[USA] Cooking An Entire Hog

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[USA] Cooking An Entire Hog

Post by Chuckwagon » Thu Jul 12, 2012 13:44

"Hole-In-The-Wall Whole Hog"
(Barbecued Whole Hog)

I don`t know if Butch Cassidy ever roasted a pig on his barbeque spit at Hole-In-The-Wall... but he should have! Have you ever been asked to cook for a very large party? Most folks freak out and decline if the guest list gets to be much more than a couple of dozen folks. If a little "Saddlebum Savvy" is applied, it actually isn`t that tough at all but an entire hog gets to be a bit pricey if just one cowboy if footing the bill. But what about fundraisers and organizational get-togethers where a company might foot the bill or one where participants could all pitch in and help with the expenses? Why not barbecue an entire hog? It really isn`t that difficult if you have a spit and a pit. Shucks pards, here`s how ol` Butch and Sundance would have cooked the dang thing!

Barbecuing a whole hog somehow seems to be the total assessment of a confident chef`s mettle, although I`ve seen beginning grill jockeys arm themselves with a little "know how" and just "smoke away" a few self-proclaimed pros. Lands sakes owl hoots, you may very well be the world`s next best swine-smokin` specialist. Tackle the job of barbecuing an entire hog, and you`ll gain everyone`s respect.

How much Pork?

A hog is a pig over 120 lbs. The dressed carcass of a hog (with the head on) provides about 40% edible meat. In other words, a dressed, hundred pound hog will yield about 40 pounds of great tasting pork. A hog having a dressed weight of 150 pounds will give you about 60 pounds of meat, while a 200 pounder will provide about 80 pounds of meat for your party. A wise cook plans on at least a pound of meat per person.

Planning Ahead

This is one project you don`t wish to be left scratchin` your head thinking about what must be done at the last minute. Make a written plan and schedule. Plan to purchase all your spices, briquettes, smoking wood, utensils, sauces, and anything else you will need. Arrange for special items such as a large serving table with fresh butcher paper taped to the top. What about grill gloves, a couple of towels, thermometers, extra pans, paper towels, and plenty of water? Find a good water spritzer and make sure you`ve got plenty of tinfoil available. You don`t want to be looking for these items at the last minute. Although you might never use one, why not have a fire extinguisher on hand just in case of an emergency. You never know what might take place. Someone could knock over a grill or kids could throw something flammable into the fire. Be ready - not sorry!

Again, plan on cooking at least one pound of meat per person and give your butcher plenty of notice. Tell him you`ve got a party in about two weeks and that you`ll remind him again in another week. Follow through and make sure the butcher has ordered the piggy so it will arrive on time. Don`t take chances with the meat spoiling while you prepare it. If you don`t have access to a cold storage locker, purchase a couple of new plastic garbage cans and fill them full of ice to make a temporary refrigerator. Use any means necessary to keep the temperature of the meat between 35 and 38 degrees F. (1.7 to 3.3 degrees C) up until the time you begin cooking.

Make A Butt Rub

Rub porky inside and out with plenty of "Butch Cassidy`s Butt Rub". I like a little vegetable oil with plenty of freshly crushed garlic and black pepper added to the recipe for this type of barbecue cooking. Simply rub the mixture into the fresh meat before it starts to cook.

"Butch Cassidy`s Butt Rub"
1-1/2 tblspns. freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 tblspns. lemon pepper
1 tblspn. cayenne pepper
1 tblspn. dried basil
1 tblspn. garlic powder
1 tblspn. onion powder
1 tspn. dried parsley
2 tspns. paprika
1/2 tspn. salt

How much heat?

A whole hog is best cooked "low and slow" at about 225°F. (107°C.) for several hours. Leave the head on the carcass and plan to cook one hour for every 5 to 6 pounds of pork inside a constant 225°F. (107 °C.) smoker or fire pit. At least three hours of that time should be with your favorite smoke permeating the pork. Turn the meat at intervals to ensure even cooking. The meat is done when the deepest part of the thigh registers 190° F. (88°C.). Make sure the thermometer does not touch a bone and don`t be tempted to rush the process by increasing the heat. Be patient. If you need a reference, think about this: A smaller hog may be cooked at 225° F. (107 °C.) for only about eight hours to achieve the ideal serving (internal meat temperature) of 190° F. (88°C.) while a porker weighing about a hundred pounds requires up to sixteen hours slow cooking at 225° F. (107 °C.). A larger piggy needs eighteen hours or more to reach that same ideal serving temperature (an internal meat temperature of 190° F.).

Mopping Sauce

"Ma`s Monument Valley Magic Mop" is not some sort of Harley-Davidson cleaning utensil; rather it is an ideal liquid for mopping an entire slow cookin` hog, lamb, or steer, preventing the meat from becoming too dry as it cooks. This sauce actually has its origin in Cuba long ago, where folks often buried a hog to cook it at Christmas time. I have no idea how my aunt came to acquire it... I`m just happy that she did. Note the lack of sugars in the recipe, which would char before the meat cooks.

" Ma`s Monument Valley Magic Mop"
(Whole Hog Mopping Sauce)

2 entire heads of garlic
1/2 gallon cider vinegar
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup lemon or lime juice
1 tspn. kosher salt
1 tspn. freshly ground black pepper
2 tspns. dried oregano
1 tspn. dried basil
3 sprigs rosemary

Okay pards, do you remember how to make vinaigrette? The recipe calls for three parts of oil to one part of vinegar. This recipe contains just the opposite - three parts of vinegar to one part oil. Remember to add sugar-based sauces only at the end of cooking. Right now, porky needs a thin, permeating, garlic flavored product to penetrate and flavor the meat as it slowly barbecue-bakes.

First, crush and mince all the garlic. Heat the olive oil and the apple cider over medium heat in a saucepan and braise-cook the rosemary and garlic until the garlic slightly browns, being careful not to burn it. Remove the rosemary sprigs, and add the remaining ingredients, lowering the heat to simmer the mixture for a couple of minutes only. Allow the sauce to cool and steep for an hour before brushing it onto the barbecuing hog. (Whenever barbecuing an entire lamb, remember to mix in a bit more rosemary with lemon). Mop the entire carcass every twenty minutes or so, slowly turning it on a spit, barbecuing over slow embers of only 225°F. (107°C.) coals of hickory or oak.

Worth Considering

Do-it-yourselfers often fashion first-rate grill-smoker barbecue pits large enough to accommodate a 75-pound animal, by cutting in half, (lengthwise), a common 55-gallon clean barrel drum. Expanded metal is used for a grill, placing hot briquettes upon smaller expanded metal grates (air must get to the coals) inside the bottom. If you have a four-burner gas grill, you may handle a smaller piggy (40-50 lbs.) with ease.

Use indirect heat and remember to cook only with hot, glowing, coals - never over an open flame. Keep the temperature constant as possible at 225°F. Use dampened hickory or another suitable hardwood for smoke smudge and don`t forget to find a nice large red apple to place in porky`s mouth when he is served. When you suspect the meat is nearly cooked, start taking porky`s temperature regularly or use a probe-type thermometer with an alarm. Again, the hog is done when the deepest part of the thigh registers 190° F. (88°C.). When the piggy has cooked and flakes with a fork, brush on plenty of "Robber`s Roost Rust" before serving. (BBQ sauce in Utah, does NOT go on meat as it cooks and we usually hang anyone who burns and blackens good barbecue sauce on perfectly good meat; Oh, of course... they get a fair trial first, but then the guilty meadow-muffin munchin` mutton head is lynched on the spot! Robber`s Roost Rust is served hot, separately at the table. Be sure not to confuse mopping sauce with BBQ sauce.

Barbecue Sauce
(Yee Haw!)

" Robber`s Roost Rust"
Utah Barbecue Sauce

4 cups ketchup
1 bottle (10 oz.) A.1. Steak Sauce™
2 bottles (10 oz. each) Heinz 57 Sauce™
1/2 cup Worcestershire Sauce
1 cup white vinegar (more or less to taste)
2 cups apple cider
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup molasses
4 Tblspns. "Frank`s Hot Sauce™"
4 Tblspns. liquid smoke
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon mustard powder

Directions: Uh... sorry about the "yee haw"... I just couldn't resist. Combine all the ingredients in a large non-reactive Dutch oven and simmer the sauce over medium heat for half an hour stirring it frequently. Taste the sauce and correct the flavors. Stir the mixture slowly and often as it continues to cook to develop flavors. As the mixture reduces, add a little more vinegar if desired, a little at a time, until it suits your taste. Continue to simmer two more hours until the mixture reduces and thickens. Adjust the vinegar (or sugar) to taste. The best way to serve "Robber`s Roost Rust" is piping hot in small bowls at the table. If using this sauce with ribs, be sure to serve an unlimited supply of moistened finger towels. Cool leftover sauce and pour it into jars, then cover and refrigerate them. This sauce will keep several weeks when refrigerated.

Best Wishes,
Last edited by Chuckwagon on Thu Aug 09, 2012 07:43, edited 1 time in total.
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it probably needs more time on the grill! :D
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Post by redzed » Thu Jul 12, 2012 17:28

Thanks for the detailed guide and recipes CW Sure could have used it when we did one about 15 years ago. But "A wise cook plans on at least a pound of meat per person"?
Your friends must all "supersize" their portions!
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Post by w1sby » Fri Jul 13, 2012 17:08

CW you may have just tipped the scales toward tying a whole hog for the next "Great Wisbey Get-Together" (heretofore known as "Wisbey's Burn the Burger Night").

You make it sound easy and I like the rub and mop recipes. (The sauce I would have to try, I don't like overly sweet BBQ sauce. In fact, I despise KC Masterpiece and that is the prevailing type in these parts).

I think it's doable. I think I can, I think I can :razz:

73 de Allen, W1SBY
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Post by Big Guy » Fri Jul 13, 2012 18:18

I wish you had posted this last week. I dida 184# hog, cooked it at 250 for 19 hrs, turned out great, never thought of the vinegar bases basting that would have added extra flavour. at the start I injected it with a sugar, salt water apple juice garlic mix and spritzed with apple juice near the end. :mrgreen:
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Post by DLFL » Fri Jul 13, 2012 20:34

When but a youngin' a guy would always show up in front of the American Legion when a parade was going on. He would roast a whole beef minus head over charcoals. This was shredded and sold in BBQ sandwiches. I always wanted a steak cut from this but it never happened.

Never quit learning!
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