How to Roast a Whole Goat

One of our favorite things to do is camp with our medieval group – Black Wolf – and cook over an open fire.

At our recent jaunt to the Abbey Medieval Festival, we roasted a whole goat (and pig!) on a spit over our medieval camp fire. It was scrumptious!! Tender, smoky, and packed with flavor. Before it was even done we were sneaking over to steal bits of crackly meat. Mmm.

How to Roast A Whole Goat

Step One: Build a Fire

We have an iron fire box that we elevate about two feet off the ground. (Saves our backs, I tell you!) We start with a roaring fire over which we boil water for tea and dishes, and cook our breakfast. Then we let it simmer down to hot coals that provide a slow, steady heat.

Step Two: Spit the Goat

Spitting the goat simply means tying the goat to a long metal pole that will be suspended over the fire and turned constantly for even cooking. When spitting a goat, be sure to wire the goat to the spit itself. Once the meat begins to cook it becomes fall-apart tender and you don’t want your precious goat crashing into the fire. We use metal plates along the back and wire them through the goat to the metal pole to hold it securely.

Step Three: Suspend the Goat

We use an iron stand that holds the spit pole in place while allowing us to turn the handle for even cooking. Make sure it is secure. Insecure spitting results in burnt goat and burnt cook! 🙂

medieval campfire

Step Four: Season the Goat

While you can marinate goat before hand, or season it lavishing with spices, salt and pepper, we stick with one simple ingredient: garlic. Slice up lots of fresh garlic and, using a knife, insert the slices under the skin of the goat. This will roast slowly with the goat, permeating the meat with delicious flavor.

roasting a goat

Step Five: Add More Garlic

Really. It’s so good. 🙂

Step Six: Turn the Spit

This is the most arduous and vital part of the whole process since it takes about four hours to thoroughly cook the goat. Turning the spit is a team effort. We all take turns sitting by the fire cranking the handle, tearing up from occasional gusts of smoke in our eyes, listening to the sizzle of the meat as it caramelizes and grows tender.


roasting a goat on a spit


Step Seven: Test the Goat

You’ll know the goat is done if juices run clear when a knife stuck into any meaty part. Meat should also shred easily and the skin should be crackling and beautifully browned.

whole roast goat

Step Eight: Feast!!!

This goat is so delicious it is just fine all by itself, shredded with a sprinkling of sea salt. You can also pile slices on bread rolls for a smoky sandwich.

Have you ever eaten meat roasted over an open fire?

4 thoughts on “How to Roast a Whole Goat

  1. Oh wow. That looks delicious! I’m a big fan of spit-roasted meats. My brother farms Gloucester Old Spot pigs and runs a sideline doing hogroasts in the summer. There’s little better than meat that’s been slow-cooked for hours – it just falls off the bone and is so yummy. I’m drooling just thinking about it …

  2. Thank you, Katja! 🙂 I LOVE those beautiful old pigs. 🙂 Once we get our goats all settled, we’d love to get some of those spotty pigs. 🙂

  3. How do you put garlic under the skin? Don’t you skin the goat when you butcher it? If you don’t skin it, how do you remove the hair?

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