Went to Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ this weekend in Charlotte. One of the highlights was the lecture on whole hog barbecue, hosted by Jim Early, founder of http://www.ncbbqsociety.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;, and Bill Eason, one of America’s great whole hog cookers. Bill cooked and brought a pig for us to try. Took about 16-18 hours with a fire near 225 to get the shoulder to about 190 degrees. No spices, no brines, just salt, good wood and charcoal.
Without a doubt, the best pork I’ve ever eaten. A link the the barbecue trail, and a pic…
Wow, great looking pig! i’ve only had whole hog one other time, and now seeing these pigs, I know that first one wasn’t done right. It was black char, and underneath was good pork, but the guy this weekend said that meant they didn’t slow cook the pig that first time. This was super good. I had a piece with vinegar sauce, and a piece plain. Though I love vinegar sauce, this meat was super delicious on its own.
One of the advantages of my pellet smoker/grill (a Traeger Executive) is that it’s big enough to do a whole hog, and with the electric feeder, a lot easier than by wood chunks. But I’ve never had the right event to do one. Some day, I guess.
I am thinking of cooking a 100lber in a couple of weeks. I have the option to have the butcher shop cook the hog, but thats not nearly as fun. I BBQ quite a bit, but nothing like this so is this a dumb idea and imminent party fail? If not a couple of questions.
I have a very large tubular shaped grill (as in tow behind the truck large). How do I arrange the hog inside so that the heat is indirect (I assume) and consistent across the meat? Or am I going to have to rotate this thing several times? I am planning on about 10-12 hours to get it up to 180, cooked meat side down for all but the last 2 hours or so?
If I use hickory is there anything I need to do to it first. As in dry it out, soak it, etc.
In late August, on drive to Atlanta (where our son started college), we looked forward to NC whole hog barbecue. Based on , I think, some TV shows, we set our sights on The Pit in Raleigh. When we got there, we thought we were in the wrong place. They seated us near the glass-walled winecellar, with the magnum of DRC featured prominently. It turned out to be the “right”, ie., the place on those shows, and the pig was really god. HOwever, the atmosphere almost ruined it. We were expected “down home”, not DRC.
Went to a local whole hog roast for Oktoberfest this past weekend. Not really BBQ though, but good. And, went to a Phillipino whole hog roast graduation party in June…less impressed, as the pig was cooked dry, except for the apple in its mouth.
Great concept. Doubt I’d try to do one myself ever, though.