A Mother’s Day get together with my family, and the Comeaux’s. Of course on such an occasion, the husbands are supposed to cook, right? This is mom’s day off after all! I told Mrs. Greatoutdoordiary, “I’ve got that little hog on ice….We can smoke it, and make pulled pork if you want?” She just noded and said, “Perfect!”
First Step…Kill the pig. Second Step… Clean the pig. Third Step…Cook the pig. Fourth Step…Eat the pig.
First Step…Kill the pig:
If you will remember I was lucky enough to connect on a small sow in Scouting, Setting Hog Snares, and Makin’ Bacon and I can’t think of a more fitting ending than to share this tender specimen with friends.
Second Step…Clean the pig:
- As soon as you knock an animal down, you should be moving to remove the innards, and get the meat on ice or in a cooler. The longer you wait, the higher the chance of flavors getting imparted that you don’t want.
- Next, remove any portion that is shot up, because (1) it tastes nasty; and (2) if you shoot led bullets, any fragmentation won’t be too good for you.
- Make sure to remove any glands from the hog. The gland will impart a nasty flavor similar to a hobo’s beard sweat after running a 5K. They look like gray roundish shaped things usually surrounded by a chunk of fat. Cut them out and discard.
- You can soak the hog quarters in water with salt & vinegar added if it is an older hog, and/or if you want to brine slightly before smoking. This can be done in a sink filled with water while thawing out the meat if your meat is coming out of the freezer. This was a small hog, so no soaking was necessary.
- Wipe the meat dry before you apply the dry rub, or you will end up with a mess on your hands.
Third Step…Cook the pig:
- After its been cleaned properly, apply a dry rub. To see my super easy dry rub recipe check out Dry Rub Recipe for Smoking or BBQ
- Word to the wise: don’t use a dry rub or any sauce that contains sugars at this point in the process (it can be added after it has been removed from the smoker). This is because the sugars will caramelize to the point that they practically burn due to the length of cook time.
- You can also inject the meat with a Cajun Injector or the like. This was a small hog, so no injecting for me on this pig.
- (I did not preform this step) If you prefer a “bark” on your pulled pork, then fire up the charcoal grill. While the grill is hot, set your meat on the grill until it has a seared layer on the outside layer (remember that wild hog is not as fatty as domestic, so don’t cook too long here, just give it a little crunch on the outside).
- Set your smoker to 225-235 degrees, and place the uncovered pans into your smoker.
- Add your smoking wood (I used pecan on this tasty little monster. I use hickory often and it is also great).
- Cook for 2 hours. All the while Smoking that piggy like Hillary Clinton on Election Day.
- Carefully remove the pans from the smoker, and cover with foil. There will be rendered fat in the pan, so don’t burn yourself. Leave the fat in when you cover the pan with foil. Note that due to ease of cooking (during libation time) we cover with foil. However, this step will “soften the bark,” so if you don’t want that, leave it uncovered, and monitor the pork for tenderness, and to insure that it does not dry out.
- Cook for another 1.5 – 2 hours per pound of meat (these went for about 6 hours total because it was a small hog).
- Add wood as needed throughout the cooking process as desired (lots of wood for lots of smokiness, and not lots of wood for not lots of smokiness).
- Check to insure that the internal temperature is at least 165 degrees, and that the desired tenderness has been achieved.
- I use two forks, and pull the tender fork off of the bones.
Fourth Step…Eat the pig:
This step is my specialty. Place the pulled pork in a platter, and serve on sweet Hawaiian Buns. You can add cole-slaw as a nice touch. I add some of my homemade Nonkie Sauce, but any of your favorite BBQ sauce’s will do. It won’t be as good as my sauce, but nobody’s perfect, right?
Add a few sides, and Let’s Get Ready To Rumble!