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View Full Version : Roasting a pig - Help for a newbie


rholly83177
05-17-2013, 07:49 AM
Hi All,
So I am planning on roasting a pig and would like to do a pit style roast with the pig splayed out on expanded grate. I know that I cannot use pine to smoke or bbq, but up here in Montana, that is about all we have. I may have access to a bit of scrap hardwood from a local lumber company (oak, hickory, walnut, cherry). I am wondering how much of this scrap I may need to roast a 100lb pig. I want to do a slow roast at temps b/w 250 and 300F. Also, would it be a problem if I burnt a bunch of pine first to give my self 6" or so of a coal bed. Of course it would be burned to white, so hopefully it wouldn't give off any of the piney taste expected with pine.

Thanks in advance, and thanks for allowing me to join your forum. I look forward to learning a lot.

Ryan

Tiger fan
05-17-2013, 08:06 AM
Never use any pine for cooking. Be careful with wood from a lumber yard. Even untreated wood is sprayed with pesticides etc.
How about a bed of charcoal and use chunks of hardwood available at hardware stores for flavor. Good luck.

rholly83177
05-17-2013, 08:13 AM
What about cottonwood? I know it is a softer hardwood, but I do have access to that. Montana has just about everything to offer up here, but the one thing I miss is a good hardwood.

Tiger fan
05-17-2013, 08:30 AM
COTTONWOOD - It is a softer wood than alder and very subtle in flavor. Use it for fuel but use some chunks of other woods (hickory, oak, pecan) for more flavor. Don't use cottonwood for smoking.

SmokinJohn
05-17-2013, 09:17 AM
There has to be a home depot or lowes near you. Get some smoking wood from there.

If not, check out realmontanacharcoal.net

rholly83177
05-17-2013, 09:47 AM
There has to be a home depot or lowes near you. Get some smoking wood from there.

If not, check out realmontanacharcoal.net

I had no idea that place existed. Thanks. Is there a recommendation on how much hardwood would be needed to slow roast a 100lbs pig?

Bearsmokes
05-17-2013, 10:00 AM
Give Bridger Feeds a call, (406) 586-3026, looks like they are a distributor and might have it in stock.

rholly83177
05-17-2013, 11:29 AM
No go on Bridger feeds, but I am sure I can find something at HD or Lowes. I am trying to do this part on the cheap, but may not happen. Does anyone know how many pounds of lump coal or chunk hardwood I would need to do this pig? I have never smoked or slow roasted anything like this before, and my buddy uses a tragger with pellets, so don't know from that. I figure I could burn down a 1/4 of a cord of cottonwood to give myself a nice hot base, and to heat up the pit and what not before I throw the pig on, and then just add hardwoods as needed.

Any recommendations on burning the hardwoods outside of the pit and only added once charred to reduce flare up?

Sorry for all the questions, but want to do this right, and as a noob I need all your help.

Thanks again,
Ryan

cowgirl
05-17-2013, 11:52 AM
I'm not sure what kind of pit you are using. Is it enclosed?
I place hot coals under the hams and shoulders...not the mid section.
For a pig that size on my block pit takes about 30lb of charcoal. Lump will burn faster and hotter so I'd plan on getting extra. You can always use it later.

As for cottonwood. I've used it before. It works but burns fast and doesn't give you a good bed of hot coals like hardwood.

Good luck with it!

rholly83177
05-17-2013, 12:17 PM
I'm not sure what kind of pit you are using. Is it enclosed?
I place hot coals under the hams and shoulders...not the mid section.
For a pig that size on my block pit takes about 30lb of charcoal. Lump will burn faster and hotter so I'd plan on getting extra. You can always use it later.

As for cottonwood. I've used it before. It works but burns fast and doesn't give you a good bed of hot coals like hardwood.

Good luck with it!

I am planning on using an enclosed pit (similar to what you have online). Thanks for the advice. I'm going to need it.

cowgirl
05-17-2013, 12:21 PM
I am planning on using an enclosed pit (similar to what you have online). Thanks for the advice. I'm going to need it.

You're welcome! I forgot to add... It does work out great to burn the wood in a separate pit and just shovel the hot coals under the hams and shoulders when needed. Try to keep the pit covered as much as possible. Removing or taking the lid off often really loses heat and slows down the cook time.

Hope you have great luck with it!

rholly83177
05-17-2013, 05:15 PM
Thanks for the help everyone. I think what I am going to do is go with briquettes for now, as I am so knew at all of this and they seem to maintain the best heat. So my question not is:

Can I just add new coals every hour or whenever the temp gets below 225-250 directly to the enclosed pit on the ends, or should I burn them down outside of the pit. I would assume it wouldn't be a problem to add them directly to the pit as I don't think there would be nearly the flare up that would be seen with wood.

If I want some smoke to it, but not to heavy, do I just add some hickory chunks to the coals? Should I burn them down some? Should I soak the chunks/chips?

Again sorry for all the noob questions.

captndan
05-18-2013, 07:34 AM
Cottonwood, pine, and soaking the chips NO NADA NYET. I would not bother pre burning the briquettes. Then next time get some used pallets they are usually oak. Usually free. Cut them up and make your own lump. Safe simple and pure.