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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 03-18-2013, 08:08 AM   #1
smokinrack
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Default Whole hog or shoulder

My oldest sons graduating high school here soon and were trying to plan his party. Im in charge of cooking the meat and thats apparently where the disagreement between me and my wife started, she wants me to cook whole shoulders and make pulled pork, I wanted to just do a whole hog on my big smoker.Its true Ive never actually done an entire hog before and she seems to think this would be a bad time to experiment.

So for anyone with experience in doing whole hogs how much harder is it to cook then say doing 100 lbs of shoulders?Any tips would be appreciated or if its a bad idea Im open to criticism as well
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Unread 03-18-2013, 08:15 AM   #2
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No experience with whole hog, but I think in general that attempting something new-to-you for what will likely be a high stress event for the Mrs might not be the best idea. You have some time to practice of course, so maybe have a family picnic or neighborhood gathering in advance for a test run so you both have a comfort level for it. Barring that... pork shoulder is easy & forgiving and you can both be confident about the results on a day that will likely be very busy!
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Unread 03-18-2013, 08:20 AM   #3
smokinrack
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Ive done tons of shoulders and am very comfortable with them, we were actually planning to do a practice run on a hog beforehand but apparently winters not going to go away any time soon.

Forgot to mention I have a large rotiserrie on my 275 gallon smoker thats capable of holding the entire hog if that makes any difference, were also having the party the weekend before graduation so interfering with the ceremony isnt an issue.
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Unread 03-18-2013, 08:36 AM   #4
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Never did a whole hog either, but here is what I did for a guys family reunion. He originally wanted a whole pig but did not want the messy leftovers and carcass. I suggested we do a whole bone-in pork loin which consists of the tender loin, loin, chops and a rack of ribs. I'm no butcher, so probably have the names wrong. Did some beef ribs too. The loin I cooked to internal temp of 145° and it was a great hit. Simply put it on the table and sliced and pulled off chunks Medieval style.

Here is an older thread of the very first one I did on the drum.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=68897

I think if you do one of these along with a butt or two or four, everyone will be happy and it will be a nice relaxing day for you too.
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Unread 03-18-2013, 08:39 AM   #5
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Depends whether you want pulled pork or have a pig pickin.
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Unread 03-18-2013, 08:58 AM   #6
smokinrack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokin' D View Post
Never did a whole hog either, but here is what I did for a guys family reunion. He originally wanted a whole pig but did not want the messy leftovers and carcass. I suggested we do a whole bone-in pork loin which consists of the tender loin, loin, chops and a rack of ribs. I'm no butcher, so probably have the names wrong. Did some beef ribs too. The loin I cooked to internal temp of 145° and it was a great hit. Simply put it on the table and sliced and pulled off chunks Medieval style.

Here is an older thread of the very first one I did on the drum.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=68897

I think if you do one of these along with a butt or two or four, everyone will be happy and it will be a nice relaxing day for you too.

I really like that idea, it looks good.I will be butchering the hog myself anyway for whatever i do so getting it cut how I want it wont be a problem.I could even go with half a small hog and still have room for a few butts alongside it
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Unread 03-18-2013, 09:48 AM   #7
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Best to keep the Mrs happy. Nothing stresses out a woman in party planning mode more than having to keep pizza hut on the stand by for a dozen or so pizzas.

Nothing against experimenting before hand though. If you can fit in a small hog cook before hand then give it a go. If you're comfortable with a hog cook after that then give it a shot for the party but if not best to keep to what you already know and have experience with.
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Unread 03-18-2013, 09:54 AM   #8
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Just my .02 but if you have never done a whole hog before this may not be the time to experiment. If you were to go the hog route you would most likely want to nail it so most of your attention will be dedicated to the cook to ensure it goes smoothly. Since this is a graduation party (assuming your son might be hitting the road soon to college or just life as an adult) you might want to stick to your comfort zone so you can spend more time enjoying the company and cherishing the moment. No offense but no one will remember what they ate at a graduation party, just the people and the times they had.
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Unread 03-18-2013, 09:55 AM   #9
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Go for the whole hog. Just allow for extra time in case it cooks slower than expected.
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Unread 03-18-2013, 10:48 AM   #10
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Default Whole hog or shoulder

I don't know how big of a cooker or how many you may have but a happy medium is to Do both a small pig 40-60lb for you and all the guy's and a few shoulders to pull for the ladies winWin and keep the peace in the house and celebrate your sons graduation
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Unread 03-18-2013, 11:00 AM   #11
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Default Whole hog or shoulder

Cost wise and waste wise i would do shoulders. I have done just under half a dozen pig roasts and its just not worth it to me. Yes you get the wow factor. Ill give you that. However, you more or less end up serving it all like pulled pork anyways. Plus I feel that I can produce a far better tasting butt than I ever could do with a whole pig.
You pay for a lot of unusable/waste parts when you get a whole pig that also factor into the cost (bones/fat/etc.).

This is just my opinion though.
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Unread 03-18-2013, 11:02 AM   #12
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I agree with SmokinSlowPoke. Parties aren't a great time to experiment, IMHO. Shoot, if you want the hog experience, get a couple of whole shoulders, a couple of green/fresh hams, and 6 or 8 racks of ribs. If nothing else, the ribs wont be over-cooked...
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Unread 03-18-2013, 11:11 AM   #13
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The smart thing to do is go with the advice already given. Parties aren't the best place to experiment.

Personally, I go against that advice. LOL! Cookouts and informal "parties" are where I experiment. Again, I wouldn't advise it but I'm not in the business of selling bbq and don't plan on going into it so it's no biggie to me. I figure I serve enough different type of foods that if they don't like what I've tried there's something else there they'll like.
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Unread 03-18-2013, 02:02 PM   #14
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I am with Bamabuzzard, granted parties might not be the best time to experiment but its not really practical to go buy a whole hog just to do a test run one weekend. Its not competition bbq just a graduation party, which makes it a perfect time to do a whole hog.

I like smoking whole hogs. As far as waste, you are going to have some with a whole hog but i paid 1.19 a pound (130 lbs overall weight) for a whole hog ready for the smoker last summer. The same butcher was charging more for a picnics or butt. Shop around and see what the prices are in your area.
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Unread 03-18-2013, 03:10 PM   #15
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You like being married to this woman you call wife? Nuff said.....
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