Skip to main content

I must have made an impression on the church last year because they asked me to cook the hog again for the summer open house. Last year I did a 180lber in a borrowed homemade fuel oil tank cooker fires with kingsford and hickory. It came out ok but I think I can do better.

I have plans to build an offset smoker with a cooking chamber 38" round and 60" long. I am going to build this offset with the firebox behind the cooking chamber and not on the end like a normal offset. I plan to make the pit a rotisserie with four rotating shelves that are removable so I can use it for butts/ribs or remove the rotating racks and cook whole hog.

Now to my question...... Should I rotate the hog on the rotisserie, or have it split to lay flat, or just sit it on the grill surface not split??

Which will be the best way since I will be using indirect heat.

Last year the pit was direct heat below the pig.

Any help will be greatly appreciated, Bubba
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

How do you keep the probe cable from getting all twisted ?

Use a wireless remote thermometer. Put the probe in the meat. Run the probe wire along the spit rod toward the handle end attaching it to the spit rod every so often by wrapping it with a hunk of wire. Run the probe wire out the slot in the lid and connect the probe wire to the transmitter and the transmitter to the spit handle. The only catch is that you'll have to wallow out the bearing on the handle end so the wire will fit between the spit rod and the bearing. This can be done with a rattail file.
Out here we used to have a person who split a whole hog and laid it flat on a rotisserie. The rotisserie was on a timer and would rotate 180 degrees, skin side up then skin down at the end of each cycle. I don't know how long each cycle was but the pork turned out very good and juicy. His pit was about 2 ½ feet under the hog and he used charcoal and added apple wood.

Most pigs I've seen in smokers are just laid out, not rotisserie. With a 38" chamber, your rotisserie shelves would be 17" or so and I think you'd have to split the hog to do it.

Not sure why for the rotisserie, but go for it if that's what you want.

I've cooked whole hog on an FE750 with FE and that's what we did.

I've also seen Stuart cook a whole hog on an FE300 but with a stable shelf.

I like whole hog to be whole.

I'd go for the standard racks for the hog.

Both methods will work with the indirect, just make sure you use tuning plates if you're putthe the firebox in the back (how will you distribute the heat?)

Both will work, it's your call.
I want to thank everyone for their help and ideas.
Tom, I came across that site yesterday, great information. Thanks for sharing.

Okie, you are correct my shelves will be 16" but I have designed my rotisserie to have removable shelves/racks and replace them with a single spit rod in the center of the chamber. This way I can do double duty with my pit. either shelf rotisserie butts/ribs/other or one single hog. I have all the components and drawn plans to build and should start the build Fri.

My reason for the rotisserie is in hopes to cook more evenly than a flat grille.

What are "tuning plates" are these the baffles that regulate the heat between the firebox and cooking chamber?

Here is my plan for the august cook.
1. 200lb on the hoof hog, skinned, head and feet off.
2. truss to spit rod and season
3. wrap with mesh wire
4. cook at 250degf offset firebox on back of pit
5. rotisserie speed of 1.5rpm
6. remove at 180degf internal

Does any of this sound flawed?????
Thanks again for all the help, Bubba
Last edited by smokinbubba
I'm from whole hog country and I've cooked many split and laying flat. Start with skin side up and flip about 8 hours into the cook would be my suggestion. Hog would be wrapped between two pieces of hog fence. I have seen people try the rotiserie with mixed results. As the hog gets more tender it tends to want to come off the spit unless you wrap it with wire fence. And you'll still need to foil the faster cooking parts to prevent them from drying.

You say cook to 180*, but where? That's always the question with a whole hog. The shoulders need 190* IMO, but that's going to put your mid section over the top as far as doneness. Better use the foil.
Originally posted by GLH:
Here they would just put it in the ground over coals with sheet metal over the top and cover it all up with dirt and leave it for 24 hours.


I think that is actually the best way to do a whole hog. Nothing beats simple, and let's face it, folks were cooking hogs/goats/deer in a hole long before anyone ever thought of a mobile rig.....or a house, etc. But it is kind of hard to load up the hole on a trailer and take it with you to the next gig.

Add Reply

Link copied to your clipboard.