Friday, July 22, 2011

Cooking a Whole Hog Newsletter...

Cooking a Whole Hog Newsletter
Friday, July 22, 2011
In this issue:
Hog Wrapping
Sting-Kill Giveaway
The BBQ Rub.

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Wrapping a Whole Hog
There's many different ways to smoke a whole hog, but the way I learned was belly up, low and slow, and to get the hog to render out and be perfectly tender, you gotta wrap it just right in heavy duty foil.

A reader suggested that I do a newsletter on wrapping a whole hog, so this week I'm going to be telling you my technique on how to wrap a whole hog.

The wrapping process starts before you actually put the hog on to smoke. I use a specially built sled to cradle the hog as it sets on the smoker grate. The sled sits directly on the rack and makes moving the hog from table to smoker much easier.

If you don't have a sled, that's ok. You can simply remove the cooking grate and place it on a table. The hog will cook just fine laying right on the grate but it can be a little trickier maneuvering it around. You'll need several sets of hands to get it back on the cooker.

Once you have the grate on the table, start pulling off long strips of heavy duty aluminum foil. (I buy the large food service roll of Heavy Duty foil from Sams club. This will be enough foil to do several hogs, but I also use it for wrapping other meats as well.) The strips should be about 4'-5' in length. Start laying the strips across the grate. Imagine the hog on the grate; you want the strips to start just underneath the shoulders and overlap about 6 inches all the way down to the hams. It takes about 5-6 strips to cover a 150lb hog.

The hog will be centered on the foil sheets and the foil will be brought up and over the hog when it comes time to wrap. Before placing the hog on the foil, use a spray bottle filled with vegetable oil and give the foil a good spritzing. This keeps it from sticking to the skin and keeps the hide moist.

Center the hog on the foil, and starting at the hams, roll-up each foil strip along side the hog. Do this with each foil strip all the way around. Doing the foil this way will make it easier on you when it comes time to wrap.

Now you can inject, rub, and start smoking the hog. It's time to wrap when the shoulders get to 165 internal about 6 hours should do the trick. When you first open the smoker the cavity will be full of juices that have cooked out of the hog. I take a metal dipper and bail out as much as possible.

When the hog's wrapped, it will continue to render, and the cavity will fill again. It will have to be drained when it's unwrapped as well before you can serve it or present to a judge. Also before wrapping I spray the skin of the hog with vegetable cooking spray (Pam). This keeps the hog from turning to dark, and will produce a beautiful, Mahogany colored skin.

If you don't care about the appearance of the skin, you can skip this step.....But I like to show the hog off so I want it perfect every time.

Unroll the foil strips starting at the head and continue down the hog. It's a hot job working over the smoker, so be careful. I use a cotton glove liner under blue latex gloves to handle the hot stuff. Do one side at a time and rotate the rack if necessary. Using the sled allows me to be able to rotate whenever necessary which helps it cook evenly.

It's best to plan out an approach and get plenty of hands around the rack if you're going to pull it out and rotate it. The last thing you want to do is drop the hog. (Trust me I've done it!)

Now bring the two ends of the strips up and over the hog. The idea is to join all of the strips together and roll simultaneously down to the back bone. Go around the shoulders and Hams at first. Once you have the strips joined together, tear off some new foil and wrap each shoulder and ham completely. It's almost done at this point. Tear off another 6' or so of aluminum foil and tuck it around the head and bring it straight down the backbone sealing off the aluminum foil strips. Tuck it around the hams tight at the tail end. It's time to close the smoker door and let the tenderizing begin.

I know there's more than one way to wrap a hog cooked on it's back, but this way works. It's easy to do if you take the time up front and know what you have to do when it comes time to do it.

To find out more about my hog cooking process you can visit my website and watch a few of my videos at
Got an suggestion or a topic you would like me to talk about in this newsletter?

Email it to me at

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Hey, I'm giving you all my secrets... I'm giving you my cooking school for free... so buy the rub.

It is quality - and it WILL make a difference in your finished product. So give it a try!|| My BBQ Blog Malcom Reed Killer Hogs BBQ Team

Malcom Reed
Killer Hogs BBQ
PO Box 4267
Southaven, MS 38671

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