Going Whole Hog!

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M Strickland

TVWBB Member
Hi Gary!
I've enjoyed reading your web site and am glad to find out about your book. I'll be getting a copy. I have just gotten a brand new WSM and will be going through your 5 step process soon!

I noticed that you list a cinder block hog pit as one of your smokers. I've been thinking about building a dry stack cinder block pit for whole hogs and for general large quantity cooking.

Can you give us some instruction on how to build a cinder block hog pit? Also (very important) how to learn to use one? I'd hate to go to the trouble and expense of ruining an expensive hog!!


The answer to your seemingly simple question-how to build and use a cinderblock pig pit-could fill a book of its own. But, there are a few key points that will give you a slight jump on the process:

1. Build the pit so the pig is at least 24-inches from the fire.

2. Burn wood to coals and use the coals sparingly. This makes it easier to regulate the fire. A big roaring fire is a recipe for disaster.

3. Cook the butterflied pig, skin-side up, for 95 percent of the cook, then flip it skin-side down at the end to puff and crisp the delicious cracklins.

4. Remember that less is more with the live coals. Strategically place coals under the four corners of the pig, with a light scattering of coals around the edges of the pit in the beginning to bring the block up to temperature. People usually make the mistake of building too large of a fire. That, and getting impatient-but that holds true with all types of barbecue.

Whole hog on a cinder block pit is a fairly uncomplicated process once you get the hang of the basics. My best recommendation: find someone in your area who will let you assist during a cook. Youll learn more by doing it hands-on.

I learned about whole hog cooking from Bob in Ga (http://www.bobinga.com/), a prince of a fellow with an interesting barbecue perspective.

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