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Meat-Up in Memphis 2021

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First pig roast attempt

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  • shify
    Club Member
    • Jun 2017
    • 457
    • Westchester County, NY

    First pig roast attempt

    This past weekend I hosted my first ever pig roast. For the occasion I ordered a 50lb pig from a farm and rented a rotisserie spit. Upon picking up the pig, it turned out to be a 45lber. I picked him up Friday covered him with a nice layer of salt and then wrapped him back up in a big garbage bag and put him on ice.

    I intended to inject the pig a marinade but unfortunately work got in the way and I just ran out of time. The next morning despite a forecast of rain, we got started around 8:45am. After resalting and rubbing the pig with MMD, it went on the spit around 9:45. 45 min of rain (or about 10 min of rain before we could get a canopy up) set up back a bit but then it was smooth sailing. The pig took about 5 hours to cook. I tried to bump up the heat at the end to get the skin crispy but was having trouble getting the temp up. All the used charcoal piled up an incredible amount of ash and I think that inhibited the airflow and prevented the coals from getting really hot. I wasn't prepared for that amount of ash so was caught off-guard (I should've known better but never used 50-60lbs of charcoal) with not many good options. If I do it again, I'll either be prepared to dispose of the ash or use lump charcoal vs. the KBB I was using

    That being said, the meat was good and tender and cooked well. We crisped up some of the skin and the ears on a gas grill. Favorite parts were the ribs and the tenderloin. I pulled it/chopped it by hand and mixed it with a vinegar sauce. I also made a KC style sauce for those that don't dig the vinegar stuff. Also made mustard slaw, regular cole slaw and pickled jalapenos along with potato rolls. I probably ate most of it while standing over the table cutting it up but a bun with some chopped pork, mustard slaw and pickled jalapenos was my second preferred serving method.

    Really fun time and not bad for my first attempt. Will likely do it again but maybe go the Caja China route as I couldn't get a ton of rub on the legs/hams as the pig wasn't split open fully, so it was hard to really rub it down.

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  • Troutman
    Club Member
    • Aug 2017
    • 7197






    Great attempt, maybe wood splits would have done you better for the heat source. Just curious what that streaking is on the pig skin, your marinade injection? Nice work, I'm sure it was a great feast!!


    • shify
      shify commented
      Editing a comment
      Those streaks are the juices the dripped through the slit in the belly and other areas once the skin split and then were subsequently rolled around the pig as it spun and then burned/caramelized from the heat.
  • MeatMonster
    Former Member
    • Mar 2017
    • 606
    • Ellon, Aberdeenshire

    Great idea.


    • HorseDoctor
      Charter Member
      • Sep 2014
      • 1147
      • Central Iowa

      Looks good! I wouldn't worry about getting rub on the meat before the cook. As Frozen Smoke has discovered, there is little difference if you add it after the cook. Try stuffing the next one with a good sausage stuffing recipe! That will make a medium pig feed a lot more folks and is always well received. Could also cook a little longer and pull rather than chop. Only thing I see wrong is you forgot an apple for piggy's mouth... Congrats on a great first pig!


      • Sweaty Paul
        Founding Member
        • Aug 2014
        • 1440
        • Hays, KS
        • Green Mountain Grill - Jim Bowie
          (I've never regretted having too much grate space).

          Weber Genesis Gas grill
          Weber Kettle grills x 2

        Nicely done


        • Spinaker
          • Nov 2014
          • 10599
          • Land of Tonka
          • John "J R"
            Instagram: JRBowlsby
            Smokin' Hound Que
            Minnesota/ United States of America

            Dexter (Beagle mix)
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          Nice work. This is a daunting task to under take. Kudos to you for even trying it. I have done one on a homemade Caja China and it was spectacular.


          • HorseDoctor
            HorseDoctor commented
            Editing a comment
            Daunting? Nah... it’s really not all that tough. Really hard to screw up cooking a big chunk of pork/pig. Really, very forgiving!!’
        • RonB
          Club Member
          • Apr 2016
          • 12712
          • Near Richmond VA
          • Weber Performer Deluxe
            Pizza insert
            Smokenator 1000
            Cookshack Smokette Elite
            2 Thermapens
            lots of probes.

          Lookin' mighty good.


          • DWCowles
            Founding Member
            • Jul 2014
            • 9709
            • Smiths Grove, Ky
            • Hi, my name is Darrell. I'm an OTR truck driver for over 25 years. During my off time I love doing backyard cooks. I have a 48" Lang Deluxe smoker, Rec-Tec pellet smoker,1 Weber Genesis 330, 1 Weber Performer (blue), 2 Weber kettles (1 black and 1 Copper), 1 26" Weber kettle, a WSM, 8 Maverick Redi Chek thermometers, a PartyQ, 2 SnS, Grill Grates, Cast Iron grates, 1 ThermoPop (orange) and 2 ThermoPens (pink and orange) and planning on adding more cooking accessories. Now I have an Anova sous vide, the Dragon blower and 2 Chef alarms from Thermoworks.



            • steve_woolston
              Club Member
              • Sep 2017
              • 79
              • Cambridge, Maryland, USA
              • Weber Kettle grill
                275 gallon oil drum whole pig cooker - gas or charcoal
                Thermopen Mk4
                Thermoworks Smoke
                Thermoworks Chef Alarm

              I've experienced similar issues with ash buildup. I do think the accumulated ash inhibits air flow around the burning charcoal. I had some grates made for my cooker that allows the ash to fall through to the bottom. With a rented device like you used, you probably don't have that luxury, unless you have some expanded metal lying around you could put in the cooker with a couple of bricks supporting it. The other option could be to take your burning coals off and put them in a metal bucket, scoop out the ash, and put your burning coals back in, and add some more coals. The few minutes it takes to do that shouldn't set your cooking back significantly.


              • bardsleyque
                Club Member
                • Oct 2015
                • 605
                • Snoqualmie Wa.

                That looks good!Pigs a little big for your cutting board though.


                • tRidiot
                  Club Member
                  • Dec 2015
                  • 681
                  • NE OK
                  • Traeger BBQ124
                    Yoder YS480
                    Chargriller Duo gas/charcoal side-by side

                  Looks spectacular! Great job, man, and thanks for the writeup. I don't know if I could find a place around here to rent a rotisserie that big. I've love to try it sometime, but honestly, I think we will probably do a buried pit cook on one sometime this summer (I hope!).


                  • MikeySmoke
                    Former Member
                    • Sep 2018
                    • 1

                    I will be doing my second attempt in 2 weeks on my caja china. First turned out great, but needed to crisp the skin more. Caja China seems pretty easy too.


                    • mrteddyprincess
                      Club Member
                      • Sep 2018
                      • 358

                      Nice job! Thank you for sharing with the rest of us who haven't done whole hog. I appreciate the info and your experience.




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