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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 03-20-2012, 09:30 AM   #1
twinsfan
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Default Alright I need some Swine Help

It's been a long time since I've been on here, been busy. Just got back from eight days in the Carolinas (touring colleges) and tried some fantastic barbecue wherever I could, loved Allen & Son in Chapel Hill and Luella's in Asheville. Fell in love with UNC-Chapel Hill while there. loved the school!

Anyway, I've got my father's birthday coming up in a month and a half, and we've always done something small with only a couple family members. This time our family is thinking about doing something a little bigger, 20-25 people. And I immediately thought of doing a suckling pig as I've been wanting to do a whole hog recently. I have little clue about whole hogs and I'd really appreciate if you could answer any of my questions.

1. How big of a pig should I buy (and have some leftovers ) I was arbitrarily thinking of a 40 or 45 pound pig but I have no clue.

2. Where do you find a pig of that size up north? Our local butcher doesn't know the difference between back and spare ribs so I doubt he'd be much of help.

3. What's the average price for a whole hog (like per pound)? Just trying to factor out the cost of the party.

4. What do I cook such a thing on? The Caja Chinas seem like a little too expensive for a one time shot. Do I buy a COS? Dig a pit in the ground?

Although shoulders are easier, I'd love to do a whole pig, you know, it looks much more impressive. Now I need to try to convince the family we don't need to hire a professional to cook us a 125 pound hog


Any guides or answers would be very much appreciated! Thanks again
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Old 03-20-2012, 06:38 PM   #2
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20 to 25 people will call for a much smaller hog than 125 pounds. I'm thinking something around 40 to 50 pounds cleaned weight should do it. Good luck.
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Old 03-20-2012, 07:21 PM   #3
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This is bigger than what your looking for but one of these pigs might do. Either way, lots of great tips here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6w3AVSNzxT4
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Old 03-20-2012, 07:30 PM   #4
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Here is a suckling pig done on a 22" WSM:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSJv_0Liy90
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:31 AM   #5
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I admire your courage and enthusiam.
But, many of us do not try something "new" when our product is the centerpeice of a family or friends gathering.
Especially something as different as a whole hog cook
I have helped (and I emphasise HELP) cook a couple of whole hogs and there is a definite learning curve to get it right.
Even now, something I would not attempt on my own.

Jimmy Brod did a piglet cook and posted a great thread with pics here:

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=21673

Also, some great presentation ideas in his thread.

You might want to consider a small suckling piglet that will fit your existing cooker and do it primarily for "decor".
Have good ole butt or two pre-cooked and panned up for the bulk of the actual meat serving. Maybe some ribs also.
You could even pre-cook the butts and reheat while cooking the piggie for the crowd.

Just a thought while you learn to cook the whole thing well enough to depend on the results.

TIM
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:39 AM   #6
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I did a whole hog for my son's graduation some years ago. Very steep learning curve and would caution that it's tougher to do than I ever thought. Of course I didn't have the Brethren to fall back on for experience so I do think it's doable with some serious planning.

Good luck!
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:51 AM   #7
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Thanks! It's just a consideration. I got almost two months to plan so I thought I'd ask earlier vs. later. I'll talk it over with family and see what we are gonna do. thanks guys!
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Old 03-21-2012, 08:14 PM   #8
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If you're interesting in an underground pit, here's some pics of mine...you can dig them by hand but it takes awhile.
http://cowgirlscountry.blogspot.com/...derground.html

The cinderblock is really easy to use too.

http://cowgirlscountry.blogspot.com/...ck-pit_19.html

The block pit is inexpensive and can be moved or taken down when you are through too.

I like both methods but the block pit is a lot less work.
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Old 03-21-2012, 08:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Kapn View Post
I admire your courage and enthusiam.
But, many of us do not try something "new" when our product is the centerpeice of a family or friends gathering.
Especially something as different as a whole hog cook
I have helped (and I emphasise HELP) cook a couple of whole hogs and there is a definite learning curve to get it right.
Even now, something I would not attempt on my own.

Jimmy Brod did a piglet cook and posted a great thread with pics here:

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=21673

Also, some great presentation ideas in his thread.


You might want to consider a small suckling piglet that will fit your existing cooker and do it primarily for "decor".
Have good ole butt or two pre-cooked and panned up for the bulk of the actual meat serving. Maybe some ribs also.
You could even pre-cook the butts and reheat while cooking the piggie for the crowd.

Just a thought while you learn to cook the whole thing well enough to depend on the results.

TIM

EXCELLENT ADVICE!!!
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