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!

Malcom Reed
Killer Hogs BBQ Cooking Team
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About the Author

I am Malcom Reed and my brother, Waylon, and I are the Killer Hogs competition bbq team. Here at HowtoBBQright.com, I want to give you my secrets, methods and techniques you need to produce competition-quality BBQ. I want to give enough detail for BBQ novices, but still offer information that is useful for the professional BBQ cooks. I only focus on REAL bbq. And I take it seriously.

3 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Wayne September 18, 2014 at 4:19 pm -

    Hey Malcolm,
    Going to be doing a whole hog (first one) for my daughters wedding. Expecting 40 or so people. Would an 80lb hog be big enough and would ten hours be a safe cooking time at 220? Built my own smoker and a little nervous about this. Love your videos, very informative. Thanks for sharing

  2. Administrator September 19, 2014 at 6:27 am -

    Yeah, an 80lb hog should be plenty for 40 people. But 10 hours would not be enough time. You need to plan on 14 – 16 total hours of cook time if your going to be cooking it at 220. And since whole hogs hold so easy – you can get a hog to 198 and then hold it there on the smoker for hours with no problem – I like to calculate a few extra hours in at the end just in case you need the extra time. You would be a lot better off getting the hog done 2 hours before the time you need it – rather than trying to push the hog or worrying about getting it done in time.

  3. Buddy Wooten June 14, 2016 at 5:12 am -

    Cooking 100-110 whole hog for Fourth of July. Using a big tank cooker. Plan on cooking at 225 degrees. How many hours total cooking time and rest time would you project ?

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