Pig Roast Techniques needed

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grnerd
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Pig Roast Techniques needed

Post by grnerd » Mon Jul 20, 2009 3:44 pm

Glad I found this site, I am attempting my firs pig roast this weekend, and I have some questions. Thanks in advance!

The Pig Roast is scheduled for Saturday, and I have an 80 pounder ordered that I will pick up on Wednesday. I chose to get it that early to give myself a few days to brine the whole pig. So that leads to my first question... does anyone have a winning brine recipe? I have a large cooler that I will use, and I will most likely put the pig and brine in a trash bag and submerge the bag into water in the cooler, so I dont have to make enough brine to fill the cooler. I am also considering injecting the hams, but am not sure if that is necessary if I am going to brine it for over 2 days.

Another question I have is about wood smoke. I am using a gas roaster, and want to be able to add smoke to the pig. Should I run smoke the whole roasting time, or are there optimal times to introduce the smoke to the pig? I am looking at hickory or apple, anyone have opinions as to that?

I know there are other things I should ask, but am drawing a blank right now, so I'll just leave it at that. Thanks all!

doogster
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Re: Pig Roast Techniques needed

Post by doogster » Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:18 pm

I know at the Cookshack site they don't recommend brining butts or ribs as it gives them a hammy taste.
When it comes to beatin's, baby you deserve the best.

ourman
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Re: Pig Roast Techniques needed

Post by ourman » Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:15 pm

I have cooked alot of whole pigs I mean alot...I have been cooking since my oldest boy was a baby and he is 28.so even if I cooked on average 10 a year thats 280 pigs but i know that some years I have cooked over twenty.Ive tried the brining and it has never worked that well ,it gets some penetration but the skin is hard to penetrate the biggest caution other than the fact that you need to keep it cool is that when it cooks it has verigated colors of white meat and streaks of pink and some of your guests may be leary to try it as it has the appearance of uncooked meat....one time i had a butcher brine the whole pig with a proper brine pump then he put it in a barrel of brine in the walk in for a whole week and it turned out completely pink like a ham...(again it raised questions..)As far as smoking the pig it will get some flavor on the outside but it really takes a long slow cook to penetrate the entire hog....I have tried scoring the skin.removing the membrane inside the stomach cavity.My honest and best tried flavor enhancing trick is to poke the inside cavity with a fork and rely on the stuffing to flavor the meat and inject apple juice into the loins and hams before and several times while cooking...thats my two cents...

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bbbrown
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Re: Pig Roast Techniques needed

Post by bbbrown » Mon Jul 20, 2009 11:16 pm

Is it a roto gas cooker or are you just laying the pig on the grates?
I wouldn't bother brining either.
I'd use hickory for smoke and bring the shoulders up to about 195 before I took it off the cooker.
Take some pics and let us know how it turns out.
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Re: Pig Roast Techniques needed

Post by grnerd » Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:59 am

The pig will be flat on grates. Injecting with apple juice sounds interesting. I am surprised to hear that the brine is not recommended, but will save me a bit of work. Thanks!

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Re: Pig Roast Techniques needed

Post by doogster » Wed Jul 22, 2009 9:24 am

It's the salt in the brine, Salt starts to give pork a ham taste within a couple of hours evidently.
When it comes to beatin's, baby you deserve the best.

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bbbrown
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Re: Pig Roast Techniques needed

Post by bbbrown » Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:53 pm

Split the backbone and lay it butterflied on the grate skin side down. Score the membrane of the cavity.
Baste the inside with a fruit juice, pepper flakes, salt, and vinnegar mixture as it cooks.
The cavity will act as a bowl. Crank up the heat at the end to crackle the skin.
Don't forget the pics.

Bryan

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Re: Pig Roast Techniques needed

Post by Peter » Thu Jul 23, 2009 9:50 pm

Like Bryan said ....

Don't worry too much about smoke flavour; you won't be able to taste it anyway. Whole hog at best is pretty bland meat.
Apple juice as an injection and as a spray on the pig as it cooks is a good idea. It's always worked for me. Add some flavour to the injection if you wish. Beer works just as well.
If you can keep the fire under the shoulders higher than under the hams, you may be able to get it to finish all at the same time. The shoulders always finish last.
Splitting the backbone really helps IMO.
Peter
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