Had a question from Jim a few days ago about the planning that goes into smoking a whole hog… and it actually is the reason I decided to do my newsletter on whole hog this week.
It’s all about getting ready to serve your hog before you ever start cooking it.
Just a little pre-planning goes a long way when your talking whole pig because when your done, your going to want to show this baby off… and the best way to do that is to move it from the smoker to a table (and then garnish it up).
To get the hog to the table:
If you’re grate is removable it’s fairly simple, just get a couple extra sets of hands and pull it off the cooker and onto the table.
If the grate can’t be removed, you can cook the hog on wire mesh or some type of metal tray. Just be sure that whatever you cook it on allows the drippings to drain through. A few sticks of rebar with a piece of expanded metal welded to them makes a great hog rack. (also makes it easier to spin the hog during the cooking process)
We lay the sled on a table, place the hog on it, and then it goes into the cooker.
When it’s time to wrap, we spin the hog 180 degrees (keeps it cooking even on all sides), after it’s done just put on a pair of fireplace gloves and move it back to the table.
You can garnish or decorate around the sides of the hog to make the presentation look better once it’s on the table. There will be a lot of moisture that comes out of the cooked hog, so keep in mind that it can make a mess.
Good luck and let me know how the hog turns out!