Break In or Seasoning
Adjust the unit so it is slightly nose down.
Place a container under the grease valve.
Open the valve.
Clean cooking racks with dish soap and hot water to remove any cutting oils and debris from manufacturing.
Check the inside of the cooking chamber for any debris and if necessary rinse.
Spray the interior of the cooking chamber and racks with a light coat of cooking oil.
Load the firebox with charcoal, light and allow temp. to come up to approximately 275 degrees and maintain this temp. for about 1 to1.5 hours.
Keep firebox side and chimney vents wide open.
Adjust firebox vents to regulate temp. (opening increases and closing decreases).
Keep the chimney vent wide open at all times. Never close during a cook.
Now you are ready to cook.
If starting from “scratch”, fill the firebox with 20 to 2 5 lbs. of charcoal.
Light the coals either with a torch or a couple of hot chimney coals.
Keep vents wide open and doors closed on the cooking chamber.
How fast the smoker will get to temp is dependent on ambient temperature, barometric pressure, wind etc.
Remember, you are heating up a tremendous amount of steel.
Once you reach your desired temperature (225 to 275) place your meat on the racks.
Place one or two logs on the fire.
Use only hard woods such as pecan, oak, hickory, cherry, peach and apple.
They must be dry and seasoned.
Once you achieve a light blue smoke put on the meat.
The section close to the firebox will be hotter than the sections to the front.
We usually tend to but the larger cuts of meats like brisket and butts towards the front and smaller cuts like ribs, chicken, sausage towards the back.
You will know if there’s a problem if you have black or dark smoke coming out of the chimney.
Ideal smoke color is light blue/white (at this point you can continue with all wood or a combo of wood and charcoal as we do).
Regulate your temperature with the side vents on the firebox.
If your heat gets too high and you are having trouble lowering it, simply prop open the cooking doors and if it’s way hot open the firebox door about an inch or two. This will allow things to cool down.
If you want guidelines on cooking various meats, check out our recipes.
Note: Do not get discourage if your first cook doesn’t turn out exactly as expected. After a few cooks you will understand the mechanics of your smoker and also you will develop your own techniques to turning out some of the best BBQ. Best to start with things like ribs and pork butts.
Remember, you can always call us with any questions.
Good luck and may the Lard be with you!
Place the roaster away from anything flammable.
Coat the cooking grate with spray cooking oil.
Remove the cooking grate from the roaster and place the pig on it.
Optional-inject the butts and hams with Butcher Pork Injection.
Rub the skin of the pig with vegetable oil.
Wrap tinfoil under the feet around the snout and ears.
Remove the roaster drip pan.
Light the gas pilot light.
Install the Charcoal Combo Insert.
Fully open the top and side vents. VENTS ON LID SHOULD BE WIDE OPEN ALL THE TIME.
Fill the troughs with about 7 lbs. of charcoal per trough and light.
When fully lit spread evenly.
Allow the roaster temp. to reach 300 to 325.
Ideally when the roaster reaches 325 spread wood chunks on the charcoal.
Replace drip pan and put the cooking grate with the pig back on the roaster.
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 thermometer.
Maintaining temp. will be accomplished by using the bottom vents. Close vents to lower temps and open to raise.
Once adjusted it should stay at 300.
The wood and charcoal should keep temp for about 1.5 to 2 hours.
When the temp starts to drop turn on the gas valve.
When the meat temp. reaches at least 185+ using an instant read thermometer you’re 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 that the high temp in the other area.
You need at least two people to remove the pig.
Place a table close to the roaster.
Place long sheets of heavy duty foil long enough to wrap around the entire pig and grate.
Place the cooking grate with the pig on the table and envelope the foil around the pig and grate.
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:
Cooking time=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.
Hog and pig roasting is a tradition that has formed roots across the world. There are many countries that have whole celebrations revolving around the sharing of this beast. If you are looking to host a celebration or just a backyard barbecue there are a few things that you should know about roasting a pig before you begin.
You can eat pretty much all of the meat of a pig from the rooter to the tooter. When grilling the pig, coat the grate with cooking oil spray. You can certainly feed a large family gathering with one pig. To prepare the pig, there are a few things you can do. One option is to inject the butts and hams with a mix of apple cider vinegar, salt, apple juice, pepper, and garlic salt. This along with rubbing vegetable oil into the skin of the pig will help give an extra boost of flavor and keep all of it in.
If you are looking to cook a pig there are several different options to do so. You can buy or build your own pit, or use a roaster. The roasters are a great option because you never have to turn the pig. There is such temperature control allowing for perfect cooking and fat rendering each and every time. If you are using a roaster, the general rule of thumb is to fill it with ¾ lb. of charcoal for every 1 lb. of pig. Also, if you have wood pieces that are approximately 6” x 6” then simply put them in front of the lit coals.
Your roaster will need about forty five minutes to an hour to reach a temperature of 300-325. Once it reaches 325 ideally, you can place your pig on the grate. The temperature will drop due to putting on a cold pig, but the temperature will rise again once they pig heats up. Just make sure you maintain a temperature of approximately 300 degrees.
You also want to give yourself ample time to cook the pig as well. This will not be as simple as tossing a few hot dogs on the grill, you may be cooking for the majority of the day before your pig will be ready. The rule is to allow one hour of cooking time for every 10 lbs. of pig. Allowing some buffer time would also be wise.
When the internal temperature gets to be at least 185 or more, then you are ready to remove the pig. Make sure to test the temperature in both the hams and the butts. If it is low in one of the areas, make sure the lowest at least reaches 185 before taking it out. It is OK for one section to get hotter while the other cooks.
Once your pig is cooked and removed from the roaster, there is some cool down that should happen first. Double wrap the pig in heavy tin foil, cover it with a blanket, and allow it to rest and cool for at least one hour. But, don’t worry- the pig will be hot for at least 3 hours, and stay warm for many hours after that.
If you are ready to take on the challenge of roasting a pig, there will be an amazing reward of a great meal and pride of a job well done indicated by the full bellies of your friends and families. Once you finish your first roast, feel free to comment and let us all know how it turned out.
Our Meadow creek PR 36 is more than a pig roaster. Even though it cooks delicious pigs up to 40 lbs, it is a very versatile backyard cooker. Cook any of the meats you would consider cooking on a conventional gas or charcoal grill and see the difference. This unit can roast, smoke, and grill. Its large 14″ x 35″ stainless steel grate will easily accommodate briskets, ribs, pork butts, chops, loins, turkeys, sausage, dogs, burgers etc.
This article will illustrate cooking whole chickens on this great cooker.
The PR 36 stands at a comfortable 46″. Even though it is designed for the backyard pro, it is no light weight. With a 13 gauge steel firebox, this unit weighs in at 175 lbs. It is easily moved around on its 13″ tires. It comes fully assembled.
We loaded this PR 36 with approximately 20 lbs of charcoal. It is best to start the fire with a torch or chimneys. Avoid lighter fluid.
We allowed the temperature to get up to 275 or 300 degrees before putting the chickens on. Since we had quite a bit of space after placing 4 chickens on the cooker, we added quarters and pieces. These hens were brined when we bought them and were approximately 3.5 lb each. A cajun spice is on the “red” ones and Hudson Bay Beef Spice from Savory Spice Shop in Westfield, NJ on the lighter ones. The Hudson Bay Spice was awesome, and preferred by our guests. If you look closely, you will see an aluminum tray under the grate. The PR 36 comes standard with a grilling pan for grilling things like dogs, burgers, and wings. We keep the pan in when doing an indirect cook and place an aluminum pan on the grilling pan with about 1″ of water. It helps to add some moisture to the cook.
The PR 36 comes with a commercial grade thermometer. One of the best features on the PR 36 is the ease of adjusting the temperature for the cut of meat. Vents on the firebox and the hood make this a simple process. Once set, it requires minimum fire maintenance. For this cook, we wanted to maintain about 250.
We are close to the 2 hour mark, and as can be seen, some of the chicken pieces have already come off the grill. We continued cooking about another 30 minutes until the internal temperature was 170 degrees in the thigh joint. Cooking will always vary depending on the size of the bird, atmospheric conditions, and the amount of fire.
And the finish product. Delicious, moist and tasty BBQ chicken complimented with a nice savignon blanc or chardonnay makes a meal that your guest will not forget. The GrillBillies’ way of cooking. LARD HAVE MERCY!!