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A Pig Roast, the Ultimate in Barbecuing

Ah, the Pig Roast. The words alone bring to mind an image of a pig rotating on a spit, grotesque yet alluring, the clouds of savory smoke tickling its ribs, gloved men gathered around, moving cinder blocks, poking embers and tossing back cold-weather beer.

So before outdoor cooking hibernates for the winter, give it one last hurrah with the manliest of cooking feats, the kind only braved by barbarians: Do your own pig roast.

First, you need to select a rig. Pig-roasting gear comes three ways: the spit, the pit or the box. Prices range from $100 to $1,000, depending on how much of a do-it-yourselfer you are.

The spit is the biggest crowd-pleaser, favored by old-school roasters; it is also the most expensive. Part gore, part thriller, part Joan of Arc, there's something proud and primal about a spit. Everything you need for a whole animal rotisserie can be found at Spit Jack.

An alternate approach, one that's becoming popular due to its speed and ease is the roasting box, designed by La Caja China. With this approach, the pig is placed in the box, and cooked by hot coals put on top. Roasting boxes can be purchased for half the price of a whole animal rotisserie, and is easier and faster.

But if you're inviting folks over for a pig roast, do you really want them to gather 'round a box? If less muss, less fuss and less spectacle is acceptable, then go for it. I recommend you lessen the disappointment with a game of touch football, maybe some Connect Four, lots of tasty appetizers and a flask of bourbon.

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