Whole Hog / 120 lbs



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We got tasked to cook a whole hog for a party with about 50 guests. I was going to do a 75-80 lb hog but found out it would be cheaper to do a 100 lb hog, and they get to keep the leftovers. This was our first whole hog on the Lang 84 and my first whole hog cook.

Hog showed up at 120 lbs, so now they have a lot of extra meat. But she did fit in the 150 quart cooler I brought (thankfully with a domed lid or there would not have been much room for ice).


My plan was to cook for 12 hours at 275° and then have a couple hour rest, drive to the party (9 miles) and serve. Got in trouble when I started asking other people what they did and reading online. I checked with Kevin (Thanks Kevin!) and he confirmed my original timeline should be close. Got everything setup to come back out at 1 AM and fire the smoker


Fired a couple chimneys of Stubbs around 1 AM. Usually we just use a little bit of K to get the wood going, but since this was going to be 120 lbs of cold meat I wanted a nice fire going.


We kept it simple with the prep. Flipped her over and removed some bits left behind. S&P underneath, flipped it back and salted the skin. I know the salt didn’t penetrate but it would have been weird not salting both sides of something. Then removed the eyes, foiled the snout, ears, and tail. We also balled up some aluminum foil the size of an apple and pried open the mouth to stuff that in there.


We took the top sliding rack of the Lang out and used it as a tray to move the hog around. Made it much easier to get on/off the smoker.

The right side of our Lang runs anywhere from 20-50° degrees hotter than the left depending on how we have our fire positioned in the firebox. If the left side dropped below 250°, we added a couple logs. If the right side dropped below 275°, we added a couple logs. This kept us at an average of 275° or so throughout the cook. It’s a whole hog, so it’s flexible


At 8 hours in we finally opened it up to see how things were going. We also added probes to the shoulder & ham. Shoulder was at 162° and Ham at 180°. We spun the hog around about backed the cooker down to around 250° average after that.



At 1:30, 11.5 hrs in, we were around 195 on both ends so we shut the cooker down to 150° to let it rest.


When we got to the party we opened up the smoker for everyone to see. Setup a table where we could pull the rack onto. Once out we garnished the hog for a photo op before we cut in.



The meat came out really good. 120 lbs was overkill for the party, but they got a lot of leftovers out of it. Honestly the cook wasn’t that hard since we had a couple people doing it and could rotate sleep shifts. Using the rack to get the hog on/off made life really easy.

Thanks for looking!
Looks good Josh. I don't have a moker that will handle a s\whole hog of that size. I've been rotissing whole hogs for a several decades and it takes roughly 6 hours to cook a 120 lb hog if the hog is stuffed with lemon grass and seasonings then sewn shut. If left split open it takes about 4-1/2 hours. The constant rotating keeps the hog basted. Thanks for sharing...

Great cook Josh. So do you find that if you build your fire in the back of the box the right side of the cooking chamber gets hotter? I need to do more experimenting with my Lang. I have been raising the front end up a bit to see if I can get the heat/smoke to run faster thru the chamber to try and even out the temp. It seems to make a difference.
Anyway, enjoy your left over Hog!
Thank you everyone! We had a great time and will be doing more of these.

Joe, I’d like to do a one on a spit, but since we have a smoker that we handle the size it was easy and not much to worry about for my first whole hog cook.

Steve, Yes, the closer the fire is built to the chamber the hotter my right side runs, which is nice in some circumstances. But if we build back towards the door of the fire box the variation can get down to as little as 10-20° between left-right, but a 25° difference is easier to maintain. We raise the front (as you can see in the second photo) to get the draft going but then level it once we get to temp. My concern there is grease building up on the plate and not draining if left up since we usually have a lot of meat on there if we are breaking this thing out. Overall I really like the Lang if I am cooking during the day. Overnight, WSM is coming out, I need some sleep.

Lawrence, we did not get the skin crispy nor did we really try. The way we went about this is not going to get the skin crispy on a reverse flow, but we knew that. There is up to an inch of fat underneath that skin in some parts, so you need some high or direct heat to crisp that up (Think chicken skin). But we were going for presentation. If I cooked one for myself I would probably butterfly it and cook slowly direct over coals, then flip to crisp the skin.