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A bit off topic but wanted to share my experience cooking a whole hog for my son's high school graduation party.  Was a fun and interesting experience, a lot of work getting ready and cleaning up, cooking the pig was pretty relaxing.  Cooked it for about 7 hours on a propane cooker.  Hams and shoulders got up to about 170-175, was aiming for 180 but ran out of time.  Some observations:

  • Ribs and loins were done well before the hams and shoulder.  This means they got overcooked waiting for the rest of the pig to finish.
  • You can mitigate this by using a charcoal cooker and controlling where the coals are placed (put them in the four corners)
  • Or you can add some meat like brisket flats under the ribs to increase the cook time
  • Overall impression is cooking a whole hog is a nice spectacle for a party but cooking just the shoulders (butts) produces superior BBQ for amateurs like me

IMG_20180615_170815603_HDR.jpg

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I wonder if you could use deflectors to put more heat on the hams on a propane since you can't pile more coals where you want. However this is awesome. Did you part it out afterwards or just shred the whole thing Carolina style?

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12 hours ago, Ogopogo said:

I wonder if you could use deflectors to put more heat on the hams on a propane since you can't pile more coals where you want. However this is awesome. Did you part it out afterwards or just shred the whole thing Carolina style?

 

Chopped it all together Carolina style.  Definitely a different flavor profile because you get all the cuts of meat mixed together, including the succulent pig belly, tenderloins, and some yummy crispy pig skin.  The ribs we cut out and ate like ribs.

 

The meet we chopped and served the majority of guests was pretty good standard chopped Carolina BBQ.  The really good stuff was to be had at the cooker where we pulled off the ribs and bits and pieces of meat that had a lot of the seasoning and mop sauce.  So much goodness.  I've been to several pig pickins and I stand around the cooker and stuff myself silly.  Not sue why others don't do more of this, they tend to just eat what's served on the tables with the other food.

 

Also had a friend there that just loves to cook.  She saw me pulling off all the fat globs to discard so she asked if she could have all the extra fat to cook down and make lard.  I never thought about doing that, but she took all that fat for lard, said she will make homemade refried beans among other things.  Need to check in with her to see how it went!

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4 hours ago, moloch16 said:

The really good stuff was to be had at the cooker where we pulled off the ribs and bits and pieces of meat that had a lot of the seasoning and mop sauce.  So much goodness.  I've been to several pig pickins and I stand around the cooker and stuff myself silly. 

 

The last whole hog cook I went too, I also hung around the smoker. They took the skin off when it was shredded and put it back on the smoker to crisp it up. It was delicious.

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