Author Topic: Whole hog  (Read 14768 times)

Offline Consiglieri

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Whole hog
« on: April 23, 2007, 12:23:39 pm »
A few of us have been trying to figure out how to smoke a whole pig (a small one) in the Bradley and thought it was time to move the discussion to its own thread.  I don't have the admin capabilities to do this, so would appreciate it if someone could move those posts from that spot ( http://forum.bradleysmoker.com/index.php?topic=4901.0;topicseen ) to here.

so far, looks like West Coast Kansan or Lil' Smoker will be the first, to my knowledge, to attempt this project.  A number of challenges have been identified and thought you all would have some great ideas.  Here are some issues that have been brought up:

1.  Carcass Suspension/integrity.  How best to load piggy into the vault.  Seems like carcass will have to be wrapped in something like chicken  wire so that piggy won't pull free, especially as piggy starts falling apart (Mmmmmmm) over time.  Some sort of cage like the sausage rack that used to be on Chez' site would probably help distribute weight throughout the cabinet.  bars or dowels across the top shelf: could this work or would they give.  Depends on the load, I guess.

2.  Heat Distribution:  Piggy won't be on a spit, so have to find a way to make sure heat is applied evenly.  WCK thought the animal should be head down the whole time (where its hotter) with a tshirt over his head to protect features for presentation.  Meat at higher cabinet levels should receive more even temps.  Pig postion will be rotated at intervals.  What about reversing top to bottom?

3.  Mop application:  How to keep piggy moist and seasoned without losing cabinet temp too frequently is another challenge.  Thoughts (a) load up the cavity with something that will release moisture over time, like pineapples marinated in a mop sauce; (b) remove hide after several hours so that mopping need not occur as frequently and will absorb better; (c) use something more viscous like a honey based mop, which will dilute over time with the pig drippings and distribute over the carcass slowly.

4.  Grease control:  Piggy will be chucking off lots of fat.  Thought is to use a big aluminum pan under the smoke plate, with some water inside.  That pan to be swapped out as needed, with the water replaced every four hours at most.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2007, 02:58:12 pm by Consiglieri »
Consiglieri

Offline West Coast Kansan

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Re: Whole hog
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2007, 07:12:11 pm »
Piggy leaves Iowa Tuesday
Piggy go to Mikes Meat Thursday
Piggy get a good cleaning thaw and eyes fixed Thursday
Piggy goes to WCK Friday
Piggy meets Bradley Saturday.

or so the plan goes  :D Never did a pig (of any size) with a light bulb fire before.  ;D  ;D  ;D

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Offline Gizmo

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Re: Whole hog
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2007, 07:30:52 pm »
WCK,
Let me know if you need professional photography, professional videography and production editing (we can make a mini video), or professional food tasting and commentary.  :P  :P  :P
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Offline West Coast Kansan

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Re: Whole hog
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2007, 07:32:34 pm »
Maybe on the next one... there will be more stupidity on this one than i would care to watch or have other see  ;D  ;D  ;D

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Offline Gizmo

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Re: Whole hog
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2007, 08:35:13 pm »
WCK,
So is the plan to do a brine on the oinker before smoking to increase moisture content?  Noticed some suggestions in the previous thread about stuffing the cavity (with apples or pineapple) to increase moisture. 
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Offline LilSmoker

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Re: Whole hog
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2007, 02:14:20 am »
I've just been to visit the farm shop, they have a very impressive stock of free range meat, but unfortunately don't do lil'pigs ::), but will be a nice supplier for meat in the future.

I have contacted another supplier who says he can get pigs around 6 kilos (13.2lbs) for £100, but processing orders can take while ::) and i'm thinking £100 is expensive for an experiment. So i'm still looking around, thing is my gathering isn't for a few weeks yet, but i'd like to make sure it's right so an experiment is the way to go i think?

Anyway better get me a lil'hog first, some more thoughts on the cook, to get the rind/skin crispy it might have to be finished in the oven, otherwise i think if it were in the BS for so long, it may fall apart if put on a spit?

What internal temp is another critical thing?, i was thinking of something like butt/shoulder 185-190f ?
Trouble is though at those temps it would be very fragile, so personaly i'd rather have the meat just right, and wouldn't worry too much about the skin being crispy enough?  ;)



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Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Whole hog
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2007, 03:48:30 am »
Have you giving any thought to using meat netting to hold the carcass together?
http://www.sausagemaker.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=41

When you suspend it, maybe use some swivel hardware so that at least you can rotate the pig from front to back.

I just made a sausage hanger from 1" x 4" red oak and 1.25" hardwood dowels. The 1 x 4 board is really 3/4" x 3.5". The 3/4" makes it just the right thickness to fit on the shelf rails, and the 3.5" allows you to raise the the height of the rods to maximize the full capacity of the cabinet. Because the weight of the sausage is not all that much, I just used screws to attach the dowels, but if you counter sink the dowels into the board that should give it plenty of strength.  I have the original, so the boards were cut to 11 inch lengths, and the dowels were cut to 13 1/8 inch, but to counter sink the dowel you would need to add another 1.5 inches to the length. I cut the boards to a length of 11 inches, because my back cabinet wall is warped in places so the 11 inch length gave me some room to play with.

The grease control looks good.

Good luck with the project.


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Offline West Coast Kansan

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Re: Whole hog
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2007, 06:42:20 pm »
Rick, was just going to inject like a real pig, want to leave the little guy open for smoke / heat to the extent possible.  ;D

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Offline Gizmo

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Re: Whole hog
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2007, 08:49:52 pm »
That sounds good.  Might want to use a little stick to keep the cavity propped open.

Habs, the netting looks good.  The only thing is I can't get the picture of a little pig dressed in a night shirt (Olds style).  Photo Opportunity.  The netting may look toooooooo professional. LOL

Lil, I personnaly wouldn't care much about the rind/skin getting crispy.  I would be more concerned with just getting the meat right and tasty.  Could always throw the skin on the grill to see if that would help.   
« Last Edit: April 24, 2007, 08:52:31 pm by Gizmo »
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Offline Consiglieri

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Re: Whole hog
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2007, 09:40:38 pm »
I like the idea of a swivel, but wonder if piggy will swing around if one side is heavier.  Maybe a tether might be helpful too.  How will you suspend the pig/distribute the carcass weight?

WCK: you mention "light bulb cooking."  Do you know how much Porky is goin to weigh?  If a 14lb butt takes close to 24 hours, I'm thinking Porky will take quite a bit more, particularly with mopping.  Given the lesser heat source, I think an open cavity is a good idea.  Have you come up with any ideas for a "closed cabinet" method for basting?  Good idea re: injection.
 

I'm wishing you the best from up north and wish I could be there to watch.  Win, lose or draw, I'd appreciate seeing photos for the learning experience.  All in all, I'm betting on a good show.
 ;D
Consiglieri

Offline Gizmo

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Re: Whole hog
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2007, 09:51:16 pm »
Consiglieri "closed cabinet method for basting, injection",
I am thinking  a local Super Shop  :D might have a ZEX™ Perimeter Plate that employs multiple injection points to ensure that a perfectly atomized, cylinder-to-cylinder balanced blend of liquid and spice.  It uses Cryo-Sync™ technology to ensure perfect flows through a set of internal plate passeages before entering the carcas.
Now there's gotta be a motor head out there to figure out how to hook it into the Bradley.  ;D  ;D
 
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Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Whole hog
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2007, 04:26:23 am »
I like the idea of a swivel, but wonder if piggy will swing around if one side is heavier.  Maybe a tether might be helpful too.  How will you suspend the pig/distribute the carcass weight?

WCK: you mention "light bulb cooking."  Do you know how much Porky is goin to weigh?  If a 14lb butt takes close to 24 hours, I'm thinking Porky will take quite a bit more, particularly with mopping.  Given the lesser heat source, I think an open cavity is a good idea.  Have you come up with any ideas for a "closed cabinet" method for basting?  Good idea re: injection.
 

I'm wishing you the best from up north and wish I could be there to watch.  Win, lose or draw, I'd appreciate seeing photos for the learning experience.  All in all, I'm betting on a good show.
 ;D


If the cabinet is level, the hog should stay in the position you place it in. Just another thought, if you use Old's T-shirt method, you could probably slowly funnel the basting sauce through the vent until the T-shirt is dampened. Instead of  a T-shirt, you can go to a fabric shop or maybe Wal-Mart and buy jersey fabric; I think that is what you call the fabric you make T-shirts out of, in the size you want to wrap the pig in.


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Offline West Coast Kansan

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Re: Whole hog
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2007, 07:56:31 pm »
 :D I pledge to screw this up in every manner possible and post the results for all not to duplicate. Do appreciate the thoughts and ideas  :) I have been thinking about a piggy ladder. Kind of like you would use to strap your pig to when roasting in a ground pit so you can flip him / her over.  ???  Not too worried about the time 10-12 pounds is just that -(hopefully that is what Mike will deliver)- otherwise  >:( Because it will be little tiny sholders, tiny butts,tiny loin and hams.  Cook times and temps should be just like always. Most of the middle will be tower temp - should keep an  ;) on it however. 

If the piggy ladder wont work will go with plan b and netting or maybe something else  ??? Once I have him on the counter the engineering can begin -  8)

Lots of opportunity for dont do this or this or this or this in the final posting.  :D  :D  :D  :'(

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Offline Consiglieri

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Re: Whole hog
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2007, 04:46:21 pm »
I've heard of a "pig cage" method: butterflying a hog, flattening out the carcass, and sandwiching it in between cyclone fencing and then stringing poles on left and right so that the pig can be flipped while cooking over a pit.

don't know the "ladder method," but it sounds interesting and very similar to the cage. 

Good luck.  I'm so flipping jealous that I'm going to see how many racks of ribs I can fit into the dbs this weekend.  Well, that's what I want to do.  I'll probably just do 6-8 racks of babybacks.

Wish you had NePa's webcam, WCK.  I'll be saluting you with a cold one this weekend.  Good luck.

Gizmo: If Supershop sold basting mechanisms like you describe, I bet that more than half of us would have purchased one by now  ;D (particularly if it came with a bar fridge that matches the stainless bradley).
Consiglieri

Offline West Coast Kansan

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Re: Whole hog
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2007, 04:50:24 pm »
 ;D Should be fun ;)

Yea, cage and ladder are the same i guess. Never heard cage before. In Kansas were kinda visual. Pig looks like he is climbing a ladder. Also works great for mop etc cuz of easy access to all parts. Was a good thought but did not work out...
« Last Edit: April 28, 2007, 08:40:06 pm by West Coast Kansan »

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