What do I need to do/have/provide to have a pig roasted on-site?
If you have a 20' x 12' area Cooking location is within a 2 hours drive from Hunterdon County NJ.
The customer only need to provide serving tables for food, electric is only needed if we are cooking or serving after dark.
So where would the best place be to cook the pig? I try to very flexible with this, but over the years some people have done things that made me type this page. The pig roasting ovens I use are very heavy. We do not carry them up steps, down steps. We do not put them on decks or inside garages. We do not let you or your friends help us move them (it’s a lawyer thing). Also I have found that you and your buddies can help well at the beginning, but after 3 or 4 or 25 beers and 8 shots of uncle Fred’s home brew things don’t go as good. I must say that I am not trying make fun or put anyone down, it is just that things need to go a certain way or someone/something could get hurt/damaged. I could do a whole website, pictures included of the things I have seen go wrong at some backyard parties. Be safe and let us do the work.
The back yard: Do you have a 50 inch opening? Is it a steep up hill/down hill. Will I be dodging horseshoes or volley balls all day?
In the driveway: The driveway is good as long as the cars are out of the way of the cooking area.
In the parking lot: We do this for a lot of businesses and it works well as long as we have a clear area.
In the park: If you are having your party at a park or campground just make sure the park knows we are roasting a pig. We are insured and I can fax a certificate to them (needs to be done 48 hour in advance). Have Pig Will Travel is not responsible for any permits that are required. And as always we will leave the cooking area the way we found it, clean.
What is the best serving time? To keep from starting in the "pre-dawn" hours, I ask that customers outside of Hunterdon County have a 3:00pm or later serving time. And this leads me to something else I would like to touch on and that is "Serving time vs. Party Start time." This is the most common mistake I see a lot of customers make. Please take a minute, stop, think about the last party "you" went to. Did you arrive at the time on the invitation? NO you did not. The only people and the first people to any party are the in-laws, grandparents, your best friend/s (he/she helped you set up the party) and then there is always that person you hoped wouldn't show up. The best time I think to serve the pig is about 1 to 1 1/2 hours after the said "party start time". Although there are a few exceptions, one being a surprise party and an other being a wedding. Everybody wants to "fashionably" late and no one wants to be the first person to arrive. Why? If I knew that answer I would just be one of those people who knew too much.
Just a little advice: Ok, it is warm weather so where do we put the food? Let see we have some hot meat but we also have some nice cold salads made with mayonnaise, so what better place to put the food but in the SUN. That's right in the sun. Why? I am not really sure. Think I am kidding. I wish I was. About 50% of the outdoor parties we do we see the food in the direct sun. I think it happens due to the fact that most people set their tables and canopies up early in the day and do not realize where the sun is going to be later in the day. It could possibly be because people are stupid, I don't know why that thought even crossed my mind. So just a heads up, sun rises in the East and travels across the Southern sky to the West. The sun has been traveling that path for a few years now... I think about 4.54 billion, we'll let you know if that changes.
What Do You Do?
This page is to explain what to expect when we roast a pig for you.
We do not provide tables to serve the food. If you are having a “Custom Pig Roast” you will need no less than one 8 foot table for my food. If you are having guests bring food you will need more tables. ...and you know Auntie Maude or Uncle Marvin will insist upon bringing that one dish they "think" they're famous for. But seriously, guests often bring food and expect there to be room for it. Then they start moving our food around and... well let's not go there lol.
WE DO NOT SERVE FROM THE CARVING TABLE, we do not serve from the carving area. I can not stress this enough. Many times people have been to a pig roast where they line up with their plate and get the pork right from the pig. I have found this to be very messy and just not a good way to do it. It is much easier for your guests to get all their food in one place. So we will carve at the carving table and serve where ever the rest of the food is being served from.
Now having said that. We will arrive and you can show use where you would like us to roast. We will then go to our task of unloading and lighting the roaster. There will be a large flame for about 5 minutes and we will then put the pig in. You are more than welcome to watch and take pictures & VIDE, make jokes (but we have heard them all).
Next we set up our cooking area with a small canopy and work tables. We may also set up grills and other equipment if needed.
Now we relax a little as the pig cooks and we may be seen preparing other food as needed.
We open the pig roaster every hour or so to check on the pig and tend the fire. At this time you or your guests are welcome to look at the pig and take pictures ask questions make jokes (remember we have heard them all).
We like to stick to the every hour opening to insure a good cooking.
If you are having us do other food about 15 minutes before the serving time we will put out the salads and such.
Now we take the piggy out of the oven, move him to the table and carve. People are more than welcome to gather around and watch, take pictures and pick at that crispy skin that some like so much. PLEASE DO NOT EAT FROM THE CUTTING BOARD. I cannot say this any other way: you or your guests eat from the cutting board, the carving will stop. There are several reasons for this. 1. Covid time we live in. Need I say more?
2.I am wearing gloves and keeping the food safe to eat. You my friend... well I have no idea where your hands have been... petting the dog, changing the baby, playing horse shoes or whatever. If you want to eat from the serving table... well have at it, but not at the carving table. 3. It turns into a free for all. One person eats and then everybody wants to do it. I am far from a hoyty-toyty high society person. But let’s face it, someone has hired me to do a job here and I want it done right and with at least a little class.
While you and your guests are eating we will start our clean up as well as watching the food. We will refill any dishes that need refilling. When we are ready to leave, we will leave any leftover meat and side dishes. At this time we will request payment, pack up and leave. If we are packed and ready to leave but cannot due to vehicles blocking the way you may be subject to a $30.00 per hour service fee to cover the hourly cost of sitting. If after one hour we still cannot leave the local police will be called. This rule will be strictly enforced due to past situations where we were just left stuck. Although many times people ask us to stay and join their party (and we would like to) what they might not know is our day starts about 5:00am or earlier and although cooking the pig is the easy part, it is all the un-loading and cleaning we do that night when we return back to our location.
The following are a list of things we do not do. Some of these sound silly but guess what, somebody at some time has asked us to do these things (more than once). The request to put the roaster in a building is the one that is so perplexing to me to this day and that is the most requested thing that I will not do. 1: It is just not safe for more reasons than I care to list. 2: My insurance company would just kiss me goodbye.
We do not:
Put the pig roaster in a building or under a deck. (most requested)
Take away trash from the party (just the pig waste). Think I am joking. NOT. Yes if you are having a party or festival you will need to provide trash cans for your guests.
Take care of your dog, cat, horse, aardvark or whatever else you call a pet. (not meant to offend, we love pets, just not when I am carving the pig).
Watch kids or demons.
Put up with annoying drunks (happy drunks are ok).
Cook a pig you provide.
Rake leaves, cut grass or do yard work. (Yes we have had customers ask)
Put the pig roaster on top of a building or roof top. (Yes, I get asked all the time)
Carry the roaster up steps over fences, walls or put it on ships or any kind of boats.
Hold the pig till next week.
Payment Information: Deposits are required to reserve dates and to pre-order other products. No date is fully reserved until I receive your deposit. Balance for all "on-site" jobs is due at the completion of the job. Balance for cook & deliver food or customer pick up orders is due at time of pick-up/delivery. Payments can be made in the form of cash, check, money order or credit card. Do not send cash through the mail. Service fee for a bounced check will be $50.00 and you will be required to pay with credit card, money order or cash. All services performed & products sold in New Jersey are subject to New Jersey Sales & Use Tax of 7%. It is usually included in the price.
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