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1st attempt at whole hog this weekend... help?

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    1st attempt at whole hog this weekend... help?

    Hi all, trying my first whole hog cook this weekend and looking for any help I can get!

    I ordered a 45-50 lb hog from http://www.mcreynoldsfarms.com/

    I'll be cooking on my MMS-48 h20 smoker - https://myronmixonsmokers.com/flatracks/mms-48/

    My biggest question is about how to get crispy skin - this was my mother's favorite part when her dad did whole hog BBQ's when she was younger and I'd love to be able to recreate that deliciousness.

    I know that Meathead recommends cooking skin side up for the first part of the cook. I assume a primary reason for this is to get the skin crispy??

    I have read that Myron Mixon does his hogs skin side down for the whole cook so that the skin acts like a bowl holding in the juices of the pig. I am wondering, does anyone have experience with that technique and it's effect on the skin? And also, does anyone have any experience cooking whole hog on a vertical h20 smoker?

    Thanks in advance! I will be sure to post pictures of the cook this weekend.

    Edit - oops! somehow I missed this part in Meathead's whole hog article:

    As much as I like the shiny lacquered look of the competition hogs, the skin is leathery and not really good eats, so I prefer the blistered crackling Cheeto-textured skin that Sam Jones and Jackie Hite get (below with mustard BBQ sauce). It ain't pretty, but my guests love munching on it, and I chop some of it up and sprinkle it on the meat on a sandwich.

    Make sure all the hair has been removed. You can visually inspect the skin and burn off any strays with a butane lighter or shave them off with a disposable razor.

    Now wet the skin thoroughly. Splash it on and wipe it all over. Don't be shy. Soak the skin. Then take table salt and sprinkle it all over generously, about one tablespoon per square foot. You're not oversalting. Much of it will fall off during the rest of the prep and the cooking.

    So now my dumb question is... what are we wetting the skin with? Water?
    Last edited by Don.Ross; August 18, 2015, 04:19 PM.

    This problem with pig roasting could be due to better than average data gathering. I can't imagine why roasters there would be getting lesser pigs to roast. I hope you have a good thermometer.


      Rbar - perhaps that is just an increase in observations not in incidence. Damned if I know. But I do have several good thermometers and I know meathead is a safety freak and gives us lots of good tips so I'm feeling good on that front!


        I don't know what to wet it with... I would guess Apple Juice would be a good one for pork.


          Myron Mixon uses bottled water.


            Hey, thanks guys!

            From meathead's recipe it sounded like he was referring to water, but I wasn't sure b/c I've never heard of doing that..usually it's oil we are coating the exterior of our meat with. If Myron does the same thing that sounds like it's probably the answer. Apple juice and pork of course are a match made in heaven but I was thinking the juice is more for injecting than exterior rubbing.


              Don.Ross .

              That's a beautiful smoker you've got. Good luck on your cook. Take pictures!


                Breadhead, thanks man I most certainly will :-)


                  I'm looking forward to seeing the results, going whole hog is bad a$$.


                    I have done a bunch of whole hogs over the years. Usually do market size hogs in the 200#-250# live weight range and cook on a rotisserie cooker. By the time the hog is cooked to "pig pickin" done the skin has always been crispy with no special pre-treatment at all. The skin is basted internally with rendered fat as the pig is turned. It's awesome as long as all the hair has been removed.


                      HorseDoctor, thanks for sharing your experience. I don't have access to a rotisserie cooker but I would love to try that one day! I just hope I can get the same effect on my vertical water smoker where I doubt I'll be turning the pig more than once.


                      • HorseDoctor
                        HorseDoctor commented
                        Editing a comment
                        You should be fine. Even with rotisserie cooker, I only turn the hog a 1/4 to 1/2 turn at a time, maybe 2 complete revolutions during an 8-12 hour cook. If you keep them turning constantly, they shrink and start to bounce around in the cage and fall apart as they cook. Aim to be done a couple hours ahead of when you want to serve. They retain heat hold very nicely for hours and it avoids the risk of not getting it "fall apart done". Be sure to block the mouth open with a chunk of wood so you can get a big red apple in for the "presentation". Green grapes in the eye sockets adds a special touch too. Have fun! Enjoy the cook! Doing a whole hog isn't anywhere near as hard as it looks.

                      • Don.Ross
                        Don.Ross commented
                        Editing a comment
                        HorseDoctor, thank you so much! That is very, very helpful!


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