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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 10-28-2009, 02:53 PM   #1
Fat Woody
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Default Tips for 1st Hog?

Greetings Brethren! I'm fielding suggestions, well wishes, good karma and free advice for smoking my first (half) hog this Friday. Dressed weight expected to be around 190-200 making my half about 100 LBS. I'm having the butcher split the half into quarters (2 pieces) so I can manhandle them, but I don't want to move the meat after it's on the smoker unless it's absolutely necessary. So here's the big question: Skin side up or down? I'm sure there are two equally divided camps on this, as with most things Q-related, so I'm looking for some input as to why one way would be preferred to the other.

The cooker is a trailer mounted beast with an offset FB and could probably fit 2.5 whole hogs of this size, so no worries there. Planning to start early AM with a target time of 6:00 PM for the finished product, including an hour rest (for the pork!). Best guess is 12-14 hours at approx. 250* with BIG cooler ready if needed to hold.

Thanks in advance for any helpful posts or letting me know if I'm way off on my timing! Will post pix along the way as practical.
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Old 10-28-2009, 03:28 PM   #2
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We put a whole hog on a rotisserie on the 4th of July. About that size, probably warmer cooking temps and it took about 6 hours. But smoked I would think 10 hours plus rest time. But that’s just a guess. Good luck!!
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Old 10-28-2009, 03:55 PM   #3
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skin side up or down? I use the skin as a sort of bowl to hold the juices in the meat (at least with a whole hog) so I suppose I would tend towards skin side down. The fact that the hog will be quartered will change some of the impact put I assume that the same effect will happen. I cook a 90 lb hog in 5-6 hours at 350* - doesn't help with your own time to temp ratio but I figured I'd add that to the mix FWIW.
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Old 10-28-2009, 04:39 PM   #4
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We wrap ours in wire fencing (not galv.) and start skin up. Then skin down. The wire makes it easy to turn. A trick I learned from a guy in N.C. Just my two cents.
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Old 10-28-2009, 06:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garyclaw View Post
We wrap ours in wire fencing (not galv.) and start skin up. Then skin down. The wire makes it easy to turn. A trick I learned from a guy in N.C. Just my two cents.
If the hog is quartered I don't think you need to mess with wire
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Old 10-28-2009, 06:11 PM   #6
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We use wire fence sometimes with a whole hog, 4 men to flip. For a half around 100, 2 men could flip without the wire. If there is a way to turn the hog, we like to start face down and flip after 3 - 4 hours.

Good luck.
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Old 10-28-2009, 09:12 PM   #7
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I've got no advice but I'm wishing you the best of luck!
And if you've got any leftovers........
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Old 11-02-2009, 01:50 PM   #8
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Default Update w/PRON

I wanted to update my thread with some pix and let ya'll know how we fared with our Halloween Hog roast; thanks to all of you who sent suggestions! Friday here in the KC metro was WINDY (30 MPH+) and cool, making fire control a little dicey. I hopped outta bed at 3:45 and quietly started 20 LBS of charcoal in "Old Ironsides". Piggy went in at 5:00, along with some oak and pecan, and we started cooking @ 300*. I had planned to flip the two halves after 4 hours, but when I grabbed the leg, it was already too tender to manage alone, so I ended up going skin side down all the way.

12 hours later with an internal of 170* at the ham (was hoping to go 180-185), we took her off to rest. Time for a cigar! An hour later some reinforcements showed up and we pulled pork. Then a quick change into my Halloween costume - Father Fumidous from Our Lady of the Holy Smoke - and we delivered approx. 30 LBS of cooked pig (keeping some for ourselves) for our partying hosts and friends. It made for a long day and I'd personally like to thank the creators of 5 Hour Energy drink for allowing me to make it to midnight before we headed back home, absolutely whipped!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg petunia.jpg (47.0 KB, 143 views)
File Type: jpg pigfri03b.jpg (50.0 KB, 143 views)
File Type: jpg oldironsides_b.jpg (64.9 KB, 144 views)
File Type: jpg fripig01b.jpg (79.7 KB, 145 views)
File Type: jpg victorysmoke_b.jpg (40.8 KB, 144 views)
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Old 11-02-2009, 04:34 PM   #9
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Father Fumidous? Love it!

Congrats on the cook. I would have probably been chain-smoking cigars all day watching the pit. ;)
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Old 11-02-2009, 05:23 PM   #10
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Congratsz and thanks for the story!
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Old 11-02-2009, 05:34 PM   #11
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Congratulations! Looks pretty good. Hope you enjoyed the cook. I'll bet you'll get a few requests to cook now.
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Old 11-02-2009, 08:07 PM   #12
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Good looking pork! Like the cigar pic too.
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Old 11-02-2009, 08:35 PM   #13
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Good job on the half piggy! I see what you mean about having enough room.
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Old 11-03-2009, 07:55 AM   #14
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Awesome! I live in central MO and we did half a hog also. The wind was insane! Fire control was work and a lot of it! Glad it turned out great and cool pics also!

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