I need some advise from the experts here. I'm planning on smoking a whole hog for my boys graduation next year. I've never smoked a whole hog so I need some advise. The plan is getting a 100 lbs hog laying it spread flat and smoking over a cinder block pit. Need to how big I should build the pit? I'm not sure how wide the hog will be spread out flat. How many people do you think it will feed? How high above the coals should the rack be? I saw a post on here of a smaller pig done on a cinder block pit and that got wheels turning. any advise would help. How would I butcher it after its cooked? Is there a video or post on that too? Sorry for so many questions I figured i try a smaller one first to get the hang of it. Thanks Jason
Need info on how to smoke a whole hog on a cinder block pit !!!
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There are many threads you can review with a Whole Hog Search...This is a step by step with great pics...http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/143633/first-whole-hog-q-view There is also many videos like the one below. Whole Hog with the head, best part, will yield 40% of it's weight. So 100 Lb Pig will give 40 Lbs of finished Pork. Based on 5 Ounce Portions, one large sandwich with sides, 40lbs X 16 oz = 640 ozs / 5 oz portions = 128 Sandwiches, Plenty of food for 100 people with a bunch of Men having 2 Sandwiches. Letting the whole thing cook until it can be Pulled and mixed together will be the easiest, especially since this is your first. It is just a matter of getting a few, ok maybe several squeamish folks, to Wash Up real well, Glove Up and start pulling the meat. You can very easily tell good meat from large arteries, veins, sinew and any other stuff you would not care to eat. It is just a little weird for folks that have only had nice trimmed up meat on pretty Pink foam trays. Don't forget to make sure to get the Skin Crisp as this is the special treat of Whole Hog. If you need Rubs and Mops I/we can help there too. You may also choose, with timing and good knife skills, to remove various parts like the Loins, Tender Loins and the Hams when they come to desired IT and slice them. Typically 135-140*F for the Loins and Tenders and 165*F for the Hams. However this will reduce your Pulled Yield by about half...JJ
The reply by "Chef Jimmy J" should be helpful. Here's a few other things. First, you asked about the size of the cider block pit. Mine is 3 blocks wide by 4 blocks deep and 5 blocks high. You can kinda see it in this homemade video at http://www.wholepigroast.com/another-successful-pig-roast if that helps. The pig in that video is around 160 lb so yours would be a bit smaller. I wire the hoofs in close to the body, otherwise the pig spreads out too wide. Be sure to buy stainless steel wire and not galvanized wire with the food.
Chef Jimmy J talks about pulled pig (yum!), but I generally carve it up instead. If you do the pulled pig, invest in some rubberized insulated gloves for everyone involved because that pig can be very hot to handle... and your hungry mob doesn't want to hear that the pig is too hot to serve!
If you decide to carve the pig up, I recommend you have at least 2 people with insulated gloves on "pig service". Have one person doing the carving and another taking the freshly carved pig from aluminum roasting pans and serving it to the masses. Otherwise, you have some taking huge chunks of pig that they will never eat and others standing there looking through everything instead of grabbing and going. You will probably have 50-100 people in line eagerly wanting some pig and you'll want to push the slow-pokes through the line :). Have the carver or server know where the bacon is and hams, picnic hams, and other basic stuff as someone coming through the line will ask. Make it part of the show to let them know where the bacon is (if they want that) and other general cuts of meat.
Most of all, have lots of fun! Let us know if you come up with other questions.
I found a simple sketch of a pig on Wiki at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pork. Scroll down a ways to find the diagrams of the pig. A few pointers:
The back leg is the main ham while the front leg (they call "arm shoulder") is the picnic ham. The "side" (that's the Pork Belly) is where the bacon comes from. The very top of the loin, where the backbone runs, is where the tenderloin is located. You should be able to spot it while carving. Set the tenderloin aside as a treat for special people.
That should be enough to entertain folks with your pig carving talent!