Friday, November 30, 2007

Cooking Whole Hog.

Well it had been almost two years since I had cooked a hog and the rust showed! That is the longest by far and away I've gone without cooking at least one since I started this craft in 1990. Last year my time was consumed with opening the Joint that we did not have a BBQ back home in Mississippi and this spring and fall were the same. At any rate I freed up some time to go down with Dave Story to cook one. It felt really, really good to get back around the pit all night.....much like some wack-job artist I needed to get back to the basics of it all, and in the world of BBQ there is nothing more basic than this. It was pretty cold that night (low 30's) with a really good wind all day & all night. That has a huge effect on cooking because it becomes a fight to keep your coals/pit temp consistent. When you cook a hog you cook in the 185* - 200* range because you dont want your middlin' & loin to over cook waiting on your hams & shoulders. My pit is built really, really well. Cinder block filled with mason sand and brick lining the outside of the block. We never could get the dadgum temp consistently below 200 all night. Oh I guess we could have if we sat there for 3-4 hours removing coals here and adding them back there....but we were doing this for fun so we didnt fret over it too much. I'd say we cooked at about 225* on average for 27 hours and sure enough it was a little overcooked! I was pissed for about 2 minutes till I asked myself, "self - what did you let it roll all night @225* thinking it would back off but it its your own dumb-ass fault". It still tasted really good but it wasnt perfect. I'll probably start cooking one every 3-4 months now just to stay on my toes.

No comments:

What is this Blog???

You ever been sitting around cooking for your family and friends and been told the following: "Hoss, this is the best I've ever had in my dadgum have got to open up a place of your own". The thought crosses your mind to do just that, but for whatever reason you dont. Well I'm "that" guy that actually went through with it and did it. I had absolutely ZERO restaurant experience! I decided to start this blog about my own experience hoping that it may be of some use and help to others who might be interested in opening their own place.
I learned this craft almost 20 years ago cooking whole hogs on brick & cinder block pits at a couple of little BBQ Joints in Henderson, TN. I learned from old, lifelong career Pit-Masters, working with them as an apprentice during school off and on for four years. Over the course of that time I learned the old, time-honored craft of REAL pit barbecue. At Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint I am trying as hard as I can everyday to bring that time-honored authenticity to my customers.
As you read you'll see I've made some stupid decisions, and I've made some good decisions. If you are thinking of opening a restaurant, especially a BBQ Joint, read this blog! Maybe some of this info can be of use to you. At the very least you will be entertained because I pull no punches.
Now listen, this is my blog to not only help with information but my blog to freely rant about my day to day experiences. There is no real "bad language" on this blog but there might be some things said that are very "tongue in cheek". If you are easily offended and/or cant see the satire in my posts then please just leave the blog. It will save both of us the annoyance of each other. For those of you who do like satire and are looking for good information about this experience, then by all means enjoy!