I've been talking back and fourth with a friend about doing a whole hog and one thing led to another and now I'm doing it this weekend. I've never done a whole hog, so I'm more than a little nervous. I haven't used my bigger smoker since I got my Masterbuilt gas last year as it's about 10 times more efficient and so much easier to use :lol:. My biggest concern is how long it will take, what can I do to keep everything from drying out, and what's the best temp to cook it at? I've been doing lots of research and I've gotten so many different answers, I don't even know where to begin. I've read cowgirls blog and few others, but most of them seem geared more towards roasting a hog instead of smoking it.
The hog should be about 125lbs dressed from what I've read (180lbs live weight). At 225 degrees, I'm guessing it should take anywhere from 16-20 hours, but my smoker is kind of finicky and has a few hot spots. So more than likely, I'm going to have to flip and rotate it during the smoke. I'd like to get the shoulders to around 185, and the hams to 170ish. I've noticed some people wrap certain areas in foil to help slow down the cooking somewhat. I see most people wrap the ears, and I've seen some wrap the whole thing midway through like you would when foiling a pork shoulder.
I also have the option of hooking a propane torch/burner up to it in case I need to speed things up, or if it would help crisp up the skin. So basically, my main questions are time, cook temp, what and where to take internal temp, and what to foil, or not to foil. Thanks in advance, and yes, there will be pics. Unless it's a colossal failure