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Whole Hog in SoCal (Q-View)

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

Hey all,


  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
post #2 of 28

This is sooooo cool!  Starting to have a great tutorial for a whole hog in the makings!  Count me in! popcorn.gif



post #3 of 28

Looks like a fine evening will be had all!

post #4 of 28
Looks great! Can't wait to see the finished pig!
post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 

Chloe's starting to get the good smell of smoking hog:




Forgot to mention that the cooks are enjoying sipping on my favorite bourbon:


post #6 of 28
Thread Starter 

Enrique at 9:05 AM:



At 9:15 AM, temp was dropping to 200 degrees, added charcoal.  Wes mopping the pig:


post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 

Boy, this smells good, right Chloe?


Forgot to mention, the cooks are enjoying this fine spirit whilst smoking Enrique:


post #8 of 28

That is going to be some good picken.

Happy smoken.


post #9 of 28
Thread Starter 

Enrique at 10:15 AM for his mopping:


post #10 of 28

Starting to look good. What is the IT? What IT will you take it to?


post #11 of 28
Thread Starter 

We're gonna take an IT at 11:15.  Ideally, we'd like to get the IT to 190-200.  The closer to 200, the better.  It'll be an easier pull that way.

post #12 of 28

drool.gifLooking great so far. Looks like a project I'll need to do soon.

post #13 of 28

This is looking soooo cool!  Yummmm.....wish I was there!



post #14 of 28
Thread Starter 

Internal temp is reaching about 190, almost time to be finished.  We flipped the pig and are ready to mop the sucker on the other side.



Won't be long before Enrique is ready for his big debut and it's time to pull!

post #15 of 28

Ain't nothing better than a good ole pig pickin! Except when there's bourbon involved.

post #16 of 28

Looks great!


Show more pictures as you are pulling/plating it!



post #17 of 28

Looks great! What are you using for mop sauce? How much does the pig weigh?


post #18 of 28
Thread Starter 

It was a little surprising that it didn't take long at all.   We budgeted most of the day out to cooking and the hog is actually around 190-200 internal temp.  We're gonna let the current coals die down over the next hour or so and then let the pig cool for another hour before picking.  It's looking mighty delicious.

post #19 of 28
Nicely done hog. Enjoy the delicious outcome. And thanks for reminding me, that i have a bottle of Pappy van Winkle bourbon that needs to be sampled this eve..
post #20 of 28

Man that hog looks fantastic!  Pure porkliciousness!!!!


Keep that q-view coming my friend....great job!!



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