I've Done It Now!
I volunteered to smoke a pig for the family Labor Day party. Let me start by saying I'm not a neophyte at smoking meats, fish, veggies, etc. BUT I have never smoked a whole pig.
Here's my set up: A small wood stove with the chimney out the back of the stove connected to a smoker box the size or an apartment size refrigerator. I regulate the temperature by the length of the pipe I use between the stove and the smoker box and can further regulate it by the vents on the stove. I have an instant read meat thermometer in the side of the smoker box so I can keep an eye on the temperature inside the box.
My thought is I would hang the pig inside the smoke box. Ideally I'd like the pig to be cooked to a nice juicy, sliceable temperature rather than well done like pulled pork.
My questions are:
1. Can I stuff the cavity with something like maybe potatoes, onions, sausage or whatever to promote a more uniform cooking? Or would that be unsafe? If it can be done then what at what temperature should the pig be smoked?
2. If I thread a wire either around the neck or under the front legs will that hold a 50-60 lb. pig hanging? Any suggestions on hanging the pig would be appreciated.
3. I plan on using a dry rub on the inside and oiling the outside of the pig. Do you think brining a day ahead would be helpful or should I plan on injecting the meat? I was thinking of using Linda's cider brine for pork roast.
I'm expecting it will take 12-14 hours to smoke the pig but that will depend on the smoking temperature I decide to use. I plan on using an instant read thermometer to check for temperature through out the pig.