Defrosting a frozen pig.

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grasseriver

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I did some Googling but found nothing, so I thought I'd ask the experts. :)

My restaurant has recently purchased a 93-lb. pig in the hopes to roast it on the 21st or 22nd. However, it showed up completely frozen.

Can anyone tell me how long it might take to thaw this thing out? I'm figuring roughly a week, if not longer.
 

zoebisch01

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Yeah at least a week. And you definitely want to do it under refrigeration since it is so large and will consequently take so long. I am surprised you guys couldn't find a local pig farm up there in NY state. I'd give yourself a little over a week though just in case. It makes a huge difference in cooking time if it is even anywhere near frozen in the middle. Like up to 50% longer I'd guess at least. Plus that's not a good way to do it anyhow.
 
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grasseriver

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Yeah at least a week. And you definitely want to do it under refrigeration since it is so large and will consequently take so long. I am surprised you guys couldn't find a local pig farm up there in NY state. I'd give yourself a little over a week though just in case. It makes a huge difference in cooking time if it is even anywhere near frozen in the middle. Like up to 50% longer I'd guess at least. Plus that's not a good way to do it anyhow.
What had happened was that a pig had been ordered -- and a "fresh" pig was requested -- but what arrived was frozen. So we figured, rather than screw around with returning it, we'd still use it.
 

zoebisch01

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What had happened was that a pig had been ordered -- and a "fresh" pig was requested -- but what arrived was frozen. So we figured, rather than screw around with returning it, we'd still use it.
Ahh, gotcha...makes sense.
 
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grasseriver

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I know the pig is gutted and all that -- would it be recommended to submerge it partially in water (like you might do with a turkey at Thanksgiving)?

I'm doing this research now, knowing that no one else is really giving it much thought. I figure that it's going to take a good week to thaw this bad boy out, and I figure a combination of letting it thaw in a 40-degree walk-in cooler + sitting it in a large prep sink (partially, since it's roughly 3.5-4 feet in length) is the best way to go. I could be wrong.
 

davebl

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Put your pig in a sanitized cooler and start adding water. Once the pig is completely covered, you can open the drain enough to let water out at the same rate.

Give him an afternoon like this and then leave it in the cooler.
 

zoebisch01

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I wouldn't rush it unless you come down to the wire. I have never been a big fan of water defrosting as the water can draw out salt from the meat via osmosis iirc (although with a whole pig I don't think it would be too bad). It also makes the meat pale and waterlogged. Now with the skin on, I'd imagine this should be much less of a concern, but you do have the open cavity. Personally I'd wait and see how you progress in the walk-in from now until about 3 days before the event.
 

monty73741

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It takes about 4 days in a walkin, take it out of the rapper & put it on a deep sheet pan to catch the drippings...
I was also thinking. If no one has ever done a pig please do as much research as possible. Best way i know how to cook a whole pig is put it in an altosham for 3 days.....at 250 degrees. Low & slow is the way... then on the day of serving either put it on pit to crisp the skin or in an covection overn
 

james.simpson_b

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looked everywhere on how to properly thaw a whole pig, but couldn’t get a satisfying answer, so I’m doing it my own way.

I picked up my frozen suckling pig yesterday 14kg, I left in the fridge cooler for just over 24hrs to begin the defrosting, today I took it out of the cooler, it was kinda soft skin deep but still 95% frozen and hung it up in my laundry which is around 25 degrees with the head facing the ground with a bucket underneath to catch the liquid. 4hrs later I went and checked and noticed the stomach area soft which was defrosting quicker then the head and the bottom. I decided wrap the whole pig in aluminium foil so the rate of defrosting slows down and more evenly through out the pig ( I don’t know how I came to that conclusion lol ) anyway it’s been 5 hours (12pm to 5pm) now since I’ve hung it up, it’s defrosting ok I guess. I’m planning to have a completely defrosted pig by 6am tomorrow so I can put it on the spit.
 
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