for centuries, dating back as far as the medieval periods. Crowds would gather upon the open roasting of a whole animal such as oxen, cows, boars, pigs, and even horses. The cooking itself becomes a festive celebration and people would rejoice in the coming feast. Today, spit roasting still exists but it is difficult to come across a whole carcass, and spit roasting is still an informal celebration in itself. Of course, spit roasting is a double edged sword; as much as it has the potential to be a huge success, it also has the same potential to be a big failure.
Spit roasting can be done on any animal, like oxen, cows, and pigs. The only difference here is the kind of set-up that you will be using and the failures that you’ll risk exposing yourself to. The choice of carcass that you want to cook will be a factor on how tender and tasty you want the meat to be. Younger carcasses are easier to cook because of the still existing juices in between their flesh. Older carcasses can prove to be a challenge because they take longer to cook and the meat can be a bit tough.
Much like barbecuing and grilling, the success of spit roasting relies heavily on a well-made fire. The use of charcoals is recommended, though you may end up using a lot of coal if you have a bigger carcass to cook. There is a chart that you can find online that will help determine how much coal you need for a specific size of the carcass. Spit-roasting is a tedious and long procedure, so you have to do your best to keep the fire fresh by adding coal every now and then or adding fuel.
The equipment for your spit roasting is now a bit modernized as compared to the medieval and ancient equipment. You can find manufactured spits that are available for different sizes of carcasses, but you have the liberty of creating your own spits. There are two kinds of spits that you can devise. You have your basic horizontal spit where you would need a metal bar around 70 inches long in order to secure the carcass in place. This bar should have two metal cross-pieces end to end, about 28 inches long, where you can attach the limbs of the animal if you plan on an open roast. These pieces must be secured tightly to the rod. You will also need two metallic uprights to hold the rod and should be strong enough to support the weight of both the rod and carcass.
Next, you have your asado pit. You will be required two metal rods, both of equal length. The only difference is that the rods are flat, as opposed to the round metal bar in the basic horizontal spit. The crossbar should still be at 28 inches long and welded at right angles to the 70-inch vertical rod at 4 inches away from the end. A metal hook is placed to secure the carcass through its shank.
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