Where to Buy a Whole Hog
for Barbecuing

whole pig A whole hog roast is a festive occasion and quite an adventure! Fun for all those involved and resulting in delicious food, I definitely recommend trying it if you have the time and energy to pull it together. One of the two hardest things to overcome, the other being building or buying a hog rotisserie adequate to hold your hog, is sourcing a whole pig or suckling pig (assuming, of course, that you are not a hog farmer yourself!). In some areas this may not be that hard, but in many areas, particularly in urban areas of the United States or Canada, this can be tricky. Most butchers do not sell whole hogs or suckling pigs. But with a little effort you can usually track one down. So where do you find them? Read on!

Some tips for finding a whole hog, wherever you are:

  • In rural areas, find a local pig farmer - This is probably the simplest and most direct way of tracking down a whole pig. Contact your local farmer and let them know what you are looking for. In most instances they will be able to fill your request. Suckling pigs may be harder to come by, depending on the time of year. Obviously, for those of us who live in or near cities, finding a local pig farm may not be an option, so read on.
  • Talk to your favorite local butcher - Even if a butcher doesn't carry whole pigs, many full-service butchers can special order them for you. Talk to your favorite butcher and see what they can do for you. If they can't get it, they can often recommend another source for you. From experience, don't bother at large chain supermarket butchers, like Whole Foods and others, as most of these simply receive pre-cut meats from their distributer and therefore are even that much further removed from the source. Focus on the dedicated meat markets or butchers in your area.
  • Visit ethnic markets and butchers - Many ethnic cuisines use cuts of meats that we don't see as frequently in basic American markets. This includes using whole animals like suckling pigs and whole pigs. I have had luck with both Mexican and other Latin American meat markets (try the markets in the same neighborhoods where they sell live chickens) and Asian markets such as 99 Ranch, Nijiya and other Chinese or Korean markets. Again, even if they do not have them in stock normally, ask the butcher if they can be special ordered for you. If not, they can often recommend another butcher in their area who can help you. In my experience, this is one of the less expensive sources for a whole pig.
  • Online pig farmers - The miracle of the internet extends to more than downloadable music, email and news. As you probably know, just about everything you could want, you can find online. I have come across one excellent source online for whole pigs called McReynolds Farms which is outstanding. They supply several sizes of whole pigs, from small suckling pigs (as small as 10 lbs) to larger hogs (up to about 85 lbs). They also supply whole lambs and goats as well as several other accessories and supplies for cooking whole roasts such as larger rotisseries. Additionally, Gedalias has an outstanding, large selection of naturally raised goat meat, from ground goat, to goat tenderloin to whole goats!

The best place I know of to buy whole hog rotisseries and other accessories for pit roasts is SpitJack.com. They are very helpful and have a great selection of supplies that are specifically designed for cooking with fire, either in your fireplace or over a fire pit. Their "Whole Hog" and "Rotisseries" section have many great products. Most of the rotisseries pictured on these whole hog pages are available from them.

Done finding a whole hog for roasting?
Go back to the Whole Pig Roast page.

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