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Cooking half a pig.

blackzebra

Fire Starter
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Joined Jan 8, 2014
I was just thinking about either smoking or grilling half of a 60lb pig, need advice on best way to cook it? Idea's are welcome please !
 

tucson bbq fan

Smoking Fanatic
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Joined Jun 30, 2013
I'm assuming you have something big enough to fit the half pig?  Without knowing what you have to cook it in, I can give you some general advice only.

I'd recommend smoking with indirect heat - depending on what you are cooking it in, either have your heat to the sides (not under it) or in an offset box or something.  You can get a really nice smoke flavor.  You will get a lot of fat rendering and dripping down, so have something under the pig to catch it and not let it get on your heat source.  I like Pecan, apple, hickory, any lighter or fruit wood for cooking a pig.

The difficult part with a pig is turning it without everything falling apart after a while.  something this small could be pretty simple.  You could use two BBQ grates, one on top, one on bottom and simply bolt them together to give you a rack to hold it.

A whole or half pig does not have to be done low and slow like a shoulder.  I've cooked them at 400+ when I want roast pork to slice.  The longer and lower the temp, the more it will fall apart like pulled pork (and the more important to have it held together somehow).  Use a meat thermometer to check IT to know when it is done.

If you don't have something big enough - it is easy to build - make a above ground pit of cinder blocks - 3 blocks high is good, bank your wood or charcoal on the sides and make some sort of rack - or just put a couple of sections of iron gas pipe across the blocks to hold the racked pig.

Hope this helps some what.
 

blackzebra

Fire Starter
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Joined Jan 8, 2014
I made a smoker out of a 55gal drum with a offset fire box. Turning it won't be a problem. Where do I check pig for IT to tell me when to pull it off? Thanks
 

WaterinHoleBrew

Legendary Pitmaster
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Never done a whole or half hog before, good luck and post some pics if ya can.. Would really like to see your smoke.. WHB
 

tucson bbq fan

Smoking Fanatic
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Joined Jun 30, 2013
I made a smoker out of a 55gal drum with a offset fire box. Turning it won't be a problem. Where do I check pig for IT to tell me when to pull it off? Thanks
check in the ham (butt) and shoulder - they are the thickest and take the longest.  Your smoker sounds great - it should do the job nicely!

I would start it skin side up.  Check after a few hours, and when the dripping fat slows down, flip it to skin side down.  Depending on the thickness, it may do just fine all the way skin side up - just watch out for it getting dried out.

If you like crackln, then flip it skin side down for the last hour or so and crank your temp to 300+ to get the skin crisped.
 
Last edited:

tucson bbq fan

Smoking Fanatic
330
21
Joined Jun 30, 2013
I have not done one this small, so it may do just fine without flipping it - I suspect it won't be too thick (I'd guess not more than 4-5 inches) even at the butt and shoulders.  I've done 70-80 lb whole pigs, up to 140 lb whole.

Good luck and have fun!  Cooking it this way is great - it comes out really nice, tender, juicy and nice flavor
 

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