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Anyone good at roasting a pig over charcoal?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Seasoned Oak, Sep 3, 2012.

  1. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    I tried roasting a pig over charcoal and wood over labor day with mixed results. The skin got mostly black and burned rather than brown and crispy. Most of my friends(including me) like to eat the skin when it gets crispy. Most of it on this one was too burned to eat though. What is the ideal temp to roast at? I had the top of a barrel style charcoal grill over it to hold some heat in. walls where cement block.
    I think it was the wood that burned the skin, even though no flames actually touched the pig.

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  2. Capt

    Capt Burning Hunk

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    After you hit an internal temp of around 160, it should be foiled to prevent burning and continue cooking.
  3. Lewiston

    Lewiston Burning Hunk

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    You want to keep the roasting temp around 225 (no more than 250). Lump charcoal with a few wood chunks for flavor will give you the most consistent results.

    This is an added insurance.
  4. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    We had a makeshift cover from a 3" barrel style charcoal grill with a gauge on it but the gauge did not have temps on it just a warm/ideal/hot scale. The fire was about 18-20 inches below the pig and the flame from the wood never touched the pig but still the skin was charred black and the internal temp never went above 145. The fire was about half split hardwood and half charcoal bricklets. Pig weighed 90 Lbs after being gutted and bled and ready to cook and we cooked it about 10 hours
  5. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    I just watched a video and they recommended a temp of 300 consistently with an indirect style cooker.I guess if the pig is directly exposed to the fire its less.
  6. woodsman23

    woodsman23 Minister of Fire

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    1st wrap it in chicken wire to keep it together. keep it spinning slowly and no more than 275 degrees. 12 hrs.
  7. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    You can spin it if you have a rotisserie,but who is going to set by it for 12 hours and spin it by hand. We turned it every 20 -30 minutes by hand. meat was delicious but the skin was charred,about 90% of it inedible.
  8. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    You were too close to the heat source. Most of the fellas that do this stuff have a rotisserie set up with an electric motor geared WAY down for the turning.

    The better pig roasters will keep the heat source off to the sides and down low. The heat still hits the pig but the drippings will not flare up.

    We can argue about temps and times till the cows come home.

    (Just did 110 pounds of pig over the weekend....mmmm good).
    smokinj likes this.
  9. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Whats your preferred method of cooking Jags? As i said the pig was about 18-20 Inches above the fire ,seems like plenty.
  10. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh good gawd - I could give you 20 ways to Sunday and never repeat the same thing twice. This past weekend was 11 shoulders and we pushed them done in 4.5 hrs. A new record for me and it was wonderful.

    Whole hog - I plan on a lot of time and beer. Anywhere from 14 to 18 hrs total cook time depending on size. I run 225F until the last hour or two (again, depending on pig, outside temps, etc). Then I bump the temps up to about 275-300F to finish off the temps needed. EVERY COOKER will have its own personality. Get your own and learn it. A good resource:http://www.barbecuen.com/#axzz25XQFjTLg

    Or better yet - build it. (and they will come ;)). 11 shoulders went on this dude on Sunday: (obviously not a whole hog cooker - I borrow a friends that is on a trailer.)
    Smoker.jpg
    Defiant likes this.
  11. Defiant

    Defiant Vermont Castings Geek

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    Here are photos of the one we did earlier this year, pig was in a rack that was flipped every 15. Skin was charred when the fire was too hot.
    100_3741.jpg 100_3742.jpg 100_3738.jpg Pig was dressed and weighed 60 lb
    smokinj likes this.
  12. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    We have a bunch of filipinos in our group that cooked over the Weekend and they all like to eat the crispy skin so it was unfortunate that the skin was not edible,but the meat was very good as they sewed up seasonings and onions inside to marinate. Pig was 90 dressed.
  13. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Not enough info, you kinda need start to finish play by play. Notes on temp of fire and meat two hours before it even goes on. How did you prep the pig so and so forth??????
  14. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Prep the pig filipino style ,basted the skin while roasting,stuffed the belly with seasonings and green onions. The meat came out fine but the skin turned black and charred.
    Its hard to control temps with a pit surrounded by cement block. Next time ill use just charcoal and forego the wood.I think it was the wood flames that ruined the skin even though i made sure they did not touch the skin directly. Just a steel pipe through the middle with skewers holding the pig from turning on the pipe.
    Im thinking of getting a regular pig cooker as i have a need for this numerous times in a year. Cooking over a pit is hit and miss i guess.
  15. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Post #11 has a simple but nice set up. You just need some one there to keep the fire right and flip it offten. Another was to keep the black off is to have two pits. Burn down your wood on one pit and shovle the coal into the hog pit.

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