How to Build a Hog Roaster

Updated April 17, 2017

Building your own hog roaster is no mean feat. To make a rotisserie capable of roasting an entire hog requires a certain amount of skill and experience. A full-sized pig can weigh up to 45.4 Kilogram, and your spit has to be able to bear all that weight for an extended period of time. If you want to go the whole hog, make sure your roaster can withstand the test. The best way to make a sturdy hog roaster is to scavenge parts made of metal that can bear the pig's weight.

Select a location for your hog roaster. Choose an open space in your backyard that is well away from trees or other obstructions.

Cut the old, empty gas tank in half horizontally. Smooth or grind down any rough edges. This tank will become the vessel for roasting your hog, easier to operate than a rotisserie and with less heat loss.

Reattach the two pieces of the gas tank, using pipe hinges and nuts and bolts. This will create a hinged lid for your roaster.

Make a spit for the hog out of the shaft of an old combine. Insert the shaft into the gas tank and attach with a 12-inch length of pulley from the combine. Hook up the shaft and pulley with the drive belt to a gearbox and motor salvaged from an old washing machine. Using a motor to power your rotisserie makes operation much easier. Secure all parts, using nuts and bolts.

Install a belt tightener and shaft for the gearbox as well. Secure in place.

Add coals when ready to use. You'll need 18.1 to 22.7 Kilogram of coal to roast a whole hog. Place coals in the bottom of the roaster, then place a metal screen over the coals. Secure the hog to the spit and begin roasting once coals are lit and have reached a steady heat.


When roasting a whole hog, insert a meat thermometer into the hog at different points to check for doneness throughout. Rake and redistribute hot coals as necessary to cook the pig evenly.

Things You'll Need

  • Old gas tank, 300-gallon capacity
  • Saw
  • Grinder
  • Pipe hinges
  • Nuts and bolts
  • Drill
  • Screws
  • Combine
  • Drive belt
  • Belt tightener
  • Washing machine gearbox with shaft
  • Washing machine motor
  • Shovel
  • Coals
  • Metal screen
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Michelle Labbe has been writing online and for print since 2004. Her work has appeared in the online journals Reflection's Edge and Cabinet des Fées as well as in Harvard Book Store's anthology, "Michrochondria." She is pursuing a Master of Arts in publishing and writing at Emerson College.