Friday, September 23, 2011

BBQ Whole Hog: Breaking It Down Newsletter Thursday, September 22, 2011

Whole Hog BBQ Newsletter
Thursday, September 22, 2011
In this issue:
Break-Down a Whole Hog
Sting-Kill Giveaway


Sting-Kill's Facebook Page

Enter your best BBQ recipe and enter it to win your choice of either a trip for two to Memphis in May 2012 or an Ole Hickory Pits Smoker


Mark Lambert from Sweet Swine O’ Mine BBQ team just started a new BBQ Radio Show in the Memphis area. 

He will be discussing "All Things BBQ" on Saturdays from Noon until 1pm. 

This man is a World Champion BBQ cook, so plan to tune-in on 990AM (in memphis area) or listen on the web at
The BBQ Rub.

Click Here To Visit The Website:
The BBQ Rub.

Whole Hog: The Ultimate BBQ
Wow, I’ve been really busy the past couple of weeks. I’ve cooked in 3 different contests this month, and the time just seems to fly right by. We’ve had some really great luck with our pork lately.  

The butts, shoulders, and ribs have been getting calls left and right. The appearance and flavor profile that The Bbq Rub. gives the meat is knocking the judges socks off.

We even cooked a whole hog last weekend at the Smokin’ Aces Bbq Contest at Harrah’s Casino. The defending Memphis in May Whole Hog Champion for two years running was there - as was a host of other former World Champion teams.  Our hog was on-time and I got a chance to shoot a short video on how to break a hog down after it’s cooked.  You can check it out here:
Break Down a Whole Hog

When I break down a hog down, I like to keep the meat separated into different groups. First thing first is to wear some insulated latex gloves. Just because that hog has been done for several hours doesn’t mean that it’s cool. The heat still in the meat is hot enough to cause a minor burn, so wearing protection will prevent any accidents.

I start with the shoulder. Pull the hide back, remove the bones, and muscle out the meat. Be sure to d iscard any fat or sinew membrane that is connected to it. You’ll end up with a full size aluminum pan of meat once you get both shoulders broke down.

Next pull the ribs out. If you’ve taken the time to remove them before cooking this is simple, but if not you may need a knife to dislocate them. You can get some decent meat from between the rib bones.  Don’t just throw this away because it is good eating.

Now, Just below the ribs is the best meat on the hog. The bacon will be under a thin layer of fat. Run your fingers down the side right next to the skin and raise up all of the meat just lying there. It’ll be surrounded in fat, but with a gloved hand, it will come right off.  What’s left is pandemonium. This is the absolute best part of a whole , smoked hog. Pure, unadulterated, pork goodness that will melt in your mouth and is jam packed with flavor.

I try to keep the bacon hid from the public.  It’s reserved for bribes, favors, ransom payments, etc, etc……Believe me that bacon will make you lots of friends down the road.

Then it’s time to pull out the loins. The loin is the hardest thing to cook in a whole hog because it can dry out on you before the shoulders and hams get done. To do it right takes know how, and good loin will win you lots of bbq contests and compliments.

To remove it, run your hands down along the spine all the way to the hide. Now work them along the backbone until the loin is free. It shouldn’t take much effort if the hog has been properly rendered. If the loin is over cooked it will be falling apart. I try to keep it together as much as possible. Once you remove the loin on both sides of the backbone, you’ll have another full pan of meat. 

Now it’s time to tackle the hams. The hams are the largest mus cle group on the whole hog. What I like to do is run my hand down into them, pull out the leg bones and keep the meat in as large as pieces as possible. The hams tend to get dry because there’s just not as much fat content in them as there is in the shoulders.

Keeping the ham in large pieces will keep the meat moist. Last weekend I even removed one ham whole and wrapped it in aluminum foil. All I did was use a knife and cut the hide around the ham. Then I was able to lift the whole thing off the rack into a pan.  Now it will stay moist and juicy even when it’s froze. After breaking down the hams you’ll have a third full size pan of meat maybe more depending on the size of the hog.

What is left should be the bones, skin, and a bunch of fatty, greasy meat. I do take the extra time to sort through all of it, besides the fact that my Papaw would kick my tail if I didn’t. He couldn’t stand to waste one ounce of hog meat, and I just can’t bring myself to throw it away either. 

You’re going to have to dig through all those nooks and crannies to get it… but your already in there, so why not?

Also, for those that are interested, I shot a video on how to lay out the aluminum foil so it’s easy to wrap the hog when it comes time.  It’s uploaded here: Whole Hog Prep - Wrapping Whole Pig
And we shot a short video about how to prepare a fire for slow-burning. This is key when smoking your whole hog. You can watch this video here: How To Build a Slow-Burning Fire
Got an suggestion or a topic you would like me to talk about in this newsletter?

Email it to me at

The Killer Hog's Rub... THE BBQ RUB. (period)
We've been getting great reviews on this rub and winning with it like crazy.

It not only gives your BBQ meat great flavor, but it gives it great color too.

It's a sweet n' spicy rub that goes perfectly with BBQ. You gotta try it. You gotta tell your friends about it.

It IS The BBQ Rub. (period)|| My BBQ Blog Malcom Reed Killer Hogs BBQ Team

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

No comments:

Post a Comment