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Unread 09-27-2007, 08:26 AM   #1
Sir Smoke A Lot
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Default Big Time Advice Needed - whole hog

OK Brethren,

I have been asked (as a favor) to cook a whole hog for a party on Oct. 6 for some friends. I have never done a whole hog, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try my hand at it. I have done as much research as I can and I have a rough idea of what I am going to do, but any advice or tips from someone who has done this would be greatly appreciated. As if doing this for the first time was not daunting enough, they are going out to shoot a wild boar at a game preserve in Iowa and expect it to dress out around 200 lbs. They are renting a rotissiere hog cooker fired by charcoal for my use.

Any and all advice is appreciated, but these are my biggest concerns.

I know from my hunting background that wild game is much leaner than domestic meat, so do I need to be concerned with it drying out?

Are there any tricks to getting the skin crispy, or will that take care of itself?

I have seen people using wire mesh to hold it together as it cooks - should I plan on doing that?

I have read typical cooking time is roughly 1 hour per 10 pounds, is that what I should anticipate? What is the best temp to cook at? I was planning about 250, but I am not sure how much control I will have with the cooker. I will try to find out a little more about it and update this post.

I know that you all are going to provide me with a wealth of information and I truly appreciate all the responses! Oh - and you can rest assured I will be posting pics
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Unread 09-27-2007, 01:53 PM   #2
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I've never done anything over 100 pounds, man that's a task! I bet it's going to be fun to have to move that thing around.

The wire mesh idea is essential IMO, however if they're renting a rotisserie I don't think the two methods are compatible.

There's a lot of good information here:

http://cuban-christmas.com/pigroast.html
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Unread 09-27-2007, 01:56 PM   #3
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forget the wild hog thing and get a 100 lb to 150lb farm raised pig. the wild boar is an unknown that could negate alot of effort.
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Unread 09-27-2007, 01:59 PM   #4
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I'd have to agree with bittertruth on that one, although good luck convincing them :)
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Unread 09-27-2007, 03:34 PM   #5
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Yeah, they are not moving from the wild boar idea....I thought about stuffing the cavity with sausages and chicken thighs - maybe the fat rendering out will help baste the meat?
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Unread 09-27-2007, 03:40 PM   #6
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Maybe they will budge some in the method in which you cook the hog and you could try the Bobby Flay approach:

http://www.lacajachina.com/

Good luck. Take lots of pics for us!
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Unread 09-27-2007, 03:56 PM   #7
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Going with a caja china will definitely help out, problem is you'll have to convince them to go for a smaller hog, I believe the roaster will only do up to 100 lbs.
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Unread 09-27-2007, 04:38 PM   #8
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I process a lot of wild hogs here in Texas, but I stay away from those big and nasty boars for a whole hog smoke. I'd try and convince them of a couple of sows - hopefully ungilded.

Also my experience with the wild hogs - I know the hogs up there may be different than Texas - is that a good portion of the wild game flavor comes from the fat. I like to skin mine out to a small fat layer and then do a good rub down before I smoke them. If we get really small hogs - i.e. 20-60 pounds then I will leave the skin on them when smoking as they are young enough not to have too much wildness in them.
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Unread 09-27-2007, 04:49 PM   #9
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Hmmm, I tend to agree that if possible convince them to go domestic. Wild boar will presnet challenges such as lean as mentioned, tenderness issues and you must make sure it is truly done all the way through. That can make it dry also. If you must, I personally would use some sort of oil on the outside and attempt to sear both sides of the beast and this will help hold the moister. I think the sausage idea is also a good idea but don't think the chicken is a good idea. Chicken fat tends to burn and leave a funky flavor. Finally, if this boar is big he will more than likely be old and he will have a really gamey taste. Not sure how you would tone that down without skinninhg most of his fat off which again will cost mostness. All in all. Have the get two 60 pounders from the store then none of this matters. Oh yeah, put lots of rub on him at any rate.....
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Unread 09-27-2007, 05:37 PM   #10
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Dressing out at 200# would mean the boar was 275 live. That would be a fairly old boar and though to cook. Good luck if your friends insist on the beast.
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Unread 09-27-2007, 08:37 PM   #11
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The biggest concern with boars is the way they smell as you are cleaning them. If they smell cleaner than a deer then it will be great meat. I will choose wild hog over venison most of the time. We shot 5 boars this last year hunting and ended up with only 3 of em which did not have tainted meat.

If its a good boar then you'll need to skin the critter and rub the crap out of it and enjoy!
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Unread 10-01-2007, 04:05 PM   #12
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Well, they did it - they shot a boar weighing between 175 and 200 lbs. How long should I plan on cooking this beast?
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Unread 10-02-2007, 12:21 AM   #13
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A rough dressed weight would be 144#. We usually smoke a 90# for about 18 hrs@ 250*. That is about 1 hr/5# or 29 hours. You should be able to raise the temp to decease the cook time.
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