If you are getting a whole lot of relatives over for a meal, then the best way to satisfy so many hungry stomachs is by cooking a whole pig. This pig will be able to cater for 40 to 50 hungry people, so it is a good way to have a fun-filled family reunion. But the first question, you may ask is how to cook a whole pig. If this is the case, then read on.
In order to cook a whole pig, you will require a proper place for cooking. You have 2 choices in front of you. You can go out and purchase a readymade smoker for a thousand dollars, or you can be adventurous and prepare a smoker in your own backyard. The choice is yours.
In case you want to build your own smoker, then this is how you should do it. Get a few 8-inch stone blocks ready, some metal rods and finally a wire screen. Use the blocks to make a rectangle. The inside dimensions of the rectangle should 42 inches X 50 inches X 18 inches. Then put the metal rods on top the rectangle so that they help to support the metal screen that is placed over them. Once you have the metal screen in place, lay the prepared pig on top and allow it to cook slowly.
Once you have selected the location to cook the pig, it is time to prepare the hog. Get in touch with your butcher and ask him or her about supplying with a 60-pound to 100-pound skinned and trimmed hog. Ensure that the meat is lean, otherwise you could end up with grease fires. Also, butterfly the hog, so that you can lay it flat on the smoker. If you have the ability to store a whole pig, get the butcher to deliver it in advance. This way you can marinate it for a whole day before cooking. In case you do not have the provision to store the hog, then get the pig the day of the party and place it directly on the fire and season it as it is being cooked.
If you have built your own smoker as described earlier, then you will require around 60 pounds of charcoal briquettes. If you are using a readymade smoker, then follow the instructions given in the manual. Remember, you will need the coals right through the day, so ensure that you have sufficient amount of coal simmering nearby in a fire ring. This way you can keep adding the coal to the smoker as and when required. Place the burning coals into the smoker. Ensure that there is more coal under the shoulders and the hams to ensure uniform cooking.
This method of cooking a whole pig will take around ten hours. Therefore, it is best to start the cooking process in the morning. Initially, allow the skin side of the pig to cook for around four to eight hours. Thereafter, turn it over. Then cook for another one to two hours and then turn it over again. Ensure that you baste the pig every hour. Use a sauce of your taste for the basting process.
After the cooking process is over, remove the cooked pig from the fire. Allow it to sit for an hour. Ensure that during the sitting process, the carcass is tightly wrapped up. Once the hour is over, you can begin cutting the meat into big pieces weighing around five to ten pounds. It is from these large pieces that smaller pieces should be cut. Make sure that you are wearing insulated cooking gloves when handling the meat to prevent burning yourself. Once you have a good pile of pork, get your relatives to dig in.
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