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Old 06-21-2005, 09:33 PM   #1
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Whole Hog Experts...

I need your input. My brother-in-law is going to do a whole hog in mid July. He is going to order a 120 lb hog from one of the best butcher's in Cleveland.

Questions:

1. How long will it take to cook a 120 lb hog on a mechanical spit?
2. Have you ever heard of a "stuffed" whole hog w/ sausages, chickens, onions and peppers??
3. He is being quoted $2.00 per lb...is that a good or fair price?

Basically, any help or insight here is greatly appreciated...I can find out more info if you need to so fire away...THANKS IN ADVANCE!! :biggrin:
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Old 06-21-2005, 10:32 PM   #2
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Minion is your man here. I'll give you his second hand advice if he doesn't show up in time. Jack W. should have good advice as well.
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Old 06-22-2005, 12:15 AM   #3
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So should Pigs on Wings if he makes an appearance.
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Old 06-22-2005, 07:40 AM   #4
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Re: Whole Hog Experts...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Rempe
I need your input. My brother-in-law is going to do a whole hog in mid July. He is going to order a 120 lb hog from one of the best butcher's in Cleveland.

Questions:

1. How long will it take to cook a 120 lb hog on a mechanical spit?
2. Have you ever heard of a "stuffed" whole hog w/ sausages, chickens, onions and peppers??
3. He is being quoted $2.00 per lb...is that a good or fair price?

Basically, any help or insight here is greatly appreciated...I can find out more info if you need to so fire away...THANKS IN ADVANCE!! :biggrin:
If it's a covered pit, About 8 to 10 hours direct over coals. 275-300F About stuffing. Humm, I have stuffed with sausage before also sauerkraut. Add two more hours cooking time. I don't recommend it. it never gets hot enough. Chickens NEVER! cross contamination! I will not stuff hogs any more the hog gets over done and sausage pepper and onions come out like slime and mush. 2 bucks a pound is a little high. But a fair price. My two cents.
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Old 06-22-2005, 07:48 AM   #5
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FWIW, I agree with Pigs.

Just remember the hardest part is keeping your ribs from getting overdone while the hams and shoulders get up to temp.
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Old 06-22-2005, 07:57 AM   #6
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This is not a covered pit...it's just a spit over coals and that's it...how high does it need to be from the coals...how does that change cooking time.

I will advise against the stuffing! I thgought it would turn out icky but threw it out there anyway!
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Old 06-22-2005, 08:53 AM   #7
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Is the 120 lbs hoof or dressed weight? And is his $/lb hoof or dressed? Many times you pay live but get dressed which is about 70% of live. I can get them both ways; he should find out which he's getting unless he knowns already. He's either getting 120lb dressed @ $2 ($240) and cooking a 120lb hog, 120 hoof @ $2 ($240) and cooking a 84lb hog ($2.86/lb dressed), or a 171lb hoof @ $2 ($342) and cooking a 120lb hog ($2.85/lb). Whether the price is good or not depends on which of these scenarios fits. (July futures are running ~$78/cwt when I last looked (been a few weeks) so $2 dressed is reasonable.)

One guy I can order from asks what size you want--you tell him the dressed weight and he quotes a $/lb. When you pick it up you pay that $/lb on the hoof weight. It dependss on how/where the butcher does business. If your b-i-l isn't certain, he should be. Many butchers I deal with assume you know the drill (really it's assume you know their drill because it varies among them).

Time, of course, depends on what he's getting. I have only done hogs on manual spits (turn by hand @ 15-20 min) in open pits with wood fuel only (85lb dressed--18 hrs), or in block pits (similar to those at Bryan's link upthread--110lbs--~8 hrs but the pig is splayed and cooked at a bit higher temp). Tom Chilton over on TVW just did a 35lb on an open rotis (EZQue)--5.5 hours.

Stuffing: I have done stuffed. There are a few potential problems: You MUST truss VERY WELL. If you don't the meat will retract as it cooks and you'll lose most of the stuffing. (Been there!) You need to be SURE you can get the internal temp of the stuffing above 140 in less than 2 hours. In lieu of stuffing I took to using whole aromatics (onion, apple, celery, garlic, herbs) and not stuffing tightly at all. For splayed hogs it's been strictly a homemade mojo marinade.
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Old 06-22-2005, 09:00 AM   #8
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I don't know about the spit, but it seems like I heard someone cooking about 18 inches over the coals.
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Old 06-22-2005, 09:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Rempe
This is not a covered pit...it's just a spit over coals and that's it...how high does it need to be from the coals...how does that change cooking time.

I will advise against the stuffing! I thgought it would turn out icky but threw it out there anyway!
Oh yea! Now were talking. Last one I did like that was for some frat boy's. 28 to 30 inches from the coals. Have a pit hose handy incase of a huge flair up. Not likely but better to be safe than sorry. Keep a garden rake handy to move coals around. It's going to take 24 to 36 hours with this method. Plan on a little over a hundred pounds of lump.Don't be afraid to move coals from side to side to keep the ash from choking the fire out,Also bank them front and back about a foot.Were having some fun now. The fire is right when you can hold your hand under the spit rod and count to five.
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Old 06-22-2005, 09:11 AM   #10
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12-18" is pretty standard. Distance will changes cooking time a bit all things being equal--in other words, the hog will take a bit longer at 18" if the same amount of coals are used as you would use at 12". or will take roughly the same amount of time at 18" if more coals are used. (Btw, my 18 hr open pit, manual-spit pigs were 5 feet above a two-foot bed of coals--hence the 18 hours--but boy were they good.)
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Old 06-22-2005, 09:21 AM   #11
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Yes, be ready for possible flare-ups. Whether or not they happen depends on your coal arrangement.
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Old 06-22-2005, 09:22 AM   #12
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18 inches is ok with a butterfly porker. Were talking rotisserie here. You go 18 inches with a rotisserie trust me you will get huge flair ups. Trust me. Been there,Done that. My .2
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Old 06-22-2005, 09:28 AM   #13
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yeah I was laughing about that while reading KK's post...down here we get em head and butterflied, ready for a pit, often less than 1.50 per pound. I guess they're just more common down here. You just call up and tell em you need a pig. No more needs to be said. Everywhere I've gone removes the head unless you tell em otherwise.
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Old 06-22-2005, 09:41 AM   #14
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Pigs--I trust you. You've done more of them than I have, I'm sure.

Captain--Here they come head-on automatically, and never butterflied. Gotta do that yourself. And how they're weighed and priced (hoof or dressed) varies. You HAVE to remember to ask; they're all different. If you make a plan based on an assumption you can get screwed when the pig arrives and have to re-plan. Been there.
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Old 06-22-2005, 09:47 AM   #15
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yeah here even if you get head off, you're paying for the head on price.
I go to two different places, and the both charge hanging weight instead of on the hoof, so you get a better idea of how much cooked meat you're getting.

Last summer we filmed a whole hog cook for a pilot for the Outdoor Life network, and I wanted the head on. Told em when I order it. Went to pick it up, sure enough, no head. They went back and found it, and we propped it up by the neck!
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Old 06-22-2005, 09:52 AM   #16
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FWIW--

This was Tom Chilton's set-up.


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Old 06-22-2005, 10:08 AM   #17
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That's a neat little set up. Looks like you can adjust the cage up or down over the fire. Bet it was not cheap.
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Old 06-22-2005, 11:57 AM   #18
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The 5' model is $1680--the 4' is $1420. Yowza.
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Old 06-22-2005, 04:07 PM   #19
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Ok, I just talked to my bro in law...he is checking with the owner of the spit to see how high off the ground it sets when it's up...then we can use the 24" of coals measurement and see where we need to have it in the 36" range, right? Does he want lump coal or Kingsford? Also, does he want to have wood in there too...a mix if you will or just coals?

Also, the price is $2/ lb dressed for a 120lb hog with the HEAD ON!

10-4 on the hose by the fire...I think he has a hose plumbed out by the fire pit anyways...will deliver more details as the arrive! Thanks for the input so far!!
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Old 06-22-2005, 04:27 PM   #20
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It aint a whole hog ifin the heads gone is it? :wwnn:
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