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How much does a pig cooker weigh?

Pig cookers, also known as pig roasters or caja chinas, are large outdoor cooking devices used to roast whole pigs. Determining the weight of a pig cooker depends on several factors, including the size, materials, and features. This article will provide an overview of pig cookers, discuss the factors that affect their weight, and provide estimates on typical weights.

What is a Pig Cooker?

A pig cooker is a special appliance designed specifically for roasting whole pigs outdoors. Here are some key facts about pig cookers:

  • Allows for cooking an entire pig outdoors over a charcoal or wood fire.
  • Comes in a variety of sizes to accommodate pigs from 25 lbs up to 200+ lbs.
  • Made from steel, aluminum or ceramic materials.
  • Has a lid and side doors for safely containing the fire.
  • May have features like thermometers, spikes, grill grates, and drip pans.
  • Some have a trailer with wheels for mobility.

Pig cookers provide even, indirect heating needed for slowly roasting a whole pig over several hours while imparting delicious smoked flavor. They are popular for events like luau parties, weddings, festivals and pig roasting competitions.

Factors Affecting Pig Cooker Weight

There are several factors that determine the total weight of a pig cooker appliance:

Size/Cooking Capacity

The cooking capacity, or size pig that can be accommodated, is the primary factor affecting the weight. Smaller pig cookers designed for 25-50 lb pigs are much lighter than industrial-sized models that can cook a 200+ lb hog.

Construction Materials

Steel is the most common material used in pig cooker construction. But aluminum or ceramic models are much lighter. A steel cooker weighs nearly twice as much as the same size aluminum version.

Thickness/Gauge of Materials

The thickness or metal gauge used in the construction also impacts the weight. Thicker, heavier gauge steel adds more weight than thinner steel. Most quality pig cookers use at least 1/4-inch thick steel.

Features & Accessories

Additional features like thermometers, spikes, racks, grill grates, drip pans, and work tables also increase the overall weight. Having a trailer with wheels or rotisserie system adds more weight than a simple box-style cooker.

Brand & Quality

Higher end, commercial grade pig cookers from reputable brands tend to be more sturdily constructed and heavier than generic versions. Well-known brands like La Caja China, Caja Asador, and Pig Roaster generally weigh more than no-name brands.

Typical Pig Cooker Weights

Based on their size and construction, here are some approximate weight ranges for different types of pig cookers:

Small Cookers – 50 to 120 lbs

Designed for roasting pigs under 50 lbs. Lightweight and portable models from aluminum or thin steel. Basic small steel model is around 90 lbs.

Medium Cookers – 130 to 300 lbs

Accommodate 60-150 lb pigs. Heavier gauge steel construction. Weights increase with more features. Basic medium steel around 200 lbs.

Large Cookers – 270 to 450 lbs

For roasting pigs up to 250 lbs. Heavy duty thick steel construction. More accessories add weight. Basic large steel about 350 lbs.

Extra Large Cookers – 400 to 650 lbs

Commercial models designed for extremely big pigs over 250 lbs. Very heavy thick steel. Weights vary widely based on features. Basic extra large around 500 lbs.

Weight of Specific Pig Cooker Models

Here are the published weights for some popular pig cooker models:

Model Capacity Weight
La Caja China 70 70 lbs 165 lbs
Big Kahuna Pig Roaster 100 lbs 225 lbs
Horizon Smokers Pig Cooker 150 lbs 380 lbs
Big Pig – The Pig Roaster 200+ lbs 650 lbs

As you can see, the weight increases significantly with the cooking capacity. Large capacity commercial pig roasters can weigh over half a ton!

Other Factors Affecting Total Weight

Beyond just the cooker unit itself, there are some other factors that affect the total weight:

Fuel Source

Charcoal and wood for fuel can add 50-100 lbs in additional weight to move the cooker. Propane fueled units require heavy tanks.

Water Pan

Many cookers use large water pans for moisture and catching drippings, which may weigh 20-30 lbs when full.

Side Tables

Some pig cookers come with sturdy side tables for food prep, which can add 25-50 lbs per table.


Having a trailer to transport the pig cooker will significantly increase the total weight. Trailers add several hundred pounds.

So when determining the total loaded weight, you need to account for all these additional items beyond just the cooker itself. This is important when transporting the cooker to ensure your vehicle can handle the weight.

Weight Considerations When Purchasing

When shopping for a pig cooker, you should consider the weight and how you plan to use it. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • If you need something portable, look for a lighter aluminum or thin steel model.
  • Check your vehicle cargo capacity and be realistic about transportation.
  • Heavier units are more stable and hold heat better.
  • Consider a wheeled trailer for very heavy units.
  • Look at published weight specs and user reviews.
  • Factor in accessories and fuel source weights.

Make sure to select a cooker realistically suited for your needs that your vehicle and people can safely move and operate.


In summary, standard pig cookers can range anywhere from 50 pounds for small portable models up to 650 pounds or more for extra large commercial units. The primary factors determining the weight are the capacity, construction materials, thickness, features, and brand. When shopping for a pig cooker, carefully consider the total weight loaded with accessories and fuel to ensure it fits your needs. With the right cooker for your space and needs, you’ll be roasting delicious whole pigs outdoors for parties and events in no time.