John Ryan demonstrates how the pig butt meat will be skewered to be able to fit more in the large cinder block pit he made for Oak Harbor Pigfest. He and other festival organizers will smoke 4,000 pounds of pork in a pit that will include three additions to the one pictured. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times

John Ryan demonstrates how the pig butt meat will be skewered to be able to fit more in the large cinder block pit he made for Oak Harbor Pigfest. He and other festival organizers will smoke 4,000 pounds of pork in a pit that will include three additions to the one pictured. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times

Pigfest eyes world record

Oak Harbor Pigfest will be cooking at a potentially record-breaking scale this year.

Festival founder and local chef Scott Fraser said he and other organizers are gearing up to smoke 4,000 pounds of pork, which is the most ever for the 11th annual event.

All of that pig meat will be cooked in a smoking pit built with over 1,000 cinder blocks, which Fraser hopes will get in the books as the world’s largest smoke pit of its kind.

“There’s really not a record for it yet,” he said.

As the event has grown, serving over 10,000 people last year, it has become more and more complicated to cook up enough food for everybody. Fraser said the event started with 500 pounds of pork made in five Caja China roasting boxes.

Last year, 3,200 pounds of pork were roasted using facilities at Seabolt’s Smokehouse and The BBQ Joint.

With the idea to try and cook all the meat in one place, he said they might as well coordinate with Guinness to attempt to get in the record books at the same time.

Home Depot will be donating the building materials for the smoke pit, which will be set up in the parking lot outside of Pioneer Automotive. Volunteer John Ryan designed a smaller version of the pit that was used last year. He said this year’s plans will be even better.

He’s going to place the fire box inside the oven and a 12 by 22-foot sand box to keep the heat trapped inside the pit.

“This’ll make some real tasty meat,” Ryan said.

The smoke will be created by a mixture of donated wood from the island and around 400 pounds of charcoal, he said.

Approximately 20 people will help build the pit on Thursday Aug. 9, Fraser said.

Fraser said he’s still working on certification to get the pit into the Guinness World Records.

“It’s kind of a major thing,” he said of the time-consuming process.

But he’s not giving up.

People are welcome to watch the smoking happen, which will begin around 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, and continue all day and night until serving time at 12 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 12, he said.

The pork will be flavored with a secret rub created by Steve Despopoulos.

Despopoulos, who passed away about a year and a half ago, was highly involved in the festival for a number of years, Fraser said.

“It’s kind of a special thing we’ve been using for a few years now,” he said of the secret rub recipe.

“We still do it in his memory.”

The rub will be available for purchase at the festival. And, as always, all the barbecue will be served for free and donations that will go to local charities will be accepted.

More in News

Author to sign new book at the Langley Whale Center

A “Meet the Author” and book signing event with Whidbey Island author… Continue reading

School districts wrestle with too much snow and not enough time for teaching

Some may seek state waivers to avoid adding more days in June

Voters strongly support South Whidbey school levies

Both ballot measures pass with 70 percent support

Conference will focus on mental wellbeing of first responders

Imagine a day in which you help a couple whose baby died… Continue reading

Law would celebrate public lands in Washington state

By Madeline Coats WNPA Olympia News Bureau Lawmakers seek to celebrate public… Continue reading

Lawmakers seek permanent solution to the homeless crisis

By Madeline Coats WNPA Olympia News Bureau A group of 11 Democratic… Continue reading

Presentation planned on long-term care bill

A Whidbey Island group is offering a presentation on a bill regarding… Continue reading

Continued resistance against gun control initiative; Attorney General defends law

By Madeline Coats WNPA Olympia News Bureau The state attorney general has… Continue reading

Most Read