Originally Posted by davefan360
I built a 120gallon reverse flow smoker last winter and the whole time I was building it my dad would say " could you cook a pig on that thing?" or "we should try a pig" or " I wonder where we would even get a pig"
well the cooker is done now he want a pig roast for his birthday. We are planning on about 75 adults and 15 kids under ten. I am going to make grilled chicken and roast smoke a pig. Coleslaw, beans, and potato salad for sides.
now my ?s. How big of a pig should I get? I can always smoke a pork butt or two if needed. and what is the cook times if I smoking it at the sweet spot of the smoker 260-270? any thing I need to make sure I tell the butcher? or to watch out for? any tips you can give me? I have never done a pig before. I know I know try a smaller one first, but I am not worried about it. I cook comps and will have 2 other comp guys with me. Thanks,
I will take a stab with what my experience has been over the past few weeks.
I have a 275 gallon fuel tank laid down as a cooker. It held the 141lb pig without any issues. I would say the pig was about 50" long racer style with the head on and maybe 24" wide. With that, the legs could have been cut down to shorten it if needed. A picture of your pit or some dimensions might be helpful for me to see what you are working with.
As for how big of a pig, the first thing that I learned is that as the pig goes up in weight, the cost per pound comes down fast. My 90lb pig was only 16 dollars less than the 141 lb pig. Pretty crazy. I would put as big of a pig on as you can fit. We fed probably 75 people with our 90lb pig, if you can make it fit, I would go about 120lbs for your crowd. In all cases, every pig I did had very little leftovers when we were done.
When I called the butcher, I told him that I was doing a pig roast and I asked that the hog basically be cleaned out and the hair burned off. Other than that, there was not much they needed. Being from the German part of Wisconsin, they call them Spanferkel pigs. If you explain to your butcher what you plan to do, I think you will be fine. Let them know you need it thawed out too. That should be obvious, but it is better to be safe than sorry.
I tried to pick the pig up the night that I was doing the cooking. I did not have anywhere to store the pig, so I let the butcher keep it in his cooler. I bought a cheap Walmart kids swimming pool to transport the pig home in. Each pig came wrapped in plastic but it kept anything from getting into my vehicle.
Once I got home with the pig, I let it warm up for an hour or so. I trimmed any visible extra fat or skin, and one of my pigs had the kidney's still attached so I removed those.
Once the pig was cleaned up, and about two hours before throwing it on the pit, I mixed up an injection of apple juice and rub and injected about 1 full gallon into the pig. After that, I coated the inside with rub. I then stuffed a couple of full cabbages into the cavity to protect the loins and slow down that part of the cook. They worked great and taste awesome as part of the finished cook.
I then flipped the pig over and rubbed it with canola oil. This last pig I sprinkled some rub on the skin too to add color and it worked really well. I then foiled the entire pig.
I got my pit going about an hour before the pig went on so the temps stabilized. I ran my pit from 240 to 270 the entire time, 100% apple wood for the last two cooks. I noticed between 1hr and 1hr and 10 minutes per 10lbs of pig. One of my pigs was done early and I just let the temp cruise down to around 190 and it kept fine there for two hours. With my pit, I have been rotating the rack once during the cook (about half way) to ensure even cooking. At that same time, I remove all of the foil except over the ears, snout and tail. I have been leaving those foiled the whole time so that they do not burn. Once the pig is done, I have been taking it off and resting it for anywhere from 1 to 2 hours under loosely tented foil. After the rest, I have been cutting it open and it is still too hot to pull without gloves.
We take the cabbage out, tear off a leaf, add some pork, add some rub and add some sauce and make awesome roll-ups. Have someone help you pull the pig as the crowd quickly gathers and wants to eat! I have been sprinkling rub on the pile of pork that I pull just to add more flavor. Once the crowd dies down, we put what is left in a Nesco, add a small amount of rub and apple juice and keep warm, around 200.
I am by no means an expert, but this method has worked for me the past few weeks and I have gotten rave reviews each time. I hate to say it, but other than the size of the meat and needing to keep adding fuel to my stick burner, a pig is actually very easy to do. Keep the temp steady, don't peak, and 12 to 16 hours later it is going to be a great meal. Feel free to ask any questions or PM me. I got a lot of advice from the great brethren here and would like to try to pay it forward a bit myself.
Good luck, Happy Birthday to your dad, and share some pron with this group!