The day has finally arrived. A couple of friends and I have been planning to smoke a whole hog for about two months now and today is the big day.
We built our BBQ pit based off the schematics in the book "Holy Smoke." Simple construction with cinder blocks, chicken wire, and rebar, though we did have to spend an afternoon leveling out the ground for the build. Nothing a jackhammer, a pickaxe, and a shovel can't fix. We picked up the hog yesterday from Sanchez Meat Company in Culver City in Los Angeles. Great place and extremely accommodating staff. Would definitely visit them again.
Here's a nice little video of the start of the smoking until about 11:15 AM:
Here's my friend Wes demonstrating what our delicious hog friend, dubbed "Enrique Puerco", will look like (Sans apple, lying down and butterflied, of course. Just for the comedic effect).
My friend Neil, who is gracious enough to host this pickin' for us, constructed this beautiful table with which we can easily transfer the hog on the chicken wire/rebar with grooves in the interior parts (the grate is on the table in this photo).
On the right end of the table, there's room for a butcher's block once our friend Enrique is ready to be pulled. Additionally, we added lining under the table and a catching system for the drippings (the camera on my phone sucks, sorry for the crap detail):
So, our call time for this morning was 4 AM PST to get the coals ready and to have Enrique on stage by 5 AM. We lit our first batches of charcoal in our starters.
We're using oak and cherry wood for our hardwood and threw that in there as well.
Right on time, we hit 5 AM and we're at the right temperature, so we throw Enrique on the grate.
We got the temperature to stabilize around 235-250 F and we covered up the pit with a large piece of plywood with handles screwed into the sides for an easy lift. The temperature started to dip around 190-200, so we added our next round of charcoal to heat it up again. Enrique was starting to show some good color as well.
Enrique as of 7:15 AM:
This helped, but we still were losing some heat, so we improvised and covered up the vents to keep the heat in our sweet spot of 225-250.
It is 8:25 AM and we're good at 235 degrees for the pit temperature. I'll keep updating this as we go along.
Edited by kaywhyelly - 7/21/13 at 10:22am