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My experience - whole pig

bcm99bcm99 Posts: 4
edited 6:02AM in EggHead Forum
I've had my egg (XL) about a month, and this was my most ambitious project yet - a whole (29 lb.) suckling pig. The animal itself just barely fits on the XL egg, laying on it's side. We had our butcher clean the animal and tie the legs together.

Marinade (12 hours in fridge), based on an Emeril recipe:
White wine (sauv. blanc, 2 bottles)
Orange juice (about 3/4 carton)
Juice of 6 lemons
Juice of 6 limes
Onion, chopped
Bay leaves (6 or so)
Cumin - 1/2 cup
Oregano - 1/2 cup
Parsley - 1 cup
Salt
Lots of fresh ground pepper
Chopped garlic - about a cup

Now, we expected this guy to cook for quite a long time. I had seen lots of references to 15-20 minutes per pound at 350, and in fact that is what the Emeril recipe said, albeit for a 15 lb. pig cooked indoors in a standard oven. So I was expecting about a 7+ hr cook time, and another 30 minutes rest before carving. Perfect amount of time to do baked beans inside at 275 in the oven.

After about 4.5 hours on the egg, we finally took a look, and our plan was to put a temperature probe in for the rest of the cooking to monitor it easily. The only problem was, it was already done! I mean, completely. The beans needed another 3 hours and nothing else was ready.

Here's what we did -
1. Increase beans to 350, shave an hour off the expected time.
2. Cool down the egg ASAP to around 225, in some kind of attempt to keep it warm for awhile and yet not cook the pig much more. This was a bit of a challenge, but I had a decent idea - pots of ice went onto the egg, acting as a heat sink and cooling it fairly rapidly (30-40 minutes to get it down where I wanted).

At the end of it all, it turned out almost perfect. The ribs and loins were moist and flavorful. The tongue was a real treat. Some of the butt was a little dry (emphasis on just a little!) but everyone still loved it, and we had homemade BBQ sauce handy to go with it.

I'm still a bit puzzled by the short cooking time - while I was fully expecting it to be done more quickly than indoors, to cut the time almost in half was a shock. The next time around, I'm thinking a cooking temp around 275 for 15 minutes per pound should get me more where I want to be, and provide even better results.

Photo of the pig just off the egg follows. The skin got a bit darker than I would have liked, but few were interested in eating it anyways!


pig.jpg

Comments

  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 7,616
    :woohoo: Wow! That looks great. And for a first post, no less. Congrats. So how many people did that feed?

    Rowlett, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

    The Supreme Potentate, Sovereign Commander and Sultan of Wings

     

  • bcm99bcm99 Posts: 4
    We had 8 adults, 6 children (ranging in age from 3-8). And enough leftovers to keep us in pork sandwiches for weeks. :)
  • eenie meenieeenie meenie Posts: 4,392
    bcm99, what an adventurous cook to tackle! :) The suckling pig looks delicious.

    I'm curious, how much fat did you collect in the drip pan?
  • bcm99bcm99 Posts: 4
    Oh boy, don't bring that up. :)

    I should have used a bigger drip pan, it didn't cover enough area, and a bunch of fat and drippings got onto the plate setter. It was a terrible mess. Next time, I'm going to buy one of those disposable foil pans that is much larger. The pan I used was one of our old ones, 13x9 I think. The burned fat was a good 1/2" deep in the pan. It's basically ruined unless I want to do some serious cleaning, and that's probably not worth the effort involved. Live and learn.

    Another note - I put the pig on the grill grate directly. I thought about using one of those turkey racks to make moving it easier but didn't end up doing that. The pig was fairly easily removed from the grate when cooking was done, but it was a 2-person job.

    I also added a few mesquite chunks to the charcoal at the beginning of cooking to get a little bit of smoke in it.
  • SheepDogSheepDog Posts: 176
    Great cook BCM! My first full size cook was with a friend of ours who has an offset cooker, good times! My hats off to ya for tackling a whole pig on a BGE.
  • BobSBobS Posts: 2,485
    I'd like to get one that size to cook!!
  • JLOCKHART29JLOCKHART29 Posts: 5,897
    Very nice job. For seven years back in the mid 90's I was a manager for Tyson Foods over two 500 sow farrowing units. Put out around 25000 fourty lb feeders pigs for the feed lots every year. Ruptures were supposed to be knocked in the head as they generally got gutted on the finnishing floor by other hogs. Man therey is no telling how many 8-40 lb pigs I ate back then. A 8 lb pig you eat like chicken!!!! :laugh:
  • probe1957probe1957 Posts: 222
    bcm99 wrote:
    I should have used a bigger drip pan, I'm going to buy one of those disposable foil pans that is much larger. The pan I used was one of our old ones, 13x9 I think. The burned fat was a good 1/2" deep in the pan. It's basically ruined unless I want to do some serious cleaning, and that's probably not worth the effort involved.

    The disposable foil pans are the only way to go. I had to learn that lesson in largely the same manner as you. I also concluded the pan wasn't worth the effort to clean up.
  • loco_engrloco_engr Posts: 3,673
    62# pig on a Lrg
    I had nothing to do with this cook, just copied the photo from this forum.
    I believed it was explained that some of the spine was removed in order for the bend.

    62piginalarge.jpg

    I applaud your efforts and intestinal fortitude! :)
  • bcm99bcm99 Posts: 4
    loco_engr wrote:
    62# pig on a Lrg
    I had nothing to do with this cook, just copied the photo from this forum.
    I believed it was explained that some of the spine was removed in order for the bend.

    62piginalarge.jpg

    I applaud your efforts and intestinal fortitude! :)

    They must have done something like that to make it bend. Ours would never have fit into that position!
  • BotchBotch Posts: 5,773
    loco_engr wrote:
    62# pig on a Lrg
    I had nothing to do with this cook, just copied the photo from this forum.
    I believed it was explained that some of the spine was removed in order for the bend.

    62piginalarge.jpg

    I applaud your efforts and intestinal fortitude! :)
    Haha, that just begs for a Caption Contest! :laugh:

    BCM, that's quite a project, hat's-off for tackling it, and succeeding! B)
    _____________________________________________
     
    Live fast, die young, and leave a well-marbled corpse.  
     
    Ogden, Utard.  
  • Austin  EggheadAustin Egghead Posts: 3,834
    Quite impressive. Clink of the snifter glass for that fine cook.
    Large, small and mini now in Rowlett Tx
  • Brian,
    Why did you cook a pig and not call me? I live near you (I think). Get on the Facebook group hoss
    tim
    mt. greenwood
  • edited December 2011
    You are my Hero.  You and the guy that killed Bin Laden.  Enough said.

     "Where the weak grow strong and the strong grow great, Here's to "Down Home," the Old North State!"

    Med & XL

  • Scott805Scott805 Posts: 251
    Touchdown!

    Large BGE, 2 Tier Adjustable Swing Rack System, three (3) bricks from Home Depot for raised direct, Blackstone 22" Griddle - Finally have a decent table!

    Dallas, TX

  • GrannyX4GrannyX4 Posts: 1,476
    That gets a big laugh!!!
    Every day is a bonus day and every meal is a banquet in Winter Springs, Fl !
  • MickeyMickey Posts: 18,598
    edited December 2011

    SIr I feel like such a slacker with my scooting by the last 5 years with my eggs.  My hat is off to you. Nice cook. Just a question: what are you going to do after you learn how to use that egg.....

    Salado TX Egg Family: 2 Large and a very well used Mini, added a Mini Max (I'm good for now). 

  • SteveWPBFLSteveWPBFL Posts: 1,316
    Yeah, look the gasket is still gray and the insides of the Egg still white! What IS next?
  • Hungry JoeHungry Joe Posts: 1,447

    That pig was cooked at an eggfest, so yes it was a brand new egg.

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