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Smoking a small pig?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hi guys, heres the deal. I work at a firehouse and we want to do a hog roast. But were doing it on duty and small scale. I have a Brinkmann Smoke n Pit Professional with a side fire box. Grill surface is about 17"x35". Can it be done? What would be max size pig that would fit? I know its a vague question but before we get rolling to far with the idea we want to know if it will even work. If I get some positive feedback maybe we can work out the details, like time and temp. Thanks!
post #2 of 23
My guess would be about a 20 to 25 lb pig...your smoker is long enough for a larger pig, it's just might not be wide enough.
Have you considered using a cinderblock pit? I can help you with one of
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
I cant do a pit because of location. We will be doing this at the firehouse and people driving by may not understand and I was hoping the smoker would take less work, ie it could stay cooking with out needing to be turned or flipped for an hour or so at a time. I saw your cinder block method and looks great. Just would not work for us at the firehouse.
post #4 of 23
If you do one in your horizontal...I like to put the butt end closest to the fire box, then switch ends half way through. Cover the ears and ribs if they are cooking too fast.
Plan on taking at least 8 hours for a pig that size...could take 10. Injecting and mopping do help and I like to sprinkle the pig with a dry rub too.

I mop with a mixture of cider vinegar, onions, jalapenos, red pepper flakes and kosher salt and pepper.
The pig needs to rest at least 20 minutes after smoking to equalize the juices..
I have cooked them belly up and belly down. The belly up method seems to hold the juice in more especially if the pig still has the skin on...but it is not as pretty for presentation. lol
I like to smoke them belly down the whole smoke...mop every hour and let it sit a bit at the end for the juices to redistribute....

Hope this helps!

For easy lifting, you can also place a rack or wire under the pig so it will not fall apart when removing it from the smoker.
post #5 of 23
redneck posted a mop that I am going to try on my next might be interested in it.
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks thus far. I am going to ask the butcher what size he can get. I think he said around 60lb would be the smallest. How much room around the pig should i allow for proper cooking? I figure a couple inches all the way around, would I be right? Maybe it wont fit in mine?
post #7 of 23
Yes, I would leave at least a couple of inches for the smoke flow.
Your butcher should be able to tell you the measurements of the pig too.
One that size will probably not be butterflied, you will need to tuck the legs in under it.
post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
It looks as if I will have a 50lb for Sunday at the firehouse. The butcher could not really get one much smaller. If it doesnt fit, well not sure what we will do. But anyhow, he said the skin will be off. Do I need to do a rub for skin off? Or just a mop? What kind of smoke temperature should I be trying for in my Brinkmann SNP? I plan on using lump charcoal.

post #9 of 23
I like to use both a rub and a mop. Some folks even inject the hams and shoulders. I usually do not inject.
I also like to smoke at a temp of about 225, until the meat reaches a temp of 185 to 190. This is also a choice thing...some folks say shoot for a temp of 170 and some say 190, I go for the high end. 185.

It does need to rest before digging in. Also I check both the shoulders and hams with a thermometer. I like to use my instant read thermometer.

Hope this helps! :)
post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
What about skin off? Is that going to be a problem? How many hours you think maybe. I think you posted somewhere in another post around 8-10 hours. You think that would still apply? Also how do I add charcoal? Right on top of the fire already burning once the heat drops. Or should I add a whole new lit batch and readjust it all. I know its a lot of questions... sorry.
post #11 of 23
Don't be sorry Smoke! That's what we are here
Having the skin removed will not matter, it will taste great. Just rub and mop.
When I'm too tired to scrape a pig, I skin it!
You can either put the coals right on top of the hot ones or start them in a separate container and add them after they are already lit.
In my opinion, the coals lit in a different container are better....
I just add a few at a time though, keep the hot coals going in your cooker and when they get low, add just a few do not want the temperature to rise ...just maintain a steady heat.
It doesn't take many hot coals to keep the temp going constant.
I'm not really sure about what kind of cooker you have, but do plan on taking 8 hours at the least. I like to allow another hour for good measure.

When it reaches temperature, remember to let it sit for awhile...
Hope this helps, I know folks do pigs different, this is just what works for me.
post #12 of 23
Smoke I think a 50#piglet is a little big. I have a Char Griller Pro and can fit a 35# piglet nicely ribs down with the legs tucked in I havent done one ribs up but may need to tie the legs so they dont lift the lid up. This experience comes from a friend smoking one in his smoker a while back. I can get smaller piglets from a small farm up the street. You may be able to find a farmer that will sell you a smaller piglet and slaughter for you. If I remember the 35# piglet took right around 12 oe 14 hours. I dont remember what temperature it was smoked at but i do remember how good it was.
post #13 of 23
When I got my char gill sfb, I wanted to do a lil' piggy first, I recruited some of my peeps from the neighborhood, I rounded up a 33lb "piglet" he was butterflied, and did not fit on my grill.....ruh ro! somehow I found a thread on the net for the cinder box pit that Cowgirl suggested...I would definately have that as a back up case he doesn't fit....I don't know how busy your station is...I also kept a stash of hot coals to add to the was yummy!!
post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
Are station is fairly busy and the pit idea wont be an option while at work. If we cut the head and legs off and reduce it to about a 35lb would that lessen the cook time? Also are you adding already lit coals to the fire or can I just put cold charcoal on fire to keep it going? We were thinking at roasting it at a little higher temperature, like 300 degrees or so. I appreciate everyones help thus far. I have to admitt I am a little worried on wether this was a little to much to try. We would like for it to be done in about 12 hours.

p.s. What you doing Sunday?
post #15 of 23
I'm sure you will have no problem with it.

You can do the coals either way...add some unlit ones right on the hot coals OR use another grill to keep a batch going. Just remember to add a few at a time, not a huge pile of them.
What time do you plan on serving the pig?

I wanted to mention, you will want to place a pan (or two) under the pig to catch any drippings. I use foil pans. You do not want the grease to reach the firebox and cause flair ups. You can build a foil dam if you need to. This also keeps your smoker clean.
post #16 of 23
It will be a piece of cake! as long as you don't get a mega run!!
Hey keep in mind your gonna want to turn him too. I had to rig a giant metal grate that i put on top of the pig with handles so I could flip my piggie...cowgirl suggests turn him midway thru the smoke you will need something to do that with....(if he is not butterflied, a long metal rod would work) just make a mental list of what your gonna need handy there when ya start!!
Happy piggie smoke!
post #17 of 23
Thread Starter 
Are plan is to get at station at 530, light some charcoal and do the rub. Hopefully have the smoker up to about 300-325 by 6:15. The guys will be flexible on what time we eat. Normally we eat at 530 but they understand. There is only 5 of us stationed here. If it works out we plan to do another one and invite some other companies over oncde we know if it can be done and how long and how much meat it will yield. Also I searced all over the internet and not many do a pig in an offset firebox so theres not much info out there, from what I can tell. I did a brisket today in it and it had a sooty taste, we think it was because we were cooking at to cold of a temperature. So I am a little curious why that was. We were at about 200 degrees at the level of the meat for the first 6 hours and bumped up the temp to 275 to finish it in time. All in all not a real success, but a start.
post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 
i have some light weight expanded metal already in smoker to lay him on to aid in turning him. Any idea on what dimensions this guy might be? I dont pick him up till Sat and all I know is it was supposed to be 50lb.
post #19 of 23
Smoke, I use a 7' horizontal with side firebox. I can fit a 75lb pig in it.
That's a 5' smoke chamber and a 2' fire box.
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
My smoke chamber measures 36" long and 17" wide and about 14" deep on the grate.
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