Smoking a half pig for Christmas. Advice, please?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by berenger, Dec 21, 2011.

  1. berenger

    berenger Newbie

    Hello all!  Hope everyone is enjoying all that this season has to offer!

    I'll be smoking a half pig on Christmas Eve and I've never done it before.  I've got a wood smoker (large enough to do a whole hog, but I'm doing a half hog for Christmas and a half hog for New Year's).  The half hog should weigh 35-40lbs.  I've looked all over the web for hints and articles and after being on this site for an hour, I'll only trust you guys!  I've seen people say that it can take 8 hours and I've seen people say that it can take 20 and I've heard some people saying to partially wrap in foil and others say not to.  Also debate as to flip or not flip. 

    The smoker (which I'll post pictures of in a day or two) has only been used by myself for pork ribs so far.  Anything you guys can offer in the way of info is greatly appreciated and I promise to post those tasty photos on Christmas!

    Thanks in advance, fellow meat lovers!

  2. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  3. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    If you have good heat distribution in the smoker then you may not have to move it around so much  40lbs of meat isn't that hard to do.  The problem is that the ribs are pretty thin and the hams pretty dense so they cook at different rates.  I have seen people fold aluminum foil over the ribs to slow their cook time.  I have also seen people just let the ribs get a bit crispy,  they are still good eating.

    Lets see what everyone else says, but I think you'll be just fine if you are able to keep your temps around 225.

    Give us a bit of info about your smoker and that may help,  is it reverse flow, does it have a side firebox, or is the heat directly beneath the meat.  How long it is going to take is another question.  I have never had a pork butt take less then 14 to 15 hours.

    When I've done whole pigs over an open pit with beer powered rotisserie we started at 6 pm the night before, had ribs for breakfast and the hams where done for late lunch.   
  4. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    It looks and sound like Al has you covered. He's a plethora of info here so take his advice and don't forget the camera. Oh yea welcome to SMF and if you will please go to Roll Call and tell us alittle about yourself and your equipment.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2011
  5. berenger

    berenger Newbie

    Thanks!  Already some great info!

    My smoker has a firebox on the side.  I had a pretty easy time keeping the temp when I did ribs before.  Hope to post pics of the smoker tonight.

    Thanks again.  You guys are the best!

  6. mmain1

    mmain1 Newbie

    I would smoke the back half...

    Sorry I couldn't resist once I saw the title of this thread!  [​IMG]

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