If possible, place the smoker in an area where it is somewhat protected from the wind. Also away from anything flammable.
Coat the cooking grate with spray cooking oil.
Remove the cooking grate from the smoker and place the pig on it.
Optional-inject the butts and hams with a mixture of apple juice, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper and garlic salt.
Rub the skin of the pig with vegetable oil.
Wrap tinfoil on the feet, snout and ears.
Load the fire box with about 20 lbs. of charcoal.
Light the charcoal and once you have a good burn throw in a couple of logs.
Fully open firebox vents.
Allow approximately 45-60 mins. for the smoker temp. to reach 300 to 325.
Ideally when the smoker reaches 325 place the pig and cooking grate in the smoker.
Your temperature is going to drop because of putting on the cold pig.
Don’t worry. Once the pig starts to warm up your temp. will come back up.
Maintain about 300 degrees on the gauge.
Maintaining temp. will be accomplished by either slightly closing the vents to lower temps and opening to raise temps.
Once adjusted it should stay at 300.
Add charcoal and wood as needed to maintain 300 degrees.
When the meat temp. reaches at least 185+ (higher like 190+ is OK) by using an instant read thermometer ( not dial ones-they can be off 25 degrees) your ready to remove the pig. Test the temp. both in the hams and butts. If the temps vary bring the lowest temp up to 185+ and don’t worry about the high temp.
You need at least two people to remove the pig.
Place a table close to the smoker. On it have the board you plan on placing the pig. Check that the feet are not stuck.
Carefully lifting the head and the butt and also trying to support the trunk move the pig onto the board.
You can also leave the pig on the grate for serving.
Double wrap the pig with heavy duty tinfoil.
Cover the pig with a blanket.
Allow to rest at least 1 hr.
The pig will stay hot for at least 3 hrs. and warm for several.
Garnish with greens and cut up fruit of varying colors.
Rule of thumb
- 1 hr. for every 10 lbs. of pig.
- Allow “wiggle room” of 1.5 hrs. in case the cook is taking longer and also to give the meat time to rest.
- Plan 1lb. of charcoal for every LB. of pig. Again on larger pigs you may need less.
Lard Have Mercy!