Roast Suckling Pig Cooked in a Pizza Oven

Roast Suckling Pig Cooked in an Outdoor Pizza Oven

A few weeks ago, my next door neighbour Chris yelled over the fence wall and said, “Hey Maureen, interested in blogging about roasting a suckling pig in the pizza oven for Australia Day?”  I couldn’t say yes fast enough.

The first Christmas we were in this neighbourhood, Fran and Chris had all their family visiting and they cooked a pig in their pizza oven outdoors.  I smelled that pig from morning until mid afternoon.  It was the most wonderful aroma and I’m sure I wasn’t the only person along the canal who wanted to call in for a cup of sugar.  I didn’t – I held back only because we were new here.

Chris hasn’t been well for the past few months and after a cancer diagnosis and surgery and all the other things that they do to insult your body when you get this nasty disease – he got the all-clear from his doctors just before he asked me if I wanted to blog the piglet.   They have a bbq nearly every Australia Day, the 26th of January and they are the best fun.

Australia Day BBQ

We all get to catch up with our neighbours both beside us and across the canal.  Honestly, we’re physically pretty close to one another and there’s not a lot of privacy unless you close the blinds.  Nobody closes the blinds because then you can’t see what’s going on out on the canal.

How to roast a suckling pig

Chris told me he had contacted Cotton Tree Meats about sourcing a suckling pig and that he was picking up the pig on Saturday morning.  When I went next door to take a photograph of piggy, Chris said he couldn’t have gone anywhere and gotten the service he received from Cotton Tree Meats.

“Maureen, the young fella who waited on me was superb.  He got the pig, talked about cooking it and even offered to take it to my car.  The pig came wrapped in muslin, ready to pop in the cooler overnight,” said Chris.

Pork Belly Cooked in a Pizza Oven

The fire was started in the pizza oven early in the morning and when I arrived about 10am, it was nearly ready for the pig.  While the oven was hot, they cooked a beautiful pork belly – just in case they ran out of meat.  (as if!)

Suckling Pig into the Oven

At about 11am it was time to put the pig in the oven.  He was too big for one pan so piggy went into the oven head first and his feet dangled in another pan.

Ros arriving for the Australia Day BBQ

Folks started arriving around noon and it wasn’t long before everyone had a drink and was busy catching up with friends and neighbours.  I had the best time.  Ros and Bryan live across the street and she is one of the most entertaining women I’ve met.  This is how Ros arrived for the bbq.

And this is a quiet moment I intruded upon.

Ros and Bryan

Every little while, the pig was turned so he would roast evenly and in less than 2 1/2 hours, it was time to eat.

turning the pig

When I said I was only next door, I wasn’t kidding.  In this one I noticed I could see my office door.

Australia Day BBQ

While we were waiting for the main event, we had lots to drink and some of these Aussie sausages or prunes wrapped in bacon and cooked on the BBQ.  There weren’t many of the prune left because maybe I ate too many.

Sausages or prunes with bacon

Not everyone is old-ish, there’s Elle from My Kitchen Rules fame.  She and her brother now run Chitty Banh Banh at Brisbane’s trendy Eat Street Markets at Hamilton Wharf every Friday and Saturday.

Australia Day BBQ

Then it was time for the main event!  Out came the pig and Chris was very happy!

Roast Suckling Pig

Along with the pork there was a lovely Mediterranean salad that I couldn’t get close enough to photograph because so many people were digging in and there was a tossed salad with chopped raw beetroot and feta and a roasted vegetable and pasta salad.

Roasted vegetable pasta salad

I didn’t know Albert but he deftly carved the pig for all of us to enjoy.  Albert’s a retired doctor so it was right and fitting that he use his knife skills.

Carving the Suckling Pig

Then it was nearly time to serve.  I’ll confess that I went around the table and stuck my fingers in and pulled off a piece of the most succulent pork I’ve ever tasted.

Suckling pig and crackling

There were onlookers waiting to be fed.  I might be married to one.

waiting for pork

Once we had stuffed ourselves it was time for dessert.  This is Dee who lives several houses up the street from us.


Dee made this really cute AND delicious koala cake.

koala cake

We also had this beautiful pavlova made by Jan who lives next door to John and I (on the other side).  She and her husband David are a joy to be around.

Jan's Pavlova

Jan and Ros – two really nice people that I’m privileged to know.

Jan and Ros

If you’re Australian, you’d know what it’s like to roll a Jaffa down the floor of a movie theatre but these men looked at this dessert table and saw the bowl of Jaffas and then…


Yes, you guessed it, they rolled the Jaffas down the bridge to the pontoon to see if they could get the Jaffa into the water.  Think they’d let me get in to photograph it?  Absolutely not – it was a championship!

jaffas rolled in the water

It was a wonderfully relaxed way to celebrate Australia Day 2014.  I’m ready for another suckling pig any day!  Whatever national holiday you celebrate (I celebrate both the 4th of July and Australia Day) give a suckling pig a try.  You can roast one in the oven too.

4.9 from 19 reviews
Roast Suckling Pig Cooked in a Pizza Oven
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This is an easy way to cook a whole suckling pig in a pizza oven.
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Australian
Serves: 24
  • 1 suckling pig - well scored by the butcher (or do it yourself with a very sharp knife)
  • Carrots (you could also add baby fennel and/or celery - whatever you like)
  • Fresh Rosemary sprigs
  • Onions
  • Salt
  • Lemon juice
  • Oil
  1. Bring oven temperature to about 145°C / 300°F
  2. Salt cavity well and add onions, carrots and rosemary. Close the opening by sewing the skin if you can.
  3. Cover the snout, ears and tail with foil to prevent burning.
  4. Place in a large baking sheet with the pig's back on top - this gets the best crackling
  5. Roast until the pig is cooked to at least 71°C / 160°F and remove from oven and cover.
  6. Crank up the oven to 260°C / 500°F and slide the pig back into the oven until the skin is blistered and crackled. It should take no more than 30 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and rest the pork for about 30 minutes before carving (if you can stand the wait)

roast suckling pig



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  1. says

    Maureen, what a fabulous experience! I love the community feel of your neighborhood—the photos tell a story of friendship and fun. Suddenly, I’m hungry for roast pork.

  2. says

    Is there anything better than a street (or canal) party? Oh yes, that’s right, one where there’s a roasted suckling pig to share! Sounds like you had the best time ever, Maureen, so happy to hear that! :)

  3. Noel Leedewr says

    Hi Chris and all you lucky porky eaters.
    What a wow of an Australia Day nosh!!! Superbly barbied pig – made my mouth water just looking at the pix!! And what a great street party!! Especially good to see my old mate Chris looking so well – Fran too!! Long time, no see, but it was so good to get this wonderful blog!! Happy times ahead all of you!

  4. says

    Dear Maureen, A great way to celebrate Australian Day and a good all-clear report from Chris’s doctors. I am very happy for him.
    It looks like you have lovely neighbors. The food looks good too.
    Blessings dear. Catherine xo

  5. Deana Sinatra says

    Hi U 2,
    I miss you both in Mosman, it’s sooooooo boring!
    You both look so well and happy and I’m jealous.
    Don’t usually it pork, but I wouldn’t say ‘no’ to crackling!
    I spent Oz day eve. on the harbour. During the fireworks, 2 huge cruise ships showed up, Thankfully we didn’t hit them, as we had 160 people on board… ha ha!

    All my love to both of you,


  6. says

    So this is what your Facebook posts were all about (regarding the piglet)! Looks like it tasted delicious, but the poor thing had to have his hind legs ‘dangling into a second pan.’ What a way to go! Hopefully, when it’s my turn to go, I will have my whole body in one ‘container’ (i.e. coffin) instead of being spread around the place!
    Fran @ G’day Souffle’ recently posted..Chicken Provencal

  7. says

    When I travel south of the border I have a friend in Seattle who built a pizza oven in his backyard that he s very proud of. I should suggest a suckling pig along with his stellar pizzas.

    • says

      I love your website! All those photos made me so hungry. I would have left a comment on your blog but you don’t allow them, so I’ll say it here. I always thought the water in the pan was to keep the fat from making a big mess. I’ll give the pork belly method a try!


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