Just to further muddy things
, I did a whole hog last December and loved every farking minute of it. I (and apparently all our guests) loved how it came out, and it was really fun and not that hard to do (I did it racer style in an offset). People get giddy seeing a whole pig and love watching it get broken down to eat. If you're okay with your fire management skills, that's really the main thing you have to focus on other than timing the cook right and, as previously mentioned, watching for color.
If you feel at all nervous about it, go for the shoulders. The
point of the whole thing is having fun and celebrating a special occasion with family and loved ones - if you think it'll be fun, cook the whole hog, if not, go for the shoulders - just keep the focus on the fun whatever you do.
50" Klose BYC, Spitjack XB85, 22.5 WSM, Backwoods Chubby, UDS, WRK, 26" & 22.5" Weber Kettles, Jumbo Joe, WGA, WSJ/MUDS, Jumbo Old Smokey, a piece of expanded metal I throw over the fire pit sometimes, Stealthy Black & Vol Orange
Displaced East Tennesseean
Proud recipient of a Tick
Former outlaw MOINK baller, now IMBAS Certified, but still lookin' over my shoulder.
"Relax, it's only BBQ.
" - Bigmista, 2013
Avatar by my son!