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  1. va_connoisseur

    Fourth of July whole hog smoke and after action report

    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...
  2. va_connoisseur

    Whole pig/hog catering

    I am planning to do some small catering this year during the summer and football season. I am putting together my pricing model using the calculator put together by SoEzzy (that thing is a God send) and I have some nagging questions. 1. When doing whole hog pricing, do you all use a standard...
  3. va_connoisseur

    For my Lang lovers - Is this a fake?

    I saw this on Craigslist and was going to pull the trigger until I saw smoke stack on the front? Did I miss something? Did Lang's ever have a front stack? I'm 99.999999% sure the guy is a fraud as he said he went down to ALABAMA to pick it up from the factory.
  4. va_connoisseur

    Questions for reverse flow builders

    I have a couple of question for the reverse flow builders. I have been seeing a few builders not fully welding the reverse flow plate, just tack welding it. Is that a good idea? My builder fully welded all 3 sides of the plate to the box. Secondly, how long should the plate be in relation to...
  5. va_connoisseur

    Time for a new stick burner

    OK. So I have a 120 gallon reverse flow that has served me well. Several thousand pounds of meat have been turned into smoky goodness by the Hog Coffin. Now it's time to upgrade as I am looking to do more roadside and bigger "catering/roadside" gigs. I'm trying to decide whether it makes sense...
  6. va_connoisseur

    Small gathering for the Alabama/Texas A&M game. Looking for suggestions

    I have been asked to smoke some food for ~20 people watching the 'Bama/A&M game. Others will be bringing side dishes. For meats the want ribs and brisket. To avoid being out there all day, I am recommending ribs and CHUCKY. With 4 full spare racks, how much chuck do you think I need? 5 pounds...
  7. va_connoisseur

    Meat from freezer to fridge

    I took a wild boar shoulder out of the freezer Saturday morning thinking it would thaw before Sunday morning so I could throw it on the smoker. Didn't happen. So here's my quandary: The shoulder is fully thawed today (Monday). Can I rub it, pack it tightly in plastic wrap and put it back in the...
  8. va_connoisseur

    Considering a 250gl reverse flow build. Need assistance.

    Hello fellow smokers, I currently have a 120 gallon reverse flow smoker and am considering an upgrade. I have been doing a lot of smoking this summers for events and have a full fall schedule lining up as well. I have 2 options: (1) have my builder add a warming box to my current rig or (2)...
  9. va_connoisseur

    Pig smoke for a cigar event (pic heavy)

    I was asked to smoke a pig for a cigar event at my local cigar club. This was only my second pig smoke on the reverse flow so I figured I would document it for the brethren. Here we go... Picked up the pig at 1900 and from the joint there were "issues". I was suppose to get a 80 pound pig...
  10. va_connoisseur

    Smoked a (test) pig over the weekend

    I have a gig at my local cigar shop to smoke a pig for an upcoming event. I've never smoked a pig on my reverse flow smoker so I figured I'd give it a test run to get some idea of temps/times/etc. Here what I found... Started with a small pig, only 38.5 pounds, for the cigar event I'll be doing...
  11. va_connoisseur

    Proper (best) way to thaw a 60-70 pound pig

    Hi everyone, I can only get my hands on a frozen pig for an upcoming smoke. It'll be in the mid 60 pound range with head on. What is the best means of thawing the pig? I can get it 4-5 days before the event. Is that enough time? My thought was to put it a big cooler with a big of ice. I would...
  12. va_connoisseur

    Question smoking whole hog skin side down

    Fellow Smokers, I am doing a smoke for my cigar shop on 8 June. They want a pig and I have a question for those whole smoke whole hog skin side down. I am curious if the meat gets greasy from all the juices collecting in the cavity? Do you siphon off the liquid before picking the meat? If so...
  13. va_connoisseur

    Planning for a Super Bowl smoke

    I am looking for some advice. I recently did a smoke for my cigar buddies where we did 33 St.Louis cut spare on my 120 gallon reverse flow. I want to do something different for the Super Bowl. My thought is doing 12-15 racks this time and adding 4-6 eight pound shoulders/butts. My questions...
  14. va_connoisseur

    Preventing rust on stick burner

    Hi fellow smokers, I purchased a stick burner this year and don't have a garage to store it in. What is the best way to prevent rust on the firebox and body of the smoker? Would a simple tarp be enough? The winters here in VA the last couple years have been mild.
  15. va_connoisseur

    Early Turkey day test run

    Like everyone else I am getting ready for the big day. I don't do a lot of poultry so I decided to do a test run to work out the kinks. Did a simple brine (1 gallon water, 1/2 cup Kosher salt, 3/4 cup of (modified) Jeff's rub. Brined for 24 hours, started at 250 for the first hour over...
  16. va_connoisseur

    St. Louis ribs in an aluminum pan. Help!

    Has anyone cooks ribs using an aluminum pan and bamboo skewers as a make shift rack? Instead of laying the ribs flat, standing them on their ends and supports them with skewers. I figure I can get 6-8 slabs per pan with a little room between each slab. I only have 2 racks and wanted to use the...
  17. va_connoisseur

    Storing rubs with brown sugar

    How do you all store rubs with a high level of brown sugar without it becoming lumpy? How long can I expect to store it? I am doing a Halloween smoke this weekend with 100 lbs of ribs and I want to pre-mix the spice rub today or tomorrow before rubbing the ribs with it this Thursday/Friday? Thanks.
  18. va_connoisseur

    Butter vs EVOO

    Hey Smokers, Has anyone used butter instead of EVOO or mustard as a binding element for your rub? I have used butter with foil but never from the beginning. Any comments would be helpful. Thanks.
  19. va_connoisseur

    Piling ribs - what is the effect?

    I have a 120 gallon reverse flow and have been asked to do a few events. In order to increase the capacity I am considering "piling" the ribs in, kind of overlapping them. Not stacking. Like playing card but a little overlap. How will this effect the final prduct? I think I may lose some bark...
  20. va_connoisseur

    Charcoal basket on reverse flow

    To my Lang, Bubba and other reverse flow Brethren, What has been your success with a charcoal basket? I have one made for the Hog coffin but have yet to use it. I'm going to give it a run this weekend but wanted to know if there were any tips/tricks I should be mindful of before getting into...
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