pick that pig

This is the location of a primitive rite known as a pig pickin'
The people below are about to embark on a time honored tradition in the rural south. Eating pig, slow cooked on a smoker, is a tasty repast here in North Carolina. This party took place between Durham and North Raleigh in a quiet little neighborhood. The pictures down the left illustrate the ingredients of a pig roast...

Here's the general setup--a heat source, a smoker, a pig, and people to eat the pig.

As you can probably tell from how we're dressed, it was a very blustery day on Saturday and most of the people stayed in the barn.

A little later it rained for a while as it had earlier in the day. That's why the tarp was set up above the smoker. You don't want rain to hit it since that would cool off the smoker and then the pig would cook too slow.

This barrel is used to burn hardwood, hickory in this case, until there's just coals left--and then these coals are shoveled into the bottom of the smoker. This adds the taste of the hickory smoke but doesn't cook the pig too quickly.

While you don't have to use hickory, you do need hardwood since pine and other softwoods burn too fast and also don't have much taste to impart to the meat.

It takes quite a lot of wood to smoke a pig this size--about 100 pounds before being eviscerated--because the pig slow cooks over a period of about 10 hours. If well basted, the meat is incredibly tender and that's the case here. The pig was very, very good.

Here we have the pig splayed out in all it's well- picked glory. Essential to this is the basting sauce seen in the foreground. Spooning this over the pig at intervals allows the meat to stay moist and tender.

Here's a close up of the pigs head. Can you see that in the middle is the nose? The pig is split down the center and is face up here.

You can see some of the upper teeth to the sides of the nose and to the sides of those teeth is the two halves of the lower jaw, one on each side. The front legs form the cross at the top of the picture. And there's a good chunk of meat sticking out just above where the heart would be. Yum!



Tarragon said…
Pig roasts are held in the summer at my parents home town too only the pig is roasted whole on a spit. It doesnt take too much imagination to work out where the spit pole has to go.
Scottage said…
OK, no fair Utenzi, you got me really, really hungry. That is some good looking pig. Make sure you save me a plate, I'm on my way!
magz said…
Yummm!This is lookin pretty tasty my friend, and so's yer blog! Sorry I've been so sporadic on the commentin thing, 'tween the ongoing battles to make my comments stick and the tendency to close up rather than browse after writing, I've been a bad bad BlogBud.
My mind's been on extended vacation in Fictionland, my soul's busy metamorphing, and my bod's gearing up for a long hot welcomed Az summer; I cant wait.
Still friends? I love ya n appriciate yer visits yanno, here's yer big hug
Hi Utenzi,
I'm here from Michele's this evening (actually it is morning now for me and I ought to be asleep).
Yummy pig! What is the sauce made out of?
I've started to get belly aches when i eat pork lately. Someone told me that can be a gallbladder thang... either way, I don't think I can give up bacon.
Mike said…
MMMMMMMMMM Pork! Thanks now i'm hungery! Michele sent me.
No_Newz said…
We are in a pig roast, pig smokin' town. Tis the season and all that. Our friends had a BBQ, which we were expecting outdoor pig cooking. We really got, outdoor lamb on a rotisserie over an open fire. The kids still will not eat lamb after seeing the face intact. Actually it may have been the cigarette that was put in the lamb's mouth as it spun that turned the kids off. :P Personally, I hate when they leave the head on. Grosses me out, but I usually push that thought aside as I dig in.
Cat said…
Looks delicious. I hear stories of how my aunt used to cook pigs like this but I don't remember them.
Michelle said…
Ewwwwwww, i wish i hadn't looked at the last photo!
Gerard valz said…
I praise the Lord each day and thank him I wasn't born a pig.
Oreo said…
HHMM, looks like something I'd do to a mouse...or a squirrel...or a woofie..yeah, a woofie!
Maritza said…
12 small garlic cloves, finely chopped
Sea salt
1/4 cup fresh bitter-orange juice or lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper

Cuban style mojo (marinade)! Nothing like it! Try it on your next pig (why does that sound so wrong?)
Wow that looks like it was incredible. It's been years since I had anything like that cooked on a smoker. I can't tell you how jealous I am.

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