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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 09-02-2011, 08:09 PM   #1
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Default Need Help On Cooking Whole Hog

My grandson is 10 turning 11. He said, "All I want for my birthday is for you to cook me a whole pig." He wants to eat the jowls.

I've never cooked a whole hog before, but I'm picking up a 4o pounder tomorrow and having about 36 people on Sunday. I've rented a big charcoal cooker (trailer) with a lid and a rotisserie. The meat packing plant has it ready to cook and they even injected some seasoning in it.

I need to know how long it will take to cook. People will expect to eat around 3:00 or 4:00 on Sunday. When do I put this little piggy on the spit? I'll sure appreciate any advice as I'm flying blind here. I've put aside enough money for a bunch of pizzas.
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Unread 09-02-2011, 08:29 PM   #2
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1.5 Hours per ten pounds At 275 should be about right. Good luck.
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Unread 09-02-2011, 08:38 PM   #3
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That's the kind of help I was looking for. It sounds like you have had experience. That would mean that I need to put the thing on around midnight to be done at 3:00 p.m. Allowing extra time seems better than having people waiting 'cause something went awry. Assume I put it one at 10:00 p.m. Saturday and it's done around 1:00 pm Sunday. Can I keep it on the cooker as long as I keep the heat up to 150 degrees or so? My experience with pulled pork leads me to believe that it's hard to over cook. Should I try to pull the meat off and get it in pans as soon as it's done, or can I just keep the fire low for few hours?
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Unread 09-02-2011, 08:45 PM   #4
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well if you are only cooking a 40lb. it will only take about 6 to 7 hours to cook. If you have 30-35 people hopefully you have other stuff as well. That 40lb pig will only give you about 15 to 18 lb of cooked chopped pork, which may be a bit on the lean side of things..
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Unread 09-02-2011, 11:01 PM   #5
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While we are on the subject, what temps should one expect in the different parts of a hog when cooking one? Should we expect the hams to be as tender as the shoudlers and should the internal temps be similar or should the hams be a different temp? How about the loin? Should we be careful with temps and take action if they are getting too hot?
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Unread 09-02-2011, 11:19 PM   #6
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well I think 160 is the magic number in the hams and once they reach that point all else should be done, another trick to keep the loin from drying out since it is smaller is to cover it with some thick cut bacon and it helps alot.
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Unread 09-02-2011, 11:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBobBQ View Post
well I think 160 is the magic number in the hams and once they reach that point all else should be done, another trick to keep the loin from drying out since it is smaller is to cover it with some thick cut bacon and it helps alot.
Great tips. How tender are the hams at that temp? Should we expect them to pull?
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Unread 09-02-2011, 11:22 PM   #8
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until the hams hit about 170F, the loins about 145F, the shoulders are about 185F, and the skin is golden and crisp. Test the temp in several spots. Keep in mind the temp will rise about 5F after it is removed from the heat. Chances you won't hit the mark on all three so you'll have to find a compromise. I use the hams as my guide. If necessary you can remove the loins and continue to cook.
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Unread 09-02-2011, 11:23 PM   #9
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Yes they should be very easy to pull at that temp. with no issues at all.
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Unread 09-02-2011, 11:27 PM   #10
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Thanks for the lesson. I have only cooked one whole hog. It was a 125 pounder hanging weight. Everyone loved it but I wasn't sure if the hams were at the right temp. There were some parts that were better sliced than pulled but I had to pull it when the shoulders reached about 205 internal.

As I recall, the hams were tender but they didn't pull as much as the shoulders. I was worried that the rest of the hog would over cook.

I guess I should practice cooking hogs more, huh?
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Unread 09-02-2011, 11:33 PM   #11
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thats the best thing, you get to learn what the hog likes, my grandpa never once used a thermometer on his meat or his pit, he said he just listened to the hog and it told him what it needed and he knew when it was finished, produced some great whole hogs, he would use the bacon to cover the loins and even wrap the ears to keep from burning them so it looked good.
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Unread 09-02-2011, 11:36 PM   #12
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The bacon thing crossed my mind when I cooked mine but the cook was being paid for by someone else and they didn't pony up for it. I probed the different parts of the hog and while the shoulders felt tender the hams didn't feel as tender as the shoulders. Is that to be expected?
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Unread 09-03-2011, 06:53 AM   #13
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Why does it take 6 hours to cook a 20# turkey at 350 degrees and only 6 hours to cook a 40# hog at 275 degrees?
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Unread 09-03-2011, 07:02 AM   #14
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The attached thread shows how I cooked a small pig. I hope this helps a little.
Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

(see post number 10 for pics)
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...&highlight=hog
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Unread 09-03-2011, 07:03 AM   #15
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Scrooge, I've never cooked a whole hog at 275 so I can't answer your question. I have however cooked, or been part of the cook, for many hogs. Our pit temps were always 325-350. At that temp you can have a 100# hog done in just a few hours. A 40#er should take 4-6.

I will dispute that a pig cooked to the above recomended temps will pull. A 160 ham will most likely still be pink at the inner bone.
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