A commercial food mixer is vital to any professional (or domestic for that matter!) kitchen. It’s an investment, after all. And like any investment, you want your money’s worth. So we thought we’d club together our best tips and tricks to help you get as much use out of your food mixer as possible.
Not only will we help you keep your mixer on the straight and narrow by maximising its working life, but we’ll also give you some helpful dos and don’ts when you’re using it. We’ll even give you some tasks it can perform of which you mightn’t have thought.
Terrific Tips extending your mixer’s life
It’s an obvious one but making sure that you clean your mixer, both attachments and bowl, with hot, soapy water will go a long way and also keep your kitchen clean and healthy. Do check that your detergent of choice is friendly to stainless steel or other metals present on or in your mixer.
Keeping the internal workings dry is key when washing your mixer so you’d be best avoiding pressure washers when tending to the machine. Nevertheless, inspecting and lubricating the gears and belts inside the mixer would be a splendid idea. You should replace anything you find which may have had its day.
Having a log of the maintenance of your kitchen machines, including your mixer, is essential to keep track of when gadgets may be in need of some TLC.
Delightful Dos and Dodgy Don’ts
Now you’ve got your mixer in perfect working material, we’ll let you in a few really useful tips on how to use it to the best of its ability.
You always want to make sure the bowl and any attachments are securely in place before mixing begins unless you wish to do an unscheduled re-decoration of your kitchen!
Keeping any hands completely out of the way, starting to mix at the lowest speed and working your way up the gears to the desired level is always the best way to operate your mixer for largely the same reasons as above. When the mixing is over, move the speed down the gears before stopping the attachment altogether.
Once the mixer has begun, it must be stopped before adding other ingredients. Other than that, just make sure nothing goes into the mixer that shouldn’t such as clothes, utensils or body parts. That’s a crucial one!
Let’s Get Creative
We all know that a commercial stand mixer is brilliant at easily kneading traditional yeast doughs but we’ve got a few other ideas for you to try:
How about shredding a chicken? It can of course be done by hand with a knife and fork but if you want to save some time, a flat beater or paddle attachment should make mince meat (not quite literally) of your chicken in double quick time. Then with your newly shredded chicken, have a look at this simple-to-make recipe.
If that doesn’t float your boat, you could have a try at making some home-made sausages. To most, this one be quite a daunting challenge, particularly making them by hand but the planetary mixer makes this much easier, especially when emulsifying sausage. Then, after freezing your meat, you can use your mixer to grind up the meat before adding liquid and spices into the mixing bowl for the final flourish. Here's a classic to have a go at yourself using your own sausages
For those of us who prefer our food to be of the vegan variety, your mixer can be used to create an alternative to eggs made from the liquid found in chickpeas cans, aquafaba. A mixer can whip the aquafaba into a meringue-like consistency. It can take a good few minutes to achieve this which makes the mixer even more useful. Check out this vegan-friendly recipe.
If you're yet to get your hands on a commercial food mixer of your own, look no further than our very own KuKoo models here.
Unique Materials for your Hairpin Leg Table
You’ve got your SkiSki hairpin legs? Great! Now what to put on top….
You could just buy a piece of new wood, but where is the fun in that? Get creative with your table top material and make interesting statement pieces of furniture for your home. Using second hand or reclaimed materials can also bring the cost down, an extra benefit of using your imagination. Design your very own bespoke furniture leaving all your guests asking where you shop.
Not sure where to start? We have some excellent inspiration for you. Here are the best, most creative table top ideas that we have seen.
Let’s Go shopping!
You can find all sorts of treasures in antique shops. Keep your eyes peeled for beautiful pieces of wood that may have once been something else. You can completely reclaim the wood to make it an unrecognisable but beautiful piece of furniture. Another idea is to keep it in its original form to create a funky furniture project and a statement piece for your home.
One of the most unique designs that we have seen is using an antique letterpress case as a table top. Top with glass and you have yourself the ultimate unique coffee table. Any book lover would not be able to resist!
Are suitcases just for holidays? Absolutely not
Thought suitcases were only for going on holiday? Think again. Hard cases make lovely side tables for your home. Not only have you created a handy table, you’ve given yourself some extra storage. Hide any unwanted mess in your new side table; pretty and useful. Why not keep an eye out for a second hand briefcase for your next furniture project?
Unique Furniture Every Time
A piece of a log is an excellent choice if you fancy a slight twist on standard piece of wood. Paired with our easy to attach SkiSki hairpin legs, you will have a side table created in no time at all!
The unique patterns in the log achieve completely unique and beautiful furniture pieces. The perfect addition to any home with a rustic style. You could even varnish your wood for a more contemporary finish.
Get Creative with a Crate
Inexpensive and yet the end result is always beautiful furniture. Use an old crate to make an attractive side table. With all the fittings included with SkiSki Legs, this is a quick way to create stunning furniture.
We like the authentic crates with printing on them for an antique farmhouse look. Style with dried flowers to achieve a beautiful boho style.
Yet to get your hands on our very own SkiSki Hairpin Legs? We'd recommend these, click here to begin your DIY journey
5 Tips and Tricks to Become a Gardening ‘Pro’ this Spring.
With brighter days on the horizon, we are all looking forward to getting back out in the garden and enjoying the sunshine. For many of us, our attention has turned to getting our gardens ‘spring ready’ by planting flowers and revitalising our outdoor space after a cold winter.
Our amazing garden range will give you all the tools you need to transform your garden this spring. This includes our beautiful composite decking boards which are perfect for any shape garden, giving you that dream look. Or why not try the 5 in 1 multi tool? Everything you need to maintain your garden all year round. You could even give your plants the VIP treatment with the retractable garden hosepipe. Watering your plants has never been easier with the extra-long hose!
Pair your new tools with a few of our tried and tested tips, making gardening that little bit easier this spring…
1. Lollypop Stick Labels
Reuse your old wooden lollypop sticks to get your plant post organised this spring. Write what is in each pot and put it in the soil so you can easily identify your beautiful plants as they grow.
2. Yoghurt Pot Seed Starters
Recycle your old yoghurt cartons by turning them into plant pots to get your seeds off to the best start in life. Simply pierce holes into the bottom of each pot to add some extra drainage, fill with soil, plant your seeds and you are good to go. Place on a tray in your green house or on your windowsill and watch as your green fingered work pays off! Get the whole family involved by painting or drawing beautiful patterns, giving your yoghurt pots a new lease of life.
3. Herb Garden Stones
No lollypop sticks? No problem. A funky alternative is to write or draw the names of your plants or herbs onto pebbles, making natural looking labels suitable for any garden!
4. Sponges for Staying Hydrated
Cut up your old sponges and place in the bottom of your pots to improve the drainage system of a simple plant pot. The sponges retain moisture and stop the water just rinsing straight out the bottom of the pot, creating better conditions for your seeds.
5. Plant Pot Storage
Use your old plant pots as storage for your small garden equipment. This could be sheers, trowels, forks, pens or even your new lollypop stick labels! Label your pots to keep tidy and organised all year round.
Become a storage superstar with these excellent garage organisation hacks.
No storage? No problem. Get yourself sorted with our wide range of racking, giving you the perfect shelving unit for whatever and wherever you are organising.
Take a look at the latest addition to our range, the heavy-duty racking unit. Our most exciting racking yet, this shelving is extra wide with a capacity of 1200Kg. Without a doubt, this will suit all your storage needs!
With the racking sorted, here’s some handy storage hacks to get you on your way to a perfectly organised garage!
1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Don’t let your old toilet roll tubes go to waste with this organisational hack. Cut your empty toilet roll tubes in half and glue them together for the perfect storage solution for nuts and bolts, or other small items. Need a lockdown pastime? Make it a family event by either painting or drawing on your toilet roll tubes to make this easy storage hack stand out from the crowd.
2. Paint, paint and more paint
Many of our garages are full of nearly empty tins of paint that we are saving ‘just in case’. Transfer the paint from the tin to recycled jars to save space on your new racking. The tighter seal of the jar will also mean that your paint lasts longer for whatever your next job will be.
3. No more stacking
Store the little things with this simple hack. Gone are the days of precariously balancing containers to make the most out of your racking. We are reusing old jars again by super gluing the lid to the underside of your shelf. Simply twist the jar into the lid and here you have a fabulous floating storage solution.
4. Perfect Piping
PVC piping is the perfect affordable solution for storing your day-to-day tools. Glue the bottom of a piece of piping, about 20cm in length, to strip of wood. This sturdy storage solution is a great way of organising screwdrivers, plyers, and any other medium sized tools you may have. Why not have a section for pens and pencils so they are never out of reach when working on your DIY projects.
5. Bins and baskets
Kit your racking out with bins, baskets or whatever containers you fancy. Label them all up and you will stay organized for the rest of the year! A simple but effective hack!
The Perfect Outside Dinner Party Experience!
Summer may be behind us now, but this doesn’t mean that the festivities have to end here! Throwing an outdoor garden party is the highlight of Autumn for many of us- there is nothing better than gathering around the table and dining al fresco with your friends and family on a balmy Autumn evening in the shade, toasting to great things and spending some well-deserved time relaxing. As the hotter days are behind us, Autumn is the perfect month to organise a gathering and enjoy the cooler weather.
To help you reign supreme when it comes to organizing an unforgettable outdoor dining event, we have compiled a list of important things to remember when putting together the perfect garden party to be a cut above the rest!
Of course, the most important element to consider is your seating plan – as usual, we have got you covered! Our Jardí Rattan Dining Set can seat up to 9 people and is the perfect seating option for a large group. So, why not bring over the whole family for an evening of fun-filled festivities?
For the ultimate summer party, no details must go unplanned! This also applies to the comfort level provided for your guests. For optimum seating and to keep everyone happy, make sure that you have snug cushions for everyone to enjoy. Our premium Rattan Dining Set offers cosy cushions that take comfort to another level. Take if from us - you can easily settle into this dining set for hours on end while you spend the evening chatting away!
Don’t Forget the Guests!
Depending on what level of formality you are aiming for, it may be a good idea to send out some cute, handmade invitations to your guests- of course, if this is just a small family event, then it’s probably just best to pick up the phone and give them a ring! Regardless, a few subtle touches like handmade invitations could be just the trick to wow your prospective audience and start your dinner party right!
When your guests arrive, why not arrange some decorative place names for them – this might be more suitable for a group of friends that may not necessarily know each other very well. Whatever your audience, get creative with it – you can even get the kids involved with this quick and easy DIY craft and keep them out of the kitchen!
As the sun goes down and the stars begin to come out, make sure that you are prepared to maintain the mellow ambience with some soft lighting to keep the party going. Keep your guests entranced by the magical evening atmosphere with some minimalist outdoor string lighting that can be weaved in and out of trees. This will instantly light up your garden and turn it into to a nighttime wonderland! If you are moving this dinner party indoors to your dining area at any point, make sure that you have some equally ambient mood-lighting prepared – our range of Pendant Pulley Lights create a rich, rustic feel to any room and are guaranteed to attract compliments.
Set the Table!
For ample seating and dining space, we recommend our spacious Jardí Rattan Garden Set available in a range of colours to match your personal style! This outstanding seating set is guaranteed to impress and has enough space for up to 9 of your friends or family for that perfect evening together. With the free rain cover we have included, it’s easy to leave the dining set outside all year round until you can uncover it once again in better weather and start up the dinner parties!
Food for Thought
In terms of grub, serving up some classic sizzling burgers and chips with a nice garden salad will never get any complaints from your guests! Why not go the extra mile this Autumn and try our Hog Roast, specially brought to you by KuKoo.
This addition to your garden party will help you perfect the art of creating mouth-watering burgers and serve up enough delicious food to feed an army- and then some! Leftovers are also always a welcome treat for the next day as you can make delectable sandwiches with any uneaten BBQ meat! Depending on how much you are planning to serve, this helpful Hog Roast is available in two different sizes, either the 60kg or 90kg model. This is the perfect addition to any Autumn outdoor BBQ and these appetising burgers will guarantee that your guests always come back for more!
For a dessert that requires minimal effort, grab a helping hand from us with our Planetary Food Mixers and blend together the ingredients for cakes, cupcakes and other sweet treats – it’s always important to save some room for dessert, especially when they are appetizing homemade delights! With a 20-litre bowl capacity, keeping your guests satisfied with enough cake won’t be a problem this Autumn.
Ice Ice Baby!
While the Autumn season is still suitably warm and toasty, our KuKoo Commercial Food Blenders won’t go amiss amongst your partygoers! Instead of sweating the day away, grab some fresh ingredients and blitz to perfection to create dreamy, sumptuous smoothies and thick, mouthwatering shakes to enjoy outside. This is also perfect if any kids will be attending your garden party- keep them distracted with delicious fruity milkshakes to give the adults some well-deserved peace and quiet!
If you want to amp up the chill factor, why not treat yourself to our KuKoo Ice Machine – easily produce up to 2,304 ice cubes in 24 hours and store up to a whopping 11.5kg of ice for your next outdoor dinner party. Add to your freshly made smoothies and other beverages for an instant icy effect. If you are feeling a bit more adventurous, why not whip up some classic cocktails, add ice as needed and spread some merriment amongst your guests? In our opinion, there is nothing that comes close to enjoying a long island iced tea or mojito in the autumn shade with good company!
As we approach the end of our list, we hope that you have been inspired to create the perfect atmosphere at your next Autumn dinner party! Here at Monster, we want to ensure that you have the right tools for the job to ensure that your dinner party preparations run smoothly, so that enjoying great food, drink and fabulous company become top priorities. So, make the most of this Autumn and plan a catch-up over dinner that is probably long overdue!
Your Ultimate Guide to Using a Raised Planter Like a Pro.
With the British summertime well and truly here, it’s time to make the most of that greenery outside and discover the ergonomic and versatile power of a raised planter! Here at Monster, we think it’s a fabulous idea to get outside and try something new in this sunny (although sometimes questionable!) weather. Whether you are an advanced black-belt gardening guru or a complete novice who rarely gets a glimpse of the great outdoors, a raised garden planter can be just the thing to practice some ever-useful gardening skills and surprise yourself with what you can really do!
From being an efficient, closed system for maximising plant and veggie yield to storing up to 1600 litres of soil, our MonsterShop Steel Flower Planters are multi-functional and sturdy flower beds which are carefully crafted from galvanized and corrugated steel and ready to help you achieve amazing things with your gardening space! Here we have highlighted just a few quick benefits and uses of installing a MonsterShop Raised Flower Beds in your garden.
Perhaps you have been thinking of getting healthier this summer or would like to move towards home-grown produce- whatever the reason, get out there and cultivate your own veggies- it’s not only healthier, but it’s a great way to bring the whole family together! At MonsterShop, all your fruit and veggie needs are covered with our raised vegetable and flower planters!
Yummy Fruits and Veggies All Year Round!
This is probably the greatest benefit of owning a raised flower bed- they are ultimately a low-maintenance and user-friendly option for those who don’t want to invest too much time in creating the ideal condition for growing delicious veggies on demand! By deciding the type and mixture of soil to be used in advance, both beginners and experts can control the type of soil used in their flower beds and grow mouth-watering produce in no time at all! For example, veggies such as carrots, which are stubbornly difficult to grow, thrive in these brilliant garden beds.
Studies have also shown that raised flower beds produce a higher yield than more conventional methods of growing fruit and veg, and the space used is also minimal and easy to keep tidy- no need to turn your entire garden into a vegetable patch!
The list of possibilities is endless, but you can try a few of the following options to begin with:
Fresh fruits, such as strawberries, raspberries and blackberries.
Delicious veggies, such as onions, tomatoes and root vegetables.
Decorative small shrubs and bushes.
Another amazing perk of these incredible Raised Beds is the fact that no-one will be walking all over your beloved produce. Perhaps you have kids or pets which love to run around outdoors, leaving no part of the ground untrampled! With our 1600 Litre MonsterShop Flower Beds, that’s no longer an issue, as the raised nature of the item prevents any traffic from reaching it and ultimately, from damaging the soil. The raised sides of the garden bed also act as a fortress against any critters looking to get into your planter and munch on your goodies! Gone are the days of checking on the progress of your veggies and finding them suspiciously full of holes!
Turn Your Garden into a Flowering Paradise!
Make your neighbors green with envy by carefully cultivating beautiful selections of flowers and proudly displaying them in our comfy Monster Steel Flower Planter - the benefits are truly endless! By containing your ‘mini garden’ environment in one of our planters, you can effectively limit the number of weeds and any other nasty species that can get into your precious flower bed and destroy months of work. Best of all, as weeds are unlikely to make their homes inside your flowerbed, you can avoid using fertiliser, ensuring a chemical free environment.
This closed system is also a great solution for containing all the essential nutrients required for plant growth and preventing any escape from the soil – also known as ‘run-off’ in gardening terms. As the planter has a solid bottom, all that good stuff won’t have anywhere to go and will provide plants with everything they need.
Healthy Plants and Healthy Owners!
Not only do raised planters bring wholesome benefits to the plants being grown in the flower bed, but they are an excellent low-maintenance option as previously mentioned. For those who have back and/or joint problems, our Steel Corrugated Garden Beds provide an excellent raised platform to do the gardening and don’t require straining over a flower bed that is normally installed low onto the ground.
Great and Galvanized!
There are many planters out there and sometimes the selection can be confusing for many gardeners just starting out in the world of raised flower beds. Fortunately, we can let you know which material comes highly recommended for this project!
There are many sources that exist out there which suggest using wood for your garden bed, and although this may be a cheaper and conveniently sourced material, many types of wood are treated beforehand with harmful chemicals or require treatment further down the line after purchase – this may cause chemical ‘spills’ into your soil and affect whatever is growing.
Other options such as mortared stone or cinderblocks are a heavy material and could generally be difficult to work with – mortared stone especially require a lot of investment and the labor costs could be substantial. Plus, it’s not a very good option if you have existing back problems!
So that leaves us with steel, a material which is easily procured, and which is becoming increasingly popular with gardeners looking to create a sleek and modern look in their garden! Steel flower beds are all the range and won’t break the bank. For an easy option, why not try one of our very own Corrugated Steel Raised Flower Beds? All you have to do is find the perfect spot in your garden!
The Fun Doesn’t Have to End Here!
Given that our planters arrive flat-packed, you don’t have to worry about building your own raised flower beds from scratch- this means you will have more time left to figure out the important things, such as the soil mixture, what you will be growing and when you will be eating it!
To go alongside our practical and easy-to-use MonsterShop Raised Flower Beds, we highly recommend our MonsterShop Foldable Garden Cart for some extra helping hands around the garden and to easily transport your veggies or plants to your new planter! With an easy collapsible design and a mighty storage capacity, you can turn gardening into a light, effortless activity.
If you have a wonderful selection of greenhouse plants already, but are getting short on space, our Greenhouse Waterproof Racks are here to make your life easier and to create that extra space that your plants have been craving.
Find out more about our amazing Flower Beds here and maybe even grab one for yourself this summer! Reach out to us with the fabulous ways you organised your MonsterShop Raised Garden Bed – we are always keen to see what our creative readers are up to!
Food blogger and celebrity chef Chris Blackburn is a huge fan of the KuKoo meat grinder. Chris is the reigning UK Yorkshire Pudding champion and star of ITV's Food Glorious Food. You can watch him making mincemeat using a blend of brisket and blade in the Kukoo Meat Grinder. With the simple addition of a few ingredients he turns mince in to delicious burgers.
5 Star Yorkshire Rating
There's nothing quite like the taste of a juicy, homemade burger that's cooked on a barbecue. You can adjust the flavour to your liking by adding herbs, spices or your own secret ingredients. On Chris' food blog - Yorkshire Pudd - he opts for a classic beef pattie. Served in a toasted brioche bun with a good strong cheddar, iceburg lettuce, 2 rashes of streaky bacon, a slice of beef tomato, quality mayonnaise and burger sauce.
Classic Burger Recipe
600g Beef brisket
400g Beef blade
Salt and pepper to taste
1) Grind brisket and beef blade using the KuKoo meat grinder using the medium blade. In a bowl combine mince, with a good pinch of salt and pepper and mix well.
2) Shape into burgers, ensuring they are compacted so they hold their shape. Pop in the fridge and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
3) Get your barbecue to optimum temperature or pre-heat your frying pan and add the meat. Allow to brown on ether side and ensure it is cooked in the middle.
Follow our top 6 tips for perfect burgers every time
1. Choose your meat
Your burger should remain juicy so avoid going too lean otherwise you will lose some of the taste!
2. Flavours & Seasoning
Add fresh or dried herbs and spices to bring your burger to life. A classic hamburger is great with the addition of dijon mustard to boost the taste. For Spanish flavours add chorizo and smoked paprika to pork mince... Divine! If you feel like been super-fancy then fill your burger with a melt-in-the-middle pocket of cheese - we love the flavours of lamb and feta or beef with blue cheese. Don't forget to season your burger - always season with salt afterwards otherwise you'll draw out the moisture during mixing.
3. Bind It
If you're using a leaner meat or adding onions or chillies to your mix then add a handful of breadcrumbs and a beaten egg to combine the burger together.
4. Chill Out Time
Once you've shaped the burgers, give them time to chill out in the fridge - doing this will help them keep their shape during cooking.
5. Let's get cooking!
Now the tough decision - to BBQ, grill or fry? Ensure your burger is cooked thoroughly (you can always use a meat thermometer if you're unsure). Cook for 5-6 minutes each side for medium and for well done 8-9 minutes either side.
6. Eat it!
Now enjoy... Don't forget to add your gherkins (love them, or hate them), juicy tomato and a squeeze of sauce.... We're drooling over here!
The KuKoo Meat Grinder is only £64.99 and comes with Free next day delivery when you order before 2pm Monday to Thursday. Just imagine... you could be firing up the barbecue this weekend and enjoying mouth-watering burgers! Mmmmm!
Tom Daley gave us all life goals when he snapped himself cooking a greasy fry-up in an all in one pan. These clever kitchen gadgets are perfect for rustling up a cooked breakfast, but what other meals can this 5-in-1 frying pan create?
I'd love to eat a full English everyday but it seems some strange humans would get bored of that...
So we’ve got you covered with our top 5 meals, all of which can be cooked up in the KuKoo Multipan - whether it's just for one or a cosy couples dinner.
Mexican Fajita Feast
• Sliced Chicken Breast – rub with oil and dry fajita season
• Slices Sirloin Steak – remove excess fat, rub with oil and dry fajita seasoning
• Chorizo Sausage – Sliced into thick discs
• Sliced Peppers & Mushrooms
• Red Onion & Coriander – finely chopped
Warm your tortilla wraps in the microwave then serve with guacamole and salsa, deeelish!
Classic Spag Bol
• Spaghetti & Boiling Water
• Beef Mince
• Finely Chopped Carrot, Celery & Onion
• Bolognese Sauce - homemade or from a jar
• Sliced Mushrooms
When the meat and veg is cooked mix into the sauce, then use a spaghetti spoon to remove the pasta and place into a colander to drain. Serve the pasta in a bowl and top with the Bolognese. For extra tastiness grate some cheese on top, yummy!
Naughty Bacon Double Cheeseburgers
• Beef Burgers - when they're cooked to your liking, place sliced cheese on top
• Bacon - lots of bacon
• Sliced Red Onion
• Burger Bun - slice in half & add to the pan right before serving for a crispy toasted bun
Spread ketchup inside the burger bun before layering everything up. You can add a bit of a kick with chilli sauce too or try squeeze in one of your five-a-day with slices of fresh tomato and lettuce.
Stay Healthy Salmon & Veg
• Salmon - fillets work best & cook in about 7 minutes
• Sliced Peppers – red, yellow, orange or green
• Cherry Tomatoes
• Sliced Aubergine
To bump up the flavour factor, stir a teaspoon of pesto into the peppers and cherry tomatoes. Then add a squeeze of lemon juice onto the salmon and a knob of butter to the spinach before serving.
A Hearty Cooked Breakfast
• Eggs - scrambled, fried or mini omelettes
• Sausages, Bacon & Black Pudding
• Mushrooms & Tomatoes
• Baked Beans - a 200g tin fits in that top right corner, whilst a full 400g tin fits in the bottom right
If you're not a fan of the healthy stuff substitute the veg for a few hash browns. Or if you've got a sweet tooth, trade the eggs for pancakes, the meat for fruit kebabs, veg for berries and melted chocolate instead of beans.
Get your hands on one of these versatile Multipans as early as tomorrow with our free next working day delivery to mainland UK. Great for small families, singletons and anyone who loves camping.
For centuries, roasting whole joints of meat round an open fire has had a certain celebratory appeal and in this modern day of electric spit rotisserie machines it’s no different…
But roasting a whole hog takes some planning, especially when you’re catering for someone else and their guests, so we’ve pulled together the best advice and ideas to make sure your hog roasting event is a success!
How To Roast A Hog
Step 1: Ordering A Piggy – A Week Or So Prior
When buying a whole pig, plan for about 400-500g of pork per person - which equates to approximately 200g after cooking and removing bones. The best pigs for roasting are 40kg or less, but if you’re feeding up to 200 people you’ll obviously need a bigger hog. Younger pigs have a softer and leaner flesh that melts into perfection as it cooks, whereas older pigs have a lot more fat on their flesh but the meat can be tougher and drier.
It’s also wise to consider the measurements of your spit and grill when buying a pig, you don’t want to get that hog home and find it’s too big for the rotisserie.
The quality of the pig will ultimately affect its final flavour no matter how much BBQ sauce you smother it in. Get down to your local butcher or look for a naturally reared, free range farm animal – buying directly from a farmer can save money.
Frozen pigs will need to be defrosted for 24 hours or so before roasting, the best way to do this is wrap it in plastic, so animals and insects can’t get to it, and simply let it thaw. Bath tubs and large cardboard boxes are great places to thaw too. If it’s just chilling in a cooler or fridge, let it come to room temperature for an hour or so before roasting.
Step 2: Attaching & Securing – Roasting Day
Washing your hands and work surfaces, before and after touching raw meat is just a given.
The most important part of this whole process is securing that little piggy to the spit. If it’s not attached properly these heavy pigs can flop about on the spit and nobody wants that pig falling onto the coals! Insert the spit through the anus, along the spine, and out of the mouth. The forks should be attached to either side of the pig whilst you can make incisions to secure the spine ring in place and push each foot into the feet rings.
Create some more holes and attach thick wire (14 to 16 gauge is best) if you think it needs a bit of extra security, use pliers to twist the ends as tight as possible.
Start the rotisserie for a minute or so to check that the pig is held firmly in place against the spit. If the butcher hasn’t already, you should thoroughly shave the pig to get rid of any hairs, yep just with a good old Bic razor, it sounds weird but hairy crackling is never nice!
Step 3: Light Her Up – Time To Start The Fire
Charcoal briquettes are the most reliable option, but what about adding a different flavour with wood? Just remember the denser the wood the longer it will burn and using non-resinous wood will prevent soot forming on the food.
Hardwood coal isn’t recommended as it can burn too fast and hot, plus it’s hard to maintain the slow, even heat needed for prolonged cooking. Plan for approximately the same amount of coal to pig, with extra on hand just in case.
Light the first batch of coals (charcoal chimneys are best for this) then spread them underneath the pig in a circular shape. You want the heat concentrated under the thicker parts of the pig, usually the shoulders and rear which take the longest to cook – avoid putting coals under the belly area as juices will drip down and could catch fire as they hit the coals.
Top tip: place a disposable aluminium tray underneath the stomach to catch any juices and save them for later to make a tasty marinate for roast chicken and potatoes!
Start the rotisserie.
To maintain the heat, replenish the coals by adding fresh ones on top of the hot coals approximately every 30 minutes.
Every so often it’s also worth checking that the pig isn’t over cooking. It should take about an hour and 15 minutes per 5kg of pig (stuffing can add extra time too), so if it appears to be cooking too quickly (especially within the first hour) increase the height of the spit or slow down the rate at which you’re adding fresh coals to the grill.
The last 30 to 45 minutes is when the real magic happens - that skin’s gotta get nice and crispy! So pile on the coals at the very end (remove the disposable aluminium pan if you added one to catch the juices) and cover the space underneath the belly with coals too. You can even stop the rotisserie at different points and try lowering the spit closer to the coals to make sure all that skin gets a good blast of heat.
Step 4: Is It Ready Yet??? – Almost Time To Tuck In
To tell when the hog is cooked, the skin should be a dark golden brown and very crispy, joints will wiggle easily and the juices should run clear. Push a meat thermometer (how about this Hanson digital meat thermometer from Argos) into the thickest part of the pig and you should get an internal reading of at least 60°C.
Don a pair of heat proof gloves and remove the spit from the grill to place the hog on a clean work surface that can take the weight of the whole pig. Use wire cutters to take out any excess wire you added earlier and unbolt the forks, spine hook and feet hooks.
Step 5: Sharpen Those Knives It’s Time To Carve
You’ll need a sharp knife or two to carve the pig quickly and effectively. A lending hand from a friend wouldn’t go a miss either – just make sure they don’t eat it all instead of carving!
First off, work the knife between the shoulder and hip joints to remove all 4 legs. Each of these can be carved up separately and will probably hold the most meat.
The loins should be easy to carve off of the back, and then continue with the rest of the torso. Cut the ribs off with a hack saw or pull the meat off by hand to serve it off the bone. Place a knife between two of the neck vertebrae just behind the ears and cut off the head.
Got any bits of skin which haven’t quite crisped up? Set them back onto the grill and they should get crispy in no time.
Top tip: Bare bones make great stock for soups and gravy whilst dogs find cartilage and strange boneless off–cuts tasty too.
Now it’s just a case of loading up the serving platters, don’t keep those guests waiting any longer!
Rubs & Seasonings:
Dry rubs are perfect for adding that extra bit of flavour before starting up the spit roast. Create your own from mixed herbs and spices or buy a tasty packet of seasoning from the supermarket. Make sure to rub the meat inside the carcass, whilst the skin will cook best rubbed with olive oil and salt.
If you’re going to say stuff it just remember this, as steam is created from veg and other meat it can decrease the tastiness of the meat itself – don’t worry there’s no chance of the pig drying out without a stuffing if you’ve picked a young hog.
If you do want to try stuffing, do so lightly with fresh herbs and a few vegetables like onion and carrot. Remember you’ll need to sew up the hog or secure everything inside the carcass to stop the stuffing escaping, it’s best to do this with non-galvanised metal wire.
Marinating & Basting:
For extra flavour use a meat injector to inject marinate directly into the flesh before cooking. Then baste the pig with excess marinate using a basting brush every hour. Ideally you don’t want to baste with anything that will burn over the cooking time, so stay clear of sweet and sticky glazes until serving.
A basic marinate and basting sauce has the following ingredients: Oil – to stop the meat from drying out, Acid – to help break down the meat muscle, and Spices – for flavour… e.g. Olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and thyme.
Serving & Accompaniments:
A roast pork sandwich tastes good. But it’ll taste even better on a plate of delicious sides and sauces, here are a few ideas...
Place foiled wrapped potatoes directly onto the coals and remember to turn them from time to time, these can take approximately 45 minutes to cook depending on the size of the potato.
Knock up tasty coleslaw using grated raw carrot, apple, red onion and cabbage – mix in mayonnaise and lemon juice, then put a simple spoonful into a bread bun with the roast pork.
Other tasty side dishes include homemade bread, potato salad, roasted vegetables, baked beans, macaroni cheese, salad and of course a selection of your favourite sauces.
Need More Inspiration?
Check out our Pinterest board of tasty pins for recipes and ideas, there’s even a few for leftover roast pork too…
With free next working day delivery to the UK mainland when you order by 2pm, you could be serving from your KuKoo Hog Roasting Machine in no time!