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Fourth of July whole hog smoke and after action report

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

There is a saying where I work, "No plan survives first contact." So here's how my 4th of July pig roast went (grab a beverage, this is good). I get to the butcher to pick up the 100 pound pig I ordered. Well, my butcher shows up with a ~140 pounder. When I inquired "Why?" his response was he was unable to find a smaller pig so instead of telling me, I ordered this 2 weeks prior to pick up, he figured I would be "ok with it." Problem is he wanted to charge me for the additional 40 pounds. Hmmm...NO. We decided to split the difference but I thought it was bad practice for him. I get home; to grab a few hours sleep before the big smoke. I show up at 1000pm at the sight, American Legion Post 364 (GREAT PEOPLE and PLACE). I start to prep the smoker, I go to left the door and...the entire door falls off.

HawgCoffindoorless.jpg

Yeah, I have a pig that is supposed to be smoked in 14 hours and my smoker is broken, badly. Look at the picture, the freaking door is missing. It fell over the back of the smoker into my wood basket. Busted off both of my dials and left me in a wonderful mood.
Remember those great people of Post 364 I mentioned, they sprang into action, got a member to come up with his portable arc welder and reattach the door. I lost my two thermos but I was back and smoking within 60 minutes.

HawgCoffinfiredup.jpg

Pig prepped and seasoned and on the smoke for 12 hours, used oak and cherry for the woods. I got good color and allowed me to cook at 275 for the entire cook. I added 1 stick per 60-75 minutes. I also had 2 10 pound butts behind the pig. In the end, we feed a horde of people. Everyone was happy and the cook was a success. I have to give a personal shout out to the people at American Legion 364 for coming to my aid when things looked bleak. I have no idea how the door was broken and in the end it doesn�t matter.

FourthofJulypig1.jpg

FourthofJulypigonsmoker.jpg

FourthofJulypigdone.jpg

Here are some observations from this cook:
A. Have a plan B. I have a few friends with smoker who were ready to hook up and drop them off if I needed them.
B. Good people will always help. The folks at Post 364 went above and beyond. To call in a welder at 10:30pm and have him come out in the rain. Impressive. Most impressive.
C. Simple is best. Rubs and injections are not worth the effort. Smoke the pig, pull it, season, sauce and serve.
D. I prefer racer style. Putting the legs under the body gives a good presentation and does not extend the cook. Be sure to open your drain valve because there will be a lot of fat.
E. I'm done with the using charcoal in the reverse flow. No bad experience but ran all wood from start to finish on this cook and temp control was breeze. I'll still keep the charcoal basket but it'll see less work. Especially on long cooks

post #2 of 3

Nice looking pig but unless your going to eat the head and feet I always have them remove to save money. and itlooks like they didn't split the back so it will lay flat on your cooker

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Thanks. Your hog looks good.

The customer wanted the head on for presentation (and I love the jowl meat) and we had a request for the smoked feet. I always cook racer style so splitting the spine is not needed.

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