Traditional wood fired Portuguese Suckling Pig

Suckling Pig in wood fired oven – not for the faint hearted! We have been asked many times for this traditional Portuguese recipe.

Portugal offers many tasty wood fired recipes but lording it over all of these dishes in the affections of the Portuguese is leitão assado da bairrada , suckling pig roasted and basted until the flesh is creamy and the skin develops an exquisite crunch. The ovens are fuelled initially with the wood from the eucalyptus trees and then with wood pruned from local vines, which impart a subtle but definite flavour of the meat.

The Amigo wood fired pizza ovens are ideal for cooking Suckling Pig (Leitao) with their purpose built slot in the split door and whole in the back of the oven to hold the Spit roast or rotisserie.

While some recipes call for putting the pig in brine for several days in advance, this simple recipe does not require any pre-prepping.

Rub the meat/skin and inside of the piglet with a blend of coarse salt, pepper, garlic and olive oil or pig’s fat. Sew the belly up  and skewer the pig on your stainless steel spit roast locking the attachments onto the meat. Cover, nose, ears and tail in tin foil to prevent it from burning.

Place a tray on the base of the oven to catch the fat dripping into it.


Bring your Amigo oven up to full heat (approx. 550c) and let the fire die down to approx. 300c and spin the rotisserie manually for approx. 20 to 30 minutes to prevent it burning. After this time you can check every 10 minutes or so and turn.

Once the pig is cooked, depending on size 1.5 to 2 hours and removed from the oven, let it rest before cutting into it. Serve with a simple salad and potatoes.

Bon Appetit