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How To Cook Whole Hogs Pt 2

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Category: Main Dish

 Ingredients List

  • See part 1


"moment-of-perfection" is, so just turn him at 9:41 A.M. on Saturday.

15.After starting the hawg at 5 P.M. on Friday, continue cookin' him by
adding coals now and then. You can leave him uncovered on the pit for
viewing until around 10 P.M. Friday night. Then you need to cover him.
Cover him first with one piece of sheet iron that DOES NOT TOUCH THE HAWG
ANYWHERE EXCEPT THE FEET AND EARS. We use a special piece of bent sheet
iron that does not touch the hawg. Over this sheet iron place a small tarp
that covers the pit. This is essentially our cooking oven.

16.The rate at which coals are applied comes, I suppose, from experience.
For the entire 24 hours of cooking, you should use slightly less than one
pound of charcoal per pound of hawg. For example, for a 1OO pound dressed
hawg (including head and feet), we would buy 1OO pounds of charcoal, but we
would probably only use around 8O to 9O pounds of charcoal. The key to
cookin' is to START SLOW and don't eveer get much faster. Just be
PERSISTENT. It is a low-temperature/long-duration cooking process. Every
time one of our cookers have described to someone else how to cook a hawg,
they usually cook too fast and ruin the hawg.

17.After the hawg is turned over, grease will drip, or even run at times,
so one should not put the coals where the grease drips. (Actually it will
begin dripping long before it's turned but the greatest danger of
significant grease fires occurs after turning.) We usually place the coals
more around the edges after turning. This will not hurt the cooking rate
because the sheet iron and tarp will be like an oven. This locating of hot
coals is, of course, to prevent grease fires. We have never had a large
grease fire since we started using the raised steel grate on the bottom of
the pit. Before the use of the steel grate we had some big-time grease
fires that even Ward would love.

18.Also after the hawg is turned you should baste (or pour) barbecue sauce
on the bottom side of the hawg which is now turned up. This doesn't get any
barbecue flavor into the meat, it only keeps the meat from getting dry on
this side, so any kind of sauce will do. We usually serve the barbecue
sauce on the side, so that people can have hot, or mild, or whatever they
want, or whatever you have to offer. Repeat this basting every couple of

19.When the hawg is done (by definition he is done at 5 P.M., and at this
time he will bite the apple in two) pick him up by using the rods or sucker
rod grate and move him to a place in the food line on the saw horses. Use
two cutters, or pullers, on either side of the hawg. The best thing to do
if the hawg is cooked properly is for these pullers to put on the rubber
gloves (the thicker the glove the better because the meat will be hot) and
simply pull the meat off and pull it apart. Do not use swine experts or
veterinarians for this, as they don't seem to know the difference between a
ham and a tenderloin. Be careful to not break the skin, the grease (which
you will not notice dripping through) can ruin a good pair of Justin boots
in no time.

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