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 How To Brine and Smoke a 50lb Pig

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scrumptiouschef

  • Total Posts: 639
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  • Location: austin, TX
How To Brine and Smoke a 50lb Pig Mon, 11/22/10 2:06 PM (permalink)
How to Brine and Smoke a 50lb Pig
 
I have a 50lb Berkshire sitting in the walk in at my restaurant. Looking for tips on brining and smoking this lovely creature.
 
The smoking is going to take place on a big brick pit, photo here:
http://www.scrumptiousche...unday-October-3rd-2010
 
We have a cord of cured pecan for the fire.
 
Hoping to hear from experienced cooks who've worked with whole, gutted pigs, head intact with brains still in the head.
 
Brining solution?
 
Cook time?
 
Dry rub or no dry rub?
 
Will the brains need further cooking once we get them out of the skull or can they be served as a sort of dessert for the adventurous eaters?
 
Other information that you consider crucial to successfully smoking this animal?
 
Your thoughtful response is appreciated.
 
Scrumptiouschef
 
#1
    agnesrob

    • Total Posts: 1790
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    • Location: Park Ridge, NJ
    Re:How To Brine and Smoke a 50lb Pig Mon, 11/22/10 3:51 PM (permalink)
    Well, I can't help you with advice but I'll be watching this thread. I'm thinking of doing a small suckling pig for Christmas or New Years. I've had Berkshire pork many times. You definately have a prize there!
    <message edited by agnesrob on Sun, 08/25/13 11:29 AM>
     
    #2
      chewingthefat

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      • Location: Emmitsburg, Md.
      Re:How To Brine and Smoke a 50lb Pig Mon, 11/22/10 5:52 PM (permalink)
      Why would you brine a whole hog? There is enough fat under the skin to keep the fella tender as all get out, timewise doesn't count, internal temperature does, the butt should be 195 degrees, the rest will be done, put on a rub if you want, but salt and pepper will do the trick on the skin, which will be a big favorite, maybe a little granulated garlic on it. The brains will be cooked, I'll pass thanks. Treat yourself to the cheek meat, most tender delicious part. I assume this is indirect heat and not over coals.
       
      #3
        Curbside Grill

        • Total Posts: 3916
        • Joined: 10/11/2007
        • Location: Lawrenceburg, TN
        Re:How To Brine and Smoke a 50lb Pig Mon, 11/22/10 11:43 PM (permalink)
        Do it the NC way. Split and put on Smoker, baste, and flip, Baste to your call
        Me, would have Brains and eggs for Breakfast. Hell with smoking them.
         

        http://whatscookingamerica.net/Pork/PigPickin.htm
        <message edited by Curbside Grill on Tue, 11/23/10 6:39 AM>
         
        #4
          mayor al

          • Total Posts: 15058
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          • Location: Louisville area, Southern Indiana
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          Re:How To Brine and Smoke a 50lb Pig Tue, 11/23/10 9:24 AM (permalink)
          My neighbor did a 70 lb whole Hog last summer. Used the brick-lined pit and Banana leaves technique...Yes in Indiana !!  It was good, but I really prefer the rotating BBQ racks over hickory and Cherry. 
           
          Dennis Hays used to do it right down in Lexington, TN...The best Whole Hog Picking I have ever enjoyed.

           
          #5
            scrumptiouschef

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            Re:How To Brine and Smoke a 50lb Pig Tue, 01/8/13 12:20 AM (permalink)
            brilliant photo
             
            #6
              chewingthefat

              • Total Posts: 6093
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              Re:How To Brine and Smoke a 50lb Pig Tue, 01/8/13 12:57 PM (permalink)
              scrumptiouschef


              brilliant photo

              How did yours turn out?
               
              #7
                scrumptiouschef

                • Total Posts: 639
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                • Location: austin, TX
                Re:How To Brine and Smoke a 50lb Pig Sat, 08/24/13 11:25 AM (permalink)
                Brilliant and burnished to a mahogany brown.
                 
                #8
                  BelleReve

                  • Total Posts: 1136
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                  • Location: New Orleans, LA
                  Re:How To Brine and Smoke a 50lb Pig Sat, 08/24/13 1:40 PM (permalink)
                  check out Maxim Staff's recipe at   http://www.maxim.com/how/how-prepare-pig 
                  Supposedly he consulted with Donald Link of Cochon restaurant for this recipe,though it doesn't tell you what to do with the head other than throwing it on your neighbor's lawn.
                   
                  #9
                    agnesrob

                    • Total Posts: 1790
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                    • Location: Park Ridge, NJ
                    Re:How To Brine and Smoke a 50lb Pig Sat, 08/24/13 2:44 PM (permalink)
                    Wow! I forgot that I subscribed to this thread 3 years ago! Glad it came out good!
                     
                    #10
                      edwmax

                      • Total Posts: 2012
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                      • Location: Cairo, GA
                      Re:How To Brine and Smoke a 50lb Pig Sat, 08/24/13 3:56 PM (permalink)
                      scrumptiouschef


                      Brilliant and burnished to a mahogany brown.

                       
                      When doing a whole pig, my concern would be the sides & ribs would be over done by the time the hams & shoulders are cooked.   Most likely I would cut the pig up to keep from over cooking the thinner parts.   
                      How did your pig turn out as a whole?   
                       
                      #11
                        pnwchef

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                        Re:How To Brine and Smoke a 50lb Pig Sun, 08/25/13 8:56 AM (permalink)
                        edwmax


                        scrumptiouschef


                        Brilliant and burnished to a mahogany brown.


                        When doing a whole pig, my concern would be the sides & ribs would be over done by the time the hams & shoulders are cooked.   Most likely I would cut the pig up to keep from over cooking the thinner parts.   
                        How did your pig turn out as a whole?    


                        Your right, when people do a whole pig, they want the whole pig effect. When we process our pigs, not looking to impress anyone, we cut it up in sections. We cut out the whole center section for the pork loin ribs, and tenderloin, bacon and so on. We then have the two ham sections in the rear and the butt/shoulder sections in front. There is a lot of waste when cooking a whole pig. This is a way of smoking/roasting, not saying it's the best way to cook each part of the pig, to get the best flavor from each part or section................pnwc
                         
                        #12
                          edwmax

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                          Re:How To Brine and Smoke a 50lb Pig Sun, 08/25/13 11:09 AM (permalink)
                          I was hoping someone had a way to do the whole pig without over cooking the middle thinner parts.    Indirect heat of an enclosed pit cooks the whole pig at a constant temp.   ... Setting up the roast in an open-pit with the fire at each end of the pig (thick parts) might make some difference to keep the middle from being over cooked. This take a lot of more wood & time than an enclosed pit.    I've never tried this, but I have seen several done. And, there was a lot of wasted meat.     The over-cooked parts become the heavy sauced BBQ or used in the  Brunswick stew. Then the hams & shoulders become the select serving portions on the plate.
                           
                           
                              ... But I'm like you pnwc,  to heck with handle a whole pig or getting help doing so; the guest are not around during the 12 hours or so cooking; it's easier to handle and have a better presentation if the pig is cut into sections.   The cooked/cut pig can be arranged as a whole on the table. Then the ribs & middles are prime eating without being over cooked.
                           
                          I'm not knocking those road fooders that like to do whole pigs ... more power to you  ... invite me and I'll help you.    ... I just don't think this is the best method.    But it does look great.
                          <message edited by edwmax on Sun, 08/25/13 11:16 AM>
                           
                          #13
                            CajunKing

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                            Re:How To Brine and Smoke a 50lb Pig Sun, 08/25/13 2:51 PM (permalink)
                            In the past I have added some "extra" meat to the rib area when smoking a whole pig.  usually do this for a whole hog, not pig.
                            (like adding a few butts to this area, for extra serving meat)
                             
                            For pig I start him off in sleeping position, then flip him to racing position about 1/2 way through this lets the fat render down through the meat and keeps the ribs and bacon areas moist.
                             
                            Also when starting him sleeping position you can bastes the thinner areas and keep them moist with mop and slop.
                             
                            Always present piggy in racing position, much prettier presentation than slpayed out for the world to see what his insides looked like.
                             
                            #14
                              scrumptiouschef

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                              • Location: austin, TX
                              Re:How To Brine and Smoke a 50lb Pig Sun, 08/25/13 6:00 PM (permalink)
                              It's hard to believe that this project came to fruition almost 3 years ago. We put the pig in the brine on a monday night and pulled it out on a Friday evening. We did no butchery prior to beginning smoking the creature. It went on around midnight and we cooked it til about 7 pm the following evening over a low fire made out of pecan. There was no waste as everybody went native and decimated the pig with their hands. We saved the bones for pork stock.
                               
                              #15
                                CajunKing

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                                Re:How To Brine and Smoke a 50lb Pig Sun, 08/25/13 6:13 PM (permalink)
                                The best way to devour a roasted piggy!!
                                 
                                #16
                                  edwmax

                                  • Total Posts: 2012
                                  • Joined: 1/1/2007
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                                  Re:How To Brine and Smoke a 50lb Pig Sun, 08/25/13 6:38 PM (permalink)
                                  CajunKing


                                  The best way to devour a roasted piggy!!

                                   
                                    ... commando...   hey watch-out with that knife, my hand is in there ....
                                   
                                  #17
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