Whole Hog

Discussion in 'Pork' started by potatoc, Feb 18, 2010.

  1. potatoc

    potatoc Meat Mopper

    About 60% the way along building mytrailer smoker/cooker. Really want to try a whole hog this spring. Anyone on here have recipes, tips, tricks, techniques or suggestions when cooking one of these????

    Did not find any message boards on here so hoping I can get something from people on this forum..... Thanks a bunch, TJ
  2. Is there a particular reason for wanting to cook the whole hog???

    I've found that cooking just shoulders and butts yeilds the most/best quality meat without the waste, mess, and hassle of working with a 100+ pound pig. Just throw 6-8 shoulders on instead of the whole hog and your yeild will be about the same.
  3. tn_bbq

    tn_bbq Smoking Fanatic

    So true.

    Best reason to cook a pig is:
    1. looks cool
    2. like certain cuts of meat other than shoulder meat (skin, bacon, jowls, head, etc.)
  4. xsists

    xsists Smoke Blower

    From what I've heard (and briefly tasted, haven't had much whole hog bbq or shoulder bbq anyways) is that when you do whole hog, you get a different flavor than when you just do shoulders.
  5. I have done a whole hog, but didn't get the flavor (smoke or otherwise) that I do with my butts. Personally, I will probably not do another one because of this reason, unless someone pays me to do one and insists on it. I prefer to load up the smoker with different cuts to get the variety.

    Just my $.02
  6. q dawg

    q dawg Smoke Blower

  7. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I helped my son do a couple of "whole hogs". It looks neat, but you get a lot of gristle and stuff that isn't appreciated by many people. We went to shoulders---much better tasting and yield. It's a shame because the smoker he made is big enough to do a side of beef in it. It looks strange having a couple butts sitting in all of that wasted square footage.

  8. countryboy19

    countryboy19 Smoke Blower

    If he made a big smoker, I'm sure he could also make a UDS. That would be much better for the smaller smokes.
  9. phil brown

    phil brown Fire Starter

    One of my college buddies pushed the idea of doing a whole hog pretty hard, but I was pretty happy with my diet of steaks, ribs, and bratwurst. I don't really have the setup to do it, now. It seems like a whole lot of time and trouble, and I would need to experience this fabled whole hog nirvana for myself before committing to that kind of work.

    I doubt most people would go for the jowls, etc. anyway. It sounds like more of a project for a group of enthusiasts; that way only people who will truly appreciate the final product will be involved.
  10. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I already solved that problem by buying him an MES just like mine for Christmas.[​IMG]

  11. bbally

    bbally Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    A whole hog is going to take about 18 hours at 250 F to finish.

    If you have not purchased an injector: Click the picture to order one.


    The secret to whole hogs is to inject it. But you need an injector like the one in the picture. A glorified hypodermic needle is not a proper tool for a whole hog. Chickens, yes, whole hogs no... you need a real meat injector.

    If you don't have adolfs meat tenderizer, you will need it as well.

    The hide of the hog is real suseptible to temperature problems. You can not exceed 275 F in the first 8 hours or you will basically have roast pork and not smoked pork. The hide tightens up above 275 and nothing will penetrate it.

    There are all types of marinades to inject with, one of my easy favorites is to purchase some packets of zesty Italian dressing by good seasons. Mix your regulary marinade and add one or two packets to it, mix it and inject.

    I like to inject 12 percent. So a hundred pound pig needs roughly 12 pounds of marinade injected. That is 1.5 gallons.

    Do it right and this is the result.


    Good Luck
  12. jcurrier

    jcurrier Smoke Blower

    "A whole hog is going to take about 18 hours at 250 F to finish."

    Thats is a bit misleading..... I was at a pig roast yesterday and they put the pig (85 lb) on at 7 am (fire started at 6 am)- we ate at 1 pm. You can save a lot of time by cutting in half, plus that allows you to baste and mop the inside of the meat.

  13. bbally

    bbally Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    No its not, what you are describing is grilled pig (mostly a cuban thing) by pulling it off early and eating it you are making only roasted pork, not barbequed pig.

    While I agree the pork will be to eating temperatures faster, the Maillard reaction will not have time to do its magic, and while you can speed up how fast the meat heats up... amalyse and maillard do not speed up. They require the time at low and slow.
  14. potatoc

    potatoc Meat Mopper

    Wow... Lots of information.. Thank u to all.. I can't wait to do my first whole hog. Not saying this is all I want to do with my BBQing, but for family events, parties, etc. this is going to be awesome.... Hells yes.. Thanks everyone...

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