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need to know temps.

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Post Wed Oct 29, 2003 1:17 pm
first time pig cooker

im cooking a pig this weekend for the first time. im just gettin a 40 pounder for a small gathering and need to know the temp and time for cook. thanks for any help you can give.
ill be cookin it in a charcoal roaster

Post Wed Oct 29, 2003 2:44 pm
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
I've done several of these for celebration events and boy are they alot of work, but it is alot of fun and sure is worth it.

First off: Determine the number of people that you plan to serve. Allow 1 1/2 lbs. of carcass weight per person. This will tell you the amount of pork to purchase. To estimate the cooking time, allow 1 hour per 10 pounds of pork. Ask the butcher to remove the eyes and have the pig ready for roasting when you pick it up. This mean they'll clean it for you. There's nothing worse than a stubbly dinner. Do not exceed 225º F cooking temperature for the first two hours of cooking. After that I still stay under 300. Cook it skin side up for the first 2/3 of the time then flip it over for the remainder. A wire bracket can help this process. An internal temperature of 170º must be reached. Have additional coals started outside the grill, ready to be added as needed, to maintain the proper temperature. As the pig nears doneness, place a meat thermometer, or two of them to be certain, in the center of the "Ham" of the pig, making sure not to rest the thermometer against any bone. When the thermometer registers 165º to 170º, your pig is ready to transfer to the carving area. Let the pig rest for 20 minutes before carving.

Other points of interest:
Use wood chips, you deffinately want to smoke this.
Season well. I like doing my pigs simple Garlic Salt and Pepper, lots of it, inside and out.
As the hog cooks I spray it with cider vinegar, oil, and garlic salt.
Note you can use any other, and there are many, seasoning and spray/mop combinations you want.
I enjoy placing either an apple or and empty beer can in my pigs mouth for asthetic purposes, but then I also name the pigs too.
Toast the hog with your favorite beverage before serving.
Remember the process and the celebration of cooking a whole hog is the fun part.

You should get many many other ideas on this topic, everyone has their own tradition/favorites when it comes to roasting hogs.

Good Luck and Enjoy!
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Post Wed Oct 29, 2003 5:35 pm
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
I almost forgot a very important part:
Make sure your butcher butterflys the hog. That way when you lay it out on the grill it will cook quicker and more evenly and thoroughly.

Your other option is to use a spit. Same principles apply as above.

Let us know what you choose and how you make out.

Good Luck and Enjoy!
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Post Thu Oct 30, 2003 1:01 pm
PaulP well done
well done

Posts: 681
Location: Beautiful St. Mary's County, Maryland
Let me start off with a disclaimer I've never cooked a whole pig.


But... Trichinosis (sp?) has been eliminated in pork. Because today's pigs are much leaner than in years past, they dry out quicker. For that reason, I cook my pork roasts to approx 150 internal. During the resting period, the temperature will rise 5 - 10 degrees. Cooking to 170 degrees seems to be a recipe for dry pork.

PaulP
PaulP
If you don't like the food, have more wine

Post Thu Oct 30, 2003 7:34 pm
dkirn well done
well done

Posts: 388
Location: St. Louis, MO
Well PaulP first of all cooking a whole pig is completely different than a simple pork roast. As far as the internal temp I will always cook to 165-170 degrees and I have never had a dry piece of pork - no matter if I am cooking a whole pig, pork butt, or ribs. There are two secrets to prevent the pork from drying out:

1. Remember as Emeril says "Pork Fat Rules!" Do not trim all the fat off of the piece of pork that you are fixing - if you go to a butcher they will most likely leave some fat on, but if not tell them that you are going to smoke it and they will know what to give you.
2. Mop Sauce - I use a mop sauce (either applied with a barbecue mop or a spray bottle) on everything that I smoke - especially pork. Not only will a mop sauce keep the pork from drying out, but it is also another way to add additional flavor to your meat.

Post Thu Oct 30, 2003 7:40 pm
dkirn well done
well done

Posts: 388
Location: St. Louis, MO
As far as a response to our Guest that is preparing his first whole pig - Understand that the first time that you cook something like this there will be many headaches and frustrations that will arrise. So here are a few suggestions:

1. Practice - Unfortunately since you said that you are going to prepare this for a crowd of people this weekend you will probably not be able to have a practice run for your family.
2. Coctails - Have plenty of your favorite drink on hand to comfort you through the stress.
3. Help - Make sure that you have someone to be your assistant or "runner" for all the little things that you need, but do not have
4. Backup Plan - I know this does not sound like fun, but in my experience if I at least have a backup plan for alternate food it takes a whole lot of the stress and pressure off. And I am happy to say that I have never had to implement "Plan B"

Good luck and let us know how everything goes!

Post Fri Oct 31, 2003 8:36 am
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
dkirn- What type(s) of mop sauce do you use? I'm looking for suggestions aside from my simple standby. I know there are a bunch listed in Steve's books but I'm interested in your reccomendation.
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Post Fri Oct 31, 2003 9:06 am
dkirn well done
well done

Posts: 388
Location: St. Louis, MO
Grand Scale - For ribs and every other type of pork I simply 100% pure apple cider. Make sure that you use pure cider not a made from concentrate or only 10% juice. I also like the Basic Barbecue Mop Sauce on pg 445 of How to Grill

Post Fri Oct 31, 2003 9:12 am
dkirn well done
well done

Posts: 388
Location: St. Louis, MO
Here is another mop sauce that I use:

Basic Beer Mop

- 12 ounces of your favorite beer (this is a man's sport - no light beer here)
- 1/2 Cup of cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup vegetable or olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped or sliced in thin rings
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 tablespoon of the rub that you used on your meat

If you like a little heat you can add fresh jalapeno or serrano chile

Post Fri Oct 31, 2003 9:15 am
dkirn well done
well done

Posts: 388
Location: St. Louis, MO
Sorry I forgot to add that you need to combine all the ingredients and 1/2 cup of water in a saucepan and heat until warm.

Post Fri Oct 31, 2003 9:15 am
dkirn well done
well done

Posts: 388
Location: St. Louis, MO
Here is another mop sauce:

Southern Style Mop

- 2 cups cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons fresh ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon cayenne

Combine ingredients with 1 cup of water in a saucepan and heat until warm.

Post Fri Oct 31, 2003 9:19 am
dkirn well done
well done

Posts: 388
Location: St. Louis, MO
And yet another favorite mop sauce:

Lemon Mop

- 1 1/2 cups of chicken or fish stock
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- 2 teaspoons of your favorite rub

Combine the ingredients in a saucepan and heat until warm.

Post Fri Oct 31, 2003 9:19 am
dkirn well done
well done

Posts: 388
Location: St. Louis, MO
An alternative of the above mop is to substitute tarragon vinegar for the lemon juice and Dijon mustard for the yellow mustard.

Post Fri Oct 31, 2003 9:20 am
dkirn well done
well done

Posts: 388
Location: St. Louis, MO
The above mop is best with chicken, fish or any kind of seafood.

Post Fri Oct 31, 2003 10:07 am
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
Thanks - that beer mop sounds fantastic. And as for the spice all I can say is chili grill...
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