Cooking a Whole Hog for 4th Of July

I think more people cook whole hogs on July 4th than any other time of year. It makes sence to me, since that how I was raised… going to a hog pickin’ with family every July 4th.

And I’ve gotten a couple of really great questions about the best way to cook a whole hog. So I thought I’d answer one and puta few links out there with a little more information.

I know that cooking a whole hog can be a little intimidating at first, but it is the most fun thing to cook.

So here’s Mike’s Question, and it’s one that I get a lot…

I was wondering if I have to trim my whole hog as extensively as you do if I’m not competing. I will trim it some and inject it. Thanks for any input you can give me. It will be my first whole hog and it will weigh approx 90lbs.

And here is the answer:

That’s sort of a “yes & no” question. You do want to take the time to remove excess fat, sinew or “silver skin”, or any meat that just doesn’t look right (i.e. blood deposits)

This will allow your seasoning and smoke to penetrate the meat making it more flavorful. Also it helps build a better bark during the cooking process.

Now you don’t have to remove the ribs, score the backbone, or do any of the tricks we use to aid us in presentation for judges because after all…you’re cooking it to eat.

Treat it like any good piece of meat: Trim anything visible that doesn’t look right, inject and season with good rub, and cook it low and slow until the internal temps are 198 in the shoulders. It will turn out great!

On my website, I have a complete step-by-step method for cooking a whole hog (along with how to trim your whole hog and my injection recipe I use for a whole pig). I even have 7 tips to make your hog cooking go a little easier.

You can either hit the links above or go to: www.howtobbqright.com/wholehog.html

And once the hog is cooked, here is a video that will show you how to break it all down:

Malcom Reed
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