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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 05-28-2020, 10:57 AM   #1
Bucknekked
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Default Suckling Pig Help/Suggestions

Brethren, I need some help and perhaps a few suggestions for an upcoming suckling pig roast this Saturday.


PROBLEM:
I got the suckling pig from Costco Business center. The SMALLEST one they had was 41 pounds. Frozen: its 31 inches long from butt to snout. My Yoder YS640 grate is 30 inches long. We tried putting it in there, but it won't quite fit. Any ideas? Can it be manipulated when thawed to fit in the space? It won't be thawed out till sometime tomorrow



SUGGESTIONS:
at 41 pounds, what do you think the cook time will be? I can put my Yoder at any temp and it will hold it so that's not an issue. Any ideas on the great temp/time combo for a pig this size? The Yoder will hold any temp.



My son's Traeger is longer than my Yoder (36 inches) so if all else fails we could drag it over to my house for the cook. But if any of y'all know if its possible to cajole that pig in to my Yoder that would be my first choice.
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Old 05-28-2020, 01:17 PM   #2
robertm
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Off with his head!

If he's only an 1" long you'll be able to get him in there w/o much issue once thawed. Could lay him over something as well to effectively shorten his rooter to tooter length. Just make sure it doesn't allow the juices to run out of the cavity.
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Old 05-28-2020, 01:32 PM   #3
jdolor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertm View Post
Off with his head!

If he's only an 1" long you'll be able to get him in there w/o much issue once thawed. Could lay him over something as well to effectively shorten his rooter to tooter length. Just make sure it doesn't allow the juices to run out of the cavity.
With your permission, I'm stealing the "rooter to tooter comment".

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Old 05-28-2020, 02:10 PM   #4
Bucknekked
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertm View Post
Off with his head!

If he's only an 1" long you'll be able to get him in there w/o much issue once thawed. Could lay him over something as well to effectively shorten his rooter to tooter length. Just make sure it doesn't allow the juices to run out of the cavity.

I am also stealing the "rooter to tooter" comment. That's a great use of the language right there I don't care who you are.


That also begs a question: do you sew up the cavity? He's all wide open at the moment. We've only done one other whole suckling pig and we didn't sew it shut. We do plan on injecting this one before putting it in the smoker. I'd be interested in what folks think.
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Old 05-28-2020, 11:17 PM   #5
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Check this out just for ideas.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSJv_0Liy90
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Old 05-28-2020, 11:32 PM   #6
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If you arch the thawed pig slightly, it will fit. Frozen stiff is a bit deceiving.

Personally, I'd use a little arch in the back if I didn't have two smokers already that would hold it.

Regarding sewing it up, I don't see that with the few whole hog cooks I've been around. I'm assuming you will lay him on his side. If you do him 'racing style', you will probably want to put him in a pan or lipped 'table' to catch the juices.

In terms of drying out, your pork butts don't dry out, do they? If you can take a naked butt (without skin) and slap it down on a grate and get juicy pulled pork, a suckling pig with skin 'to tent' the meat should come out moist too, especially if you are pumping him full of good stuff beforehand.

Butt (sp?) what do I know?
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Old 05-29-2020, 06:01 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Happy Hapgood View Post
Check this out just for ideas.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSJv_0Liy90
Brother in law trapped one about the size in the video. I smoked it whole just like a pork butt. 5-6 hours with pecan/cherry at 225-250, wrapped the whole thing in hd foil, 5-6 more hours. It started to fall apart when taken off the smoker. Pulled and chopped, it was some of the best pork I have had and family said the same.
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Old 05-29-2020, 06:11 AM   #8
Whodat985
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Post picture of the cook
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Old 05-29-2020, 09:47 AM   #9
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Thank you for the ideas. I will give them a go. Pictures? in the year 2020, if there aint no pictures, did it really happen? My grand kids will tell you if there's no pictures, it aint real !



I plan on racing style for the cook because that's all I know about for suckling pigs.
Last time we didn't do a drip pan probably because we never gave that a thought.
I'll have to think about the pan idea. I have some big ones (restaurant sized).


Keep those ideas coming ! Tomorrow (Saturday) we cook ! (and take pictures)
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Old 05-29-2020, 04:37 PM   #10
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Hi You can always cut it in 1/2 or 1/4.
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Old 05-30-2020, 11:19 PM   #11
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The pig was a wonderful success. Will post pics tomorrow. The ideas were helpful.
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Old 06-01-2020, 09:29 AM   #12
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Default was hoping to help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucknekked View Post
The pig was a wonderful success. Will post pics tomorrow. The ideas were helpful.
Am glad you figured it out and can't wait to see! This is a 37lb attempt that JUST fit into my Tejas Smokers 20x 40....wanted to show that it can be done. Had the butcher saw off the ham hocks and away I went. Smoked the ham hocks; they added an AMAZING flavor to a big pot of Gumbo a few weeks later
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Old 06-01-2020, 12:28 PM   #13
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What sizes are typically available for doing a whole pig like this? I mean on the small end of the scale...I know you can get bigguns.
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Old 06-01-2020, 01:00 PM   #14
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What sizes are typically available for doing a whole pig like this? I mean on the small end of the scale...I know you can get bigguns.
Most suppliers operate in 3 ranges:
  • 20-30lbs
  • 30-40lbs
  • 40-50lbs
The odd thing is the smaller pig you request, the more expensive per lb
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Old 06-01-2020, 01:35 PM   #15
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Typical sizes? I think it varies wildly with your regional area and the vendors available to you. When we did our very first hog last year, we went to a butcher shop and ordered him specifically to be under 30 pounds. We didn't know what to expect but we knew we could ask on a custom order for a specific weight. As Smoke Daddy said, the smaller you get, the more they cost per pound. That little 29 pounder was over $150 bucks.


As Costco Business center they are in stock and in a big freezer and you get to choose from what they have. The SMALLEST suckling pig they had on the day I went there was 41 pounds. So it was bigger than I wanted. On the good side, they were all $3 bucks a pound (screaming good price). So my 41 pounder was just a shade over $120 bucks + taxes. Costco had probably 20 of them in the freezer. The guy we spoke with on the phone said their Business center does about 1,000 a year !
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