Originally Posted by Captain Morgan
Even Myron doesn't win em all. Only one guy had keys to the truck?!?!?!
I'd be speaking to Lake about that.
Time to pick your brain again....when doing whole hog, can you find a suffient smoke ring/bark to turn in? What part to you choose from?
I guess most go for the loins for tenderness, but it seems like it's the most hidden part from the rub and smoke.
Do you trim back some skin from a ham or shoulder and rub it? Is that legal?
Was judging based on appearance, or turn in only?
This was not an SCBA event. Lake was in Lake City doing the contest there. Believe me, if this wasn't a fund raiser for the orphans at the Children's Home I probably would have been much more vocal. Parrot Head cookers won the event. They are good cooks and good people. They did have a serious conflict with the event. I'm not sure how you have that serious of a conflict with the judging and end up winning.
Now on the the question. You can do anything you see fit after you get your hog, except part it out. We trim back as much of the skin off the shoulders as we can, leaving the underside skin on for protection. Same with the hams. The trick is to get the whole piece to cook evenly. If you cook too fast the hams will sieze up and get dry and tough. If you cook too slow the shoulders will mush up. We do heavily inject multiple times during the cook. I think of a turn in box for a hog in sections and layers. We will pull some shoulder meat and make classic pulled pork out of it. Then we will chop up some ham and put it in the box going in another direction to section it off, but not mark it. Then maybe a little sliced loin, either on top or in a corner. Loin is tender but I find it dries out between the time you slice it and the time it hits the judges table. Then on top layer of the box you place your outside pieces that will show your smoke ring and bark. The bark and ring need to be there for the visual part the the judging. Once they see it they will note it in their brains and move on to the next part of their adventure. An old judge friend of mine gave me this process awhile ago. You will see it followed from the more experienced teams. He told me it was kind of like opening up a surprise present. The more you dig into the box the more cool surprises you find. If you cooked a good hog it's pretty easy to do. If you made an error or your hog was not up to par, the box will get harder to build. I would venture to say that after the SCBA work shops in Columbia in July you won't be able to throw a bunch of shoulder meat in a whole hog box and get away with it anymore.
That's the way we do it. I'm sure it's done different ways. Making the best boxes has been a research project of mine for the last two years. It is the main reason I started judging. When you judge, you get to see and taste every entry in the event. Maybe we should start another thread and others can impart wisdom to the project. 8-[