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Simulated whole-hog

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    Simulated whole-hog

    I did a search on the site to see if this has been discussed before and I didn't turn up anything specifically. Please forgive me if I missed an old discussion on this topic.

    I have a 48 inch offset that is supposed to be able to smoke a whole hog up to 70 lbs. I've read up on the matter and I'm really interested in doing a whole hog sometime. I've had whole hog BBQ and I agree that it's the gold standard when it comes to pork BBQ.

    But yesterday I was in the grocery store and the thought came to me about what if I just purchased most of the pieces that are in a whole hog and smoked them individually? That gets around the problem of different parts of the pig cooking at different rates and makes life a lot simpler not dealing with one 70 lb hog.

    I was thinking that I would buy a pork shoulder, pork belly, loin, tenderloin, ham, spare ribs, and any other "parts" I could get. I would probably simulate half of a whole hog. I'd give each piece the love they would get when I cook them individually, and I could pull each part off of the smoker as it reaches its finished temp. Then I would pull/chop everything, mix it, and offer a Carolina style sauce on the side.

    What I want to know is, if you have tried this, what did you think?

    There probably is something to keeping the skin on in terms of moisture retention and fat insulation with whole hog that I'd be missing with smoking individual pieces, but the question would be can I pull all those pieces, combine them, and it turn out as a good approximation of whole hog? Or maybe it the end result isn't as good as if all those pieces are cooked together on the carcass?

    I'm thinking someone has tried this and I would appreciate any input on the matter.

    Brian

    #2
    it would work but I'd add a picnic to the list so you have some skin to add in as cracklins unless you get a good slab of belly with a sheet of skin on it, but more crunch mixed in the final product seems to be the standard for whole hog plates around here anyway.

    Comment


    • mrteddyprincess
      mrteddyprincess commented
      Editing a comment
      Excellent suggestion. Thank you!

    #3
    In my experience moisture retention is best achieved by cooking ribeye or similar chunks of meat to medium-rare. Everything else that goes higher or much longer (SV) that is leaner gets drier just based on principle.

    Comment


      #4
      Normally with whole (or half-) hog everything is cooking together in the skin, which I think is at least part of what helps keep the leaner parts from just becoming dry bleh. I'd worry that doing the separate pieces would lose that and you might wind up with good picnic/shoulder/belly/ham and not so good tenderloin, etc. But it might work, and definitely will be interesting to find out!

      Comment


      • mrteddyprincess
        mrteddyprincess commented
        Editing a comment
        Well, what I was thinking is that I can take each part off of the smoker when it's at the optimum finish temp. Thinking out loud, I guess I'd probably put the big stuff on early and continue to add the smaller/more lean pieces later in the cook. I'll be able to stop cooking each piece at the temp I choose. My thinking is that I already know how to make all the parts of a hog tasty. It would just be like smoking multiple parts on the same day.

      #5
      First off define a whole hog. A 70# pig would be a challenge on a 48” offset, I wouldn’t think you had the depth once the hog is splayed out. That said why not consider sourcing a suckling pig? Much smaller but a lot more manageable and you get the whole hog experience.

      Comment


      • mrteddyprincess
        mrteddyprincess commented
        Editing a comment
        Manufacturer made the claim about the 70# hog. I have considered a suckling pig, too. Appreciate your input!!!

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