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    Piglet

    Good day, folks. So - I've committed myself to something totally new for me. I bought a piglet... We're killing it tonight, and I plan to cook it this weekend. I guess I need some advice.

    I'm planning to scald it to get rid of the hair tonight, and then it will sit in the fridge until Friday or Saturday. Where do I go from here? Any tips on cooking times, temperatures, rubs, injections etc. would be great...

    He weighs somewhere between 30 and 40 lbs live weight. I'm using a Char Griller offset smoker with charcoal and apple, or maple if it's dry enough.
    Attached Files

    #2
    No advice, but a really big wow. I am looking forward to following this cook; please keep us posted on how it goes.

    Comment


      #3
      I know nothing about pork, but deer & elk I skin or de-cape (that means take it off fer those in Oconomowoc). I skin wabbits too. Mebbe I’m about to git an edjamakation. Backroadmeats or ComfortablyNumb need to weigh in.
      Last edited by FireMan; June 16, 2020, 11:02 AM.

      Comment


      • Andrrr
        Andrrr commented
        Editing a comment
        “For those in Oconomowoc” - LOL

      #4
      https://amazingribs.com/tested-recip...-you-need-know

      Meathead has a write-up on it, just in case you have not seen it. Other than that I got nothing.

      I've always wanted to do this as well. I'll be following.

      Comment


        #5
        I’ll be here waiting for the final plating ,,,,,

        Comment


          #6
          First question how long has the wood been drying, it should be at least 6 months since it was cut and split.

          Now for the piglet, figure 75% after dressing so lets go with 22.5lbs dressed for a 30lb piglet. Just an estimate. If you have an injector you want to inject the ham in several places and the same with the butt. For the skin side just put on a heavy layer of salt and pepper, not much will penetrate the skin but some will. For the inside use your favorite pork rub or just salt and pepper. For the insides you will want a nice sauce to keep the meat from drying out.

          Now for cooking. Get your smoker up to 275 a good temp for pork with all its fat. Since the piglet is split it is going to take about the same amount of time as any other piece or meat the same thickness. So figure 14-18 hours .more or less. This you will have to calculate. Now you want to put the piglet skin side down for 2 or 3 hours. This will give you the start of a crisp skin and warm up the piglet. Then flip to meat side down for a couple of hours to get some smoke directly on the meat. After that turn meat side up and baste about every hour untill it is nearly done.

          I have only done one and these are the instructions I followed and it came out great.

          Good luck on yours.






          Comment


          • UncleSpike
            UncleSpike commented
            Editing a comment
            It was a small maple that died, and we cut it down a few weeks ago. I'll let it dry for while longer - plus I have some nice apple to use.

            14-18 hours? Gulp. Malcolm Reed's website says : "Hold the temps in the 225-250 range and monitor the internal temps using a wired probe thermometer (Thermoworks Dot) inserted into the thickest part of the shoulder. Target temperature is 190-195 in the shoulders; it’ll take about 7 hours to get there. "

          • mountainsmoker
            mountainsmoker commented
            Editing a comment
            I may be long on the time but just watch and take it off when it reaches 190, basting the insides to keep it moist.

          #7
          Sorry I have no advice but I have been wanting to do this forever...Can not wait to follow along.

          Comment


            #8
            Advice on killing and scalding I can provide, but it sounds like you aren't asking for any advice on that part of the process. I'm assuming you already have that covered, but just in case:

            Pig that small I use a hand sledge. Try to keep it calm, grab a back leg, and give a sturdy blow on the sweet spot. (Draw an imaginary from ear base to opposite eye, where those two lines intersect is the sweet spot) Immediately stick a knife into the side of the neck at the base of the skull and sever the carotid artery. Pig may start kicking violently, wait a bit then hang from back hock to finish bleeding out.

            For scalding, I use a 55 gallon drum. Heat water to 150F with a jet burner. A pig that small my require only one dunk, but if it wont' all fit easily, dunk the head first, scrape, then the hind end. Either way, you don't want the pig stuffed, you want the water to circulate. Put pig in for five minutes, swirl it around to keep water moving. Lift pig and immediately begin scraping with a hog scraper. Work fast, when the pig cools it gets harder to scrape. You can shave stubborn hair with a knife, or burn with a torch. Eviscerate and get into cooler.

            Comment


            • Dadof3Illinois
              Dadof3Illinois commented
              Editing a comment
              As young as these are I might not scald it....Once dead, I would get the cavity cleaned out ASAP, then hose it out and wash the outside really good. Then use a torch to get the hair off and get it on ice.
              Split the cavity open, lay it on its back, pack sausage along the loin to keep it from drying out. I would have plenty of hot coals ready to help keep the temps up too. I wouldn't go above 190-195 just so I don't dry out the loin or hams. We use to do these small ones on an open spit....YUM

            • UncleSpike
              UncleSpike commented
              Editing a comment
              We shot it with a 22. Worked good. My boss gutted it and I took it from there. That said, I’ll never do it again. Next time I’ll stick to buying one from a butcher. It was more work to get the hair off and clean than I anticipated.

            #9
            I’m thinking it needs to hang for a few more days before cooking it. Either way, I wouldn’t put any rub on the skin. Apply rub in the inside if you like (cover the meat). I spray/baste the skin while cooking, every 30-45 minutes. Cook time should be around 7 hours at 250.

            Comment


            • UncleSpike
              UncleSpike commented
              Editing a comment
              Should I count on a stall, or does it steadily climb up to temperature because it's 'wrapped' in it's skin?

            • Henrik
              Henrik commented
              Editing a comment
              Good question, I haven’t monitored it with a thermometer like that. It’s still ‘open’ on the underside, and ‘sweats’ a bit through the skin, so there’s will be one. Not sure how big of an issue it is.

            • mountainsmoker
              mountainsmoker commented
              Editing a comment
              Count on one you have a laree piece of meat that has a blocking skin on one side and one side to release moisture on the other side.

            #10
            I have a CharGriller offset smoker from HomeDepot. It was my very first offset smoker, and one that served as a platform for me to learn and improve.

            I did not have any initial mentoring, guidance nor constructive input during my first cooks with the CharGriller smokin’ champion, and to be honest, I almost gave up on smoking meats all together, as my first experience on the matter came from using this unit.

            My wife cheered me on and suggested I make a trip to my local Barns and Noble for some books on BBQ. I found several books, including Meathead’s science of BBQ, and that saved my interest in BBQ. It wasn’t till then, that I was able to better understand what happens when you smoke a cut of meat, and what types of methods are ideal for that to happen. From those books, I discovered this website and the wealth of knowledge that members so openly share with everyone across the board.

            UncleSpike You mention having a CharGriller. If by any chance you happen to have a cheap offset smoker like the one mentioned above, I think you are off to a very difficult, nearly impossible challenge.

            The reviews you see on the HomeDepot site are unreliable. Yes, it is inexpensive, but simply speaking, there isn’t enough material in its construction to properly smoke and fully cook anything larger than a few turkey legs, yet alone a whole hog. You won’t be able to maintain even temperatures across the cooking chamber. It’s not possible.

            I do want to keep this positive and cheer you on. If you are new to this, I would politely suggest you look at getting a true offset smoker, or some other unit that is capable of performing. Not saying you can’t get anything good out of a cheap offset smoker like this one, it’s an OK grill, but it’s definitely not a smoker. I don’t see how a CharGriller smokin’ champion can be used to smoke cook a whole hog, specially if you haven’t made any modifications to the original cooker, and even more if you are new to this.

            If you have a different model, and you know what your doing, please disregard my comments and accept my apologies for my post. I want to give you timely feedback, based on very limited information available, and hoping to see you successfully cook your whole hog.

            Hope this helps, and best of luck to you.
            Sincerely,
            Ricardo

            PS: Aside from the previous suggestions to look at Meathead’s writeup, you can find some good information on cooking whole hogs by watching a few specific videos posted by Malcom Reed on his YouTube channel: HowToBBQRight. Search for whole hogs and you will see he has a few detailed videos there.

            Cheers,
            Ricardo

            Comment


            • UncleSpike
              UncleSpike commented
              Editing a comment
              I do have a cheap grill. That said, I've modified it extensively over the last couple years. The cooking chamber is sealed nicely, I brought the chimney down to the grate, added tuning plates etc. I'm confident I can maintain temperatures, as I've done several other large cooks with it. Still, you're absolutely right. Meathead's book warns against buying cheap stuff, but this was just my introduction to cooking with charcoal. It's just not very common up here in Canada.

            • Ricardo
              Ricardo commented
              Editing a comment
              Good to hear you have made improvements and upgrades to your smoker and that you’ve got it dialed in. Thank you for sharing your piglet experience with all. That’s pretty cool. Enjoy!

            #11
            .22 pistol or .22 bolt action is perfect for the job. Give it an apple or milk to keep it still . Or as ComfortablyNumb suggested a ball pien hammer works good. I usually stick em directly in the soft spot forward of their sternum with the sharp side of the blade facing forward. You know when youhit the aorta as it will gush out fast. Hose the crap and blood off at this point. For scalding a little one that small I would ust heat some big water pots to 62c then lay old towels over porky and tip the water over them to trap the steam. Give it a few mins then work fast with an old paint scarper or blunt blade.

            Rub him with salt and leavve him in the fridge. I would smoke him at 275f and a small pig like that will take about 4 hours
            Last edited by Ahumadora; June 16, 2020, 03:13 PM.

            Comment


            • ComfortablyNumb
              ComfortablyNumb commented
              Editing a comment
              I once used a .22 on one that young and it popped the eye out of the socket , which is why I took to using a hammer .

            #12
            I did a wild boar piglet, skinned and dressed was 15# precooked shown on this thread;https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...e29#post831812 April 14th. IIRC ran about 275 didn't take big hours...……..if memory serves around 8 or so. Being a boar it didn't have much fat, but didn't turn out dry at all, even the tenderloins were still moist. If you were interested in that post enough to read it, make sure you read the comments section as well.

            Comment


              #13
              As a ten yr old kid in 4-H many years ago I raised pig(let)s. The most important thing I learned from that? Never, I mean never give your pig(let) a name.

              Comment


              • UncleSpike
                UncleSpike commented
                Editing a comment
                I told my (16 year old) daughter that I was writing the sequel to Charlotte’s Web. She thought it was pretty funny.

                My son was sad for the piglet, but after I was done with him tonight he said he didn’t feel sorry anymore. Hopefully we all enjoy it!

              • Dan Deter
                Dan Deter commented
                Editing a comment
                Same goes for cows. We never named ours (except for a couple who were Hamburger, Hamburger II, and Steak), but one of our neighbors would every other year or so buy a steer to feed out, then let his wife name it. After that it became a pet. They started building up a nice little herd...

              • wu7y
                wu7y commented
                Editing a comment
                I also raised a couple of black angus steers. I sold the first one at auction. I named him Houdini. He could get out of any pasture or pen I put him in. Frustrating, but I liked him. The owner of the local meat shop, a friend of my dad, bought him and after the sale promptly invited me to a steak dinner. At that time I remember thinking there would be a special place in Hell for him. After dinner I decided I liked Houdini better on the plate than on the hoof.

              #14
              I use a 22 rifle to kill them. I use a weed burner torch one a pressure washer to scald and wash off the hair,. this was a something I learned from an old pig farmer years ago. It works great!! I don't use any rub or any injection until it is in the roaster pan the sprinkle some rub on and pour some apple juice in the roaster pan. Click image for larger version

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              Comment


              • mountainsmoker
                mountainsmoker commented
                Editing a comment
                Wow that is more than a 30lb piglet. LOL

              • Backroadmeats
                Backroadmeats commented
                Editing a comment
                Yes that was about a 90 lb pig. Ya can't see it very well but there is three of them in there.

              #15
              Hi all.

              Just wanted to say thanks for all the tips! This turned out great.
              I rubbed salt on the skin Wednesday night.
              Saturday morning I injected the hams and shoulders with pure apple juice, and rubbed the inside with Memphis Dust.
              Was on the grill at 9:00 AM, and took it off at 6:00 PM, so it did run a little longer than expected. Final temp was 186 in the hams and 191 in the shoulders.

              Very tender meat.
              Very little fat. Even the bacon was almost non existent.
              Fed 5 children and 4 adults with enough left over to feed them another two meals!

              Thanks again. I would definitely do it again! (just not removing the hair)

              P.S. Has anybody ever tried to skin the animal and then cook it whole, or am I just crazy?
              Attached Files

              Comment


              • Andrrr
                Andrrr commented
                Editing a comment
                Looks great! Maybe I missed it but how much did it weigh, either whole or dressed? I've wanted to try this too

              • UncleSpike
                UncleSpike commented
                Editing a comment
                It weighed 25 lbs after we gutted it. I had to take the head off because it didn't fit on my grill, so I'd guess it was about 20 lbs on the grill.

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