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How do you smoke a whole pig?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I have dug all over the place to find tips and tricks for smoking a whole hog. I can not find any information on how to roast a pig.

1. I have learned that a good idea for keeping the pig cool to use a kiddy pool filled with ice until you are ready to smoke it.

2. Score the skin to help the smoke penetrate the meat

3. Place chickens inside the belly of the pig to aid with having the meat heat up uniformly.

Other ideas?
post #2 of 22
What style of pig roast do you want to have?

That will let us help you put together the fixin's

These are luau pigs I did a while back:

post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
I am not really sure what kind yet. Not sure how to decide. I have a rig large enough but do not have a nice tray to cook it on like you have in your picture.
post #4 of 22
I don't cook them on that stainless tray. I cook them on the racks and move them to the tray. Using butchers twine to truss them up so I can move them around after then are finished.
post #5 of 22
We're all thinking it so let me be the one to say it...


Get a really big pack rolling papers... icon_rolleyes.gif
post #6 of 22
http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/for...ad.php?t=88258

Here is how we do it, we don't score the skin, we smoke it skin side up for the first 8-12 hours (size of pig depends), them we flip it over to add our sauce, the skin acts as a bowl.


We are planning on doing another one for Easter and will do a step by step pictorial.
post #7 of 22
Can't wait to see this!
post #8 of 22

Ah Man!

Mr Mac, you beat me to it. icon_cool.gif
post #9 of 22
What I have used with great success was a 2'x4' section of shelving. The kind with the round posts on the corners. A 150lb pig can be secured to the shelving with wire around the legs. Kind of like it is sitting on it's haunches. This makes it easy for several people to move it in and out of the smoker. When done you can remove the shelving and I usualy will then slide the whiole thing on to a large sheet of cutting board material. Dont forget to keep the mouth open during smoking with a 2x4 or something for the apple or pineapple in the mouth for looks when done. A good pig deserves a good looking hat when done as well. Also foil the tail and ears assuming you want something for public viewing. At 150lbs plan on a good 24 hr smoke.
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Love the idea of the shelves. My smoker is set up kind of like a T. My firebox connects to the smoke chamber in the middle. So I need to be careful that I do not drip too much fat or there is a chance that I will start a grease fire. This has not been a problem when I do shoulders. I suspect that is because there is just not the same amount of fat that comes off of a shoulder.
post #11 of 22
How Long do i let it cool to cut it and what is the best way to let it cool
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie Bratt View Post

How Long do i let it cool to cut it and what is the best way to let it cool


Katie,

No need to let the pig cool. Pull it off the smoker and take it right over to a carving table.

 

Here's more details than you asked for <grin>:

We use saw horses with 2x12 planks covered with a plastic shower curtain (for a couple of bucks at the discount store). We cover the area with a case of kale (greens) both for decoration plus to add a layer of insulation under the pig. The pig is too hot to carve with bare hands. I have a pair of thick rubberized insulated gloves that I got at a kitchen supply store that let me handle it without discomfort. I also have a large cutting board, a chef knife, and several disposable pans (and a couple of 3 mil trash bags in trash cans for bones, fat, and such). As guests walk through the line, I'm rapidly cutting off chunks of meat and slicing them to keep the pans full.

 

Good luck and have fun!

post #13 of 22

Hi all, 

So I was asked today if I would be able to smoke a whole hog for a party next year.  Haven't done a whole hog yet, but have been looking for a chance to.  So here's my reason to.  

 

This summer I will do one or 2 test smokes of a whole hog.  In prep, I reviewed this thread and noted that a couple of you stated 12-14 hours of pit time.  Prior to this, and with the butts I usually do, you look at 1 1/2 hours per pound.  A small 50 pound whole pig would take way more than 12-14 hours based on that.  I'm I missing something?  Is it smoking at a higher temp?  How are you prepping the pig?  Is there more details somewhere?

 

Any help would be great.

post #14 of 22

Oh, and for the record, I have a Oaklahoma Joe Longohorn Smoker with the side firebox.  Smoking chamber is 38" x 19".  Is this big enough for a small hog?

post #15 of 22
Gonna need larger than that.
post #16 of 22

I was afraid of that.  I'll have to look around to find a rental for now.  I was hoping to upgrade to a larger, trailer unit in a couple years, but need something to get by with sooner.

 

Thanks for the heads up.

post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwolfpak View Post

Hi all, 
So I was asked today if I would be able to smoke a whole hog for a party next year.  Haven't done a whole hog yet, but have been looking for a chance to.  So here's my reason to.  

This summer I will do one or 2 test smokes of a whole hog.  In prep, I reviewed this thread and noted that a couple of you stated 12-14 hours of pit time.  Prior to this, and with the butts I usually do, you look at 1 1/2 hours per pound.  A small 50 pound whole pig would take way more than 12-14 hours based on that.  I'm I missing something?  Is it smoking at a higher temp?  How are you prepping the pig?  Is there more details somewhere?

Any help would be great.
I don't think you should think of it as a 50 lb piece of meat. Think of it as a couple of shoulders an a couple of rib racks and a couple of hams. Because the meat is spread out and not one giant piece of meat weighing 50 lbs, it can be done in a lot less time. I wouldn't think a 50 lb hog would even need 24 hours, but I've never done a whole pig.
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by caribou89 View Post

I don't think you should think of it as a 50 lb piece of meat. Think of it as a couple of shoulders an a couple of rib racks and a couple of hams. Because the meat is spread out and not one giant piece of meat weighing 50 lbs, it can be done in a lot less time. I wouldn't think a 50 lb hog would even need 24 hours, but I've never done a whole pig.

So would you do it belly up with the skin spread open?
post #19 of 22
I like to brine and butterfly the whole thing. After years of using an offset smoker for whole hog, I actually have, in the last 3 years, gone to the caja china box style cooking and installed a Smoke Daddy. Best pig by far and much shorter roast time.
post #20 of 22

I just did a smaller hog last weekend and posted a few pictures if you want to look.

 

The pig was 80lbs and was around 4 feet long.  We cooked at 325 degrees for around 3 ½ hours until we got the color we wanted than backed down to 250 for another 4 hours until we got an internal temp of 160.  That was an odd cook but it shows you can have an "edible" hog in under 8.

 

Normally when we cook whole hog they are closer to 180 – 200lbs and we smoke for about 16 hours at 225-250.  The hog would be injected multiple times throughout the cook and we are looking for an internal temp around 185 – 195.  

 

A word of caution.  Whole hog can be very fatty and has the possibility to clog the grease trap in your smoker resulting in a possible fire hazard.  A few years back we were cooking one on a rotisserie over open flame with a center plate diverting the grease away from the fire to reduce flareups.  3 hours into the cook the trap got plugged and all the grease in the diverting plate caught fire and subsequently caught the pig on fire.  The pig continued to spin in the rack fully engulfed in flames until we could get a garden hose to put everything out.  We fired it back up and continued to cook.  It was one of the best hogs we have done but I don’t plan on charbroiling a whole hog ever again.

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