First Pig Roast. Advice Please.

Discussion in 'Grilling Pork' started by wjelmer, May 15, 2013.

  1. wjelmer

    wjelmer Newbie

    So my graduation party is this weekend and we will be roasting a small pig. I've searched a lot and have a general idea of how to do it but have few questions. I rented a spit and ordered a 40-50# pig.

    First question is whether to brine or not. I have a giant rubbermaid and have read a lot, some say brine in salt water others just say put on ice. I will be picking it up the day before roasting. What do you suggest?

    How long should I cook a 40-50 pounder, obviously I will need to check temp but estimate on time so I know when to start. (I have heard anywhere fro 4 to 8 hours)

    What do you guys stuff your pig with?

    Where can I get stainless steel wire (I've checked home depot and the local metal supply place) ?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Congrats on the Graduation!  You have done it!!!!  [​IMG]

    I used the search tool to look up whole hog is a link for you to start doing some research.

    There have been some folks who have done this recently.  They will chime in soon!

    Show the q-views and share with us!

  3. Wjelmer I just did one this past Saturday on a Lang 60.  73 pound-er that I had butchered for the occasion.  I had the butcher butterfly it and dress it to fit in the smoker spread out with the belly down.  I also had the skin left on.  We picked it up Thursday afternoon around 3pm, put it in the 150qt cooler and covered it with ice for the trip home.  Typically the butcher will fold the hog in half, head to tail, to fit it in your cooler.  On Friday we marinaded the whole thing in a mojo seasoning, bitter orange, spices etc.  Do a search and you can find a ton of recipes for marinading.  The event was to start at 7pm Saturday, and we lit the firebox up around 9:00 that morning.  While the fire was getting up to speed we took a large Cajun injector and liberally injected all the large pieces of the hog with the mojo marinade.  Cant recall how much we used but a quart of so should do it. 

    The Lang reached 220 around 9:30 and we put the critter in and coated it with veg oil.  We also put aluminum foil on the ears, snout, tail and feet.  We maintained temps and kept an eye on it until we got what looked good in terms of smoke coloration and covered the whole thing in aluminum foil.  I have learned from past experience that if you don't do this you will get an awful dark/black pig.   Nothing wrong with it, it just doesn't look as appealing.  We put a meat probe into the largest part of the ham and when it got to 190 or so we check everything to make sure it all looked good.  I think we might have hit 200 by the time we pulled it off.   We did lower the temps to around 150 at 6pm because it was done and we didn't want to over do it. 

    Sorry for the length here.  As far a time goes for your cook, just give yourself plenty of time.  I like to go slow, but if needed you can up the temps a bit to speed up the process.  Just remember you are targeting that 190/200 internal degree range on the thickest part and you will be fine.  Its scary when you first do one, but really its pretty easy.  Have fun and I hope this helps.  I'll see if I cant find a few pics to post for you.  ed

    Last edited: May 15, 2013
  4. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    That little Porker will Yield about 40% or 15 to 20Lb Pulled Meat, DON'T skip the meat on the Head and Neck, it is the BEST part. If you want a Traditional BBQ PIG, Inject the Recipe Below reserving half to Mop the last hour as the Pig turns for good crispy skin. Season heavily with Rub in the Cavity. As far as stuff in the Cavity. Use 6 Lrg Onions, peeled and quartered, 2-3lbs Baby Carrots, 1-2 whole Stalks Celery cut in 3" lengths, 3 Heads Garlic Cloves, peeled, 2 Bunches Fresh Thyme, scattered and 2 Bunches Fresh Sage, scattered. The Veg can be served as a side. You will need to cover the Ears, Nose, Tail and Feet, if still there, but uncover the last hour to crisp as well. Since you will be Spit Turning your temps will be higher, 300-325*F so it will go quicker. That is why you are seeing 4 hour cook times. Always add a couple hours to CYA and Rest the Piggy, at least 1 hour, covered in foil. Get help Pulling the meat as it is a big job to get it all. And be Extra careful with Sanitation, you don't want Sick people the next day. Keep your work surface and hands clean. 1Tbs Bleach to 1 Gallon Water will do a good job of killing any lurking Nasty's...Have Fun and Congrats on Graduation...JJ

    Mild Bubba Q Rub

    1/2C Sugar in the Raw (Turbinado)

    2T Sweet Paprika (Hungarian)

    1T Kosher Salt

    1T Chili Powder (contains some Cumin and Oregano) Ancho Chile is same without cumin, oregano etc.

    1T Granulated Garlic

    1T Granulated Onion

    1tsp Black Pepper, more if you like

    1/2tsp Grnd Allspice

    Cayenne or Chipotle Pwd to taste, start with 1/2tsp and go from there.

    I would Double or Triple for your Piggy.

    Pork Injection/Mop

    1/2Gallon Apple Juice

    1-2C Apple Cider Vinegar depending how tangy you want it.

    1/4C Molasses

    1/4C Mustard

    1T Kosher Salt

    2T Mild Bubba Q Rub

    1tsp Dry Sage, ground

    Worcestershire and Hot Sauce to Taste

    Combine all and rest 30 minutes or longer for flavors to meld.  Divide in Half and inject, you may need to strain depending on your needle, the meat all over and rest at least 2 hours or over night, Refrigerated or on Ice in a Cooler.

    For the MOP, add 1Cup Veg Oil to the remaining Qt liquid and Mop the Pig the last hour. Since this contains Sugar and Oil watch heat, adjusting so it does not Burn and have a Spray Bottle of Water to quench Flare Ups... 
    Last edited: May 16, 2013
  5. so ms smoker

    so ms smoker Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

      Can't wait to see the q-view and hear the details! Congrats on the graduation!

  6. wjelmer

    wjelmer Newbie

    Thanks for the all the advice, I really appreciate it. I'm really excited to do this.

    My game plan:

    - Pick up pig from butcher

    - Brine pig overnight

    - Pull pig out of brine 90 min before cooking

    - Inject pig with apple juice solution

    - rub interior and exterior wth salt and pepper

    - Start charcoal on spit a hour before cooking

    - keep spit at 200-225 degrees

    - cover ears and feet with aluminum foil

    - Cook for 5-6 hours or until internal temp in ham or shoulder is 180 degrees

    - let rest for 30 min before caving

    How does that look.

    One more question should I score the skin slightly in a few spots if cooking on a spit.
  7. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Pigs that small are pretty lean. I would leave the skin intact to keep any fat and juices in...JJ
  8. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member


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