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Unread 07-12-2012, 01:36 PM   #1
Coldholler
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Question Help! My pig got frozen, cooking Saturday

My pig farmer called me today on the road from the abattoir to say we have a "little problem." Turns out the other day when they butchered it, somebody failed to listen or remember that I'm cooking it Saturday and stuck it in the freezer. I crank up the smoker around 4am Saturday.

Right now, on the road, it's in a cooler with the top cracked, no ice.

They also forgot to cut the ribs and backbone so I can butterfly it. Weighing in around 80lbs, I don't think it'll fit under the 7-3/4 height of my upper shelf unless it's butterflied. I want to throw some chicken on up there with some hours to go, so it's important.

So the plan is for him to show up in a bit at my house with it, we'll cut the ribs & backbone with my sawzaw, and sometime tomorrow as it thaws I'll put some ice in there with it.

Is there a safety issue with thawing the outside too fast? Is there much chance the thick parts will still be frozen after thawing for 38-40 hours?

Love to get some perspective and advice. How much of a disaster is this, and is my plan solid or still risky??????

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Unread 07-12-2012, 01:55 PM   #2
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Get that thing into some cold water and it will actually thaw faster than in just air at room temp. If you can get it into something that can circulate cool water around it that will speed up the process even more.
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Unread 07-12-2012, 01:59 PM   #3
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Thanks! Just like a turkey. When should I do such and for how long? Today, and then keep it on ice until I cook? Or at the end if it needs it, say Friday evening (I plan on sleeping from 9pm till about 2am, before the cook.

Also mourning the fact that it'll no longer be "fresh" and never frozen. Grrr. Shouldn't make too much difference, though.
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Unread 07-12-2012, 01:59 PM   #4
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What MS2SB said. If you can, trickle some cold water in there, it'll thaw faster, and it will keep the outside of the pig in the safe zone.
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Unread 07-12-2012, 02:01 PM   #5
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No part of the carcass should stay 41º F - 140º F (the danger zone) for more than 4 hrs..... observe this and you'll be fine...Good Luck.
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Unread 07-12-2012, 02:06 PM   #6
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An ice bath in a bathtub works, too.
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Unread 07-12-2012, 02:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQ Bandit View Post
An ice bath in a bathtub works, too.
Bathtub may work for some by my wife would frown on it... A new roughneck garbage can is what I've used to hold whole hog in ice water...
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Unread 07-12-2012, 02:21 PM   #8
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If it fits OK in the cooler that you've already got it in, I would use that. Fill with cold water and ice keep the lid on tight. I'd also keep a probe in there if you have one to monitor the water temp. If the ice melts and it gets above 40* drain it and refill with fresh water and ice.
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Unread 07-12-2012, 02:21 PM   #9
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my cooler is big enough and has a drain. 68 degrees outside too, at 3:20pm...
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Unread 07-12-2012, 02:26 PM   #10
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My son and his wife just moved to Jacksonville, NC about 2-1/2 mionths ago. He is stationed on MCAS New River.
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Unread 07-12-2012, 02:35 PM   #11
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Cool! I live way up in high near the Smokies.

I have -- drrrrrumrollll. A thermapen. Can't think of a better way to test it than in ice water.

But -- big BUT, will the thing thaw out in that amount of time? Is my cook going to be OK???
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Unread 07-12-2012, 02:40 PM   #12
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I got one about that size once that was frozen, it came in a box in a big plastic bag, we thawed it out in a water /ice bath in the garage in the box/bag it was shipped in. When it thawed we broke it's back with a hatchet and hammer to butterfly it.
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Unread 07-12-2012, 03:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquablue22 View Post
I got one about that size once that was frozen, it came in a box in a big plastic bag, we thawed it out in a water /ice bath in the garage in the box/bag it was shipped in. When it thawed we broke it's back with a hatchet and hammer to butterfly it.
How long did it take to thaw?
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Unread 07-12-2012, 03:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
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How long did it take to thaw?
I picked it up Friday morning about 8 a.m. (pissed) and the butcher actually told me what to do. I took it home and set it up in the box with the ice water bath and cooked it on Saturday morning about 6 a.m. We did change the ice bath several times, just keep an eye on the pigs temp. Lots of fun!
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Unread 07-12-2012, 04:13 PM   #15
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My vote would be to get that thing in cold water now. Since its frozen it should take the water temp down to under 40 in short order. Just like a big old pigcicle. I would check it every couple of hours just to make sure the temp stays under 40. I fact I would shoot to keep the water temp just a little below 40, say 36-39. Every few hours I would give her a squeeze to see how the thaw is coming along. Early on you might need to change out some of the water to keep the temp in the 36-39 range. At some point you will need to add ice to keep that temp. All this time keep squeezing to check the thaw. Once thaw empty the water and store on ice. It should be done in plenty of time.

All that being said I have never had that situation but I think that is what I would do. Others please chime in.
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