Barbecue (alt.food.barbecue) Discuss barbecue and grilling--southern style "low and slow" smoking of ribs, shoulders and briskets, as well as direct heat grilling of everything from burgers to salmon to vegetables.

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Old 30-06-2004, 07:02 PM
Jeff Russell
 
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Default Pig Skin

When I cook skin-on pig, leg of pork or pork belly for example, I am trying
to get the skin thin and crispy. I can get it crispy but it is always too
thick and hard. It feels like eating glass.
For awhile now, I thought it was my methods but now I think the pig I'm
buying is too old and therefore the skin is too thick. I need to buy young
ones.
Any opinions or comments?
Thanks in advance.

Jeff



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Old 30-06-2004, 07:13 PM
Kevin S. Wilson
 
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On Wed, 30 Jun 2004 18:02:52 GMT, "Jeff Russell"
wrote:

For awhile now, I thought it was my methods but now I think the pig I'm
buying is too old and therefore the skin is too thick. I need to buy young
ones.


You need to find pigs that have fragile egos and low self-esteem. They
are considerably more thin-skinned than their more confident
counterparts.

--
Kevin S. Wilson
Tech Writer at a University Somewhere in Idaho
"Anything, when cooked in large enough batches, will be vile."
--Dag Right-square-bracket-gren, in alt.religion.kibology
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Old 30-06-2004, 07:18 PM
Graeme...in London
 
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"Jeff Russell" wrote in message
news:[email protected]_s04...
When I cook skin-on pig, leg of pork or pork belly for example, I am

trying
to get the skin thin and crispy. I can get it crispy but it is always too
thick and hard. It feels like eating glass.
For awhile now, I thought it was my methods but now I think the pig I'm
buying is too old and therefore the skin is too thick. I need to buy young
ones.
Any opinions or comments?
Thanks in advance.

Jeff


Jeff,

What I do is this. You'll need a scalpel or Stanley knife then score the
skin about 3/4 of the way through (the skin) in parallel line intervals of
1/16 of an inch apart. Ensure that the skin is completely dry then rub fine
table/cooking salt all over the skin, trying to get as much salt into the
scored cuts that you have made. You should find that this does the trick and
you end up with perfect "crackling".

Graeme


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Old 30-06-2004, 09:31 PM
Jeff Russell
 
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I live in California, that should be no problem.

"Kevin S. Wilson" wrote in message
...

You need to find pigs that have fragile egos and low self-esteem. They
are considerably more thin-skinned than their more confident
counterparts.

--
Kevin S. Wilson
Tech Writer at a University Somewhere in Idaho
"Anything, when cooked in large enough batches, will be vile."
--Dag Right-square-bracket-gren, in alt.religion.kibology



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Old 02-07-2004, 12:12 AM
 
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"Jeff Russell" wrote:
I live in California, that should be no problem.

"Kevin S. Wilson" wrote in message

You need to find pigs that have fragile egos and low self-esteem. They
are considerably more thin-skinned than their more confident
counterparts.


Some may consider me a 'pig', but I don't care about ego or self-esteem and
I've got skin thicker than a pachyderm, so I guess you're safe!

--
Intuitive insights from Nick, Retired in the San Fernando Valley

http://alexslemonade.com/


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Old 13-07-2004, 04:31 AM
TFM®
 
Posts: n/a
Default Pig Skin

Jeff Russell wrote:
When I cook skin-on pig, leg of pork or pork belly for example, I am
trying to get the skin thin and crispy. I can get it crispy but it is
always too thick and hard. It feels like eating glass.
For awhile now, I thought it was my methods but now I think the pig
I'm buying is too old and therefore the skin is too thick. I need to
buy young ones.
Any opinions or comments?
Thanks in advance.

Jeff



Here, http://tinyurl.com/7xmu5

TFM®


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Old 13-07-2004, 11:05 PM
BOB
 
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TFM® wrote:
Jeff Russell wrote:
When I cook skin-on pig, leg of pork or pork belly for example, I am
trying to get the skin thin and crispy. I can get it crispy but it is
always too thick and hard. It feels like eating glass.
For awhile now, I thought it was my methods but now I think the pig
I'm buying is too old and therefore the skin is too thick. I need to
buy young ones.
Any opinions or comments?
Thanks in advance.

Jeff



Here, http://tinyurl.com/7xmu5

TFM®


PHgggtttthhh!

The page cannot be found
The page you are looking for might have been removed, had its name
changed, or is temporarily unavailable.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Please try the following:

a.. If you typed the page address in the Address bar, make sure that it
is spelled correctly.

b.. Open the tinyurl.com home page, and then look for links to the
information you want.
c.. Click the Back button to try another link.
d.. Click Search to look for information on the Internet.



HTTP 404 - File not found
Internet Explorer



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Old 13-07-2004, 11:05 PM
BOB
 
Posts: n/a
Default Pig Skin

TFM® wrote:
Jeff Russell wrote:
When I cook skin-on pig, leg of pork or pork belly for example, I am
trying to get the skin thin and crispy. I can get it crispy but it is
always too thick and hard. It feels like eating glass.
For awhile now, I thought it was my methods but now I think the pig
I'm buying is too old and therefore the skin is too thick. I need to
buy young ones.
Any opinions or comments?
Thanks in advance.

Jeff



Here, http://tinyurl.com/7xmu5

TFM®


PHgggtttthhh!

The page cannot be found
The page you are looking for might have been removed, had its name
changed, or is temporarily unavailable.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Please try the following:

a.. If you typed the page address in the Address bar, make sure that it
is spelled correctly.

b.. Open the tinyurl.com home page, and then look for links to the
information you want.
c.. Click the Back button to try another link.
d.. Click Search to look for information on the Internet.



HTTP 404 - File not found
Internet Explorer



  #9 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 13-07-2004, 11:13 PM
Reg
 
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Default Pig Skin

BOB wrote:

PHgggtttthhh!

The page cannot be found
The page you are looking for might have been removed, had its name
changed, or is temporarily unavailable.


The page is there. It should work.

http://f3.grp.yahoofs.com/v1/MFDzQFLO9VzCH8WPS9peP55Hyf1TpedAZ9nfE4Ocz5tqQCL8f1 YTvd0OuaEUJwutXl3Hil-3PKO2VHiZFyk6/Whole%20Hog/Bobs%20whole%20hawg%20cookin.html


--
Reg email: RegForte (at) (that free MS email service) (dot) com

  #10 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 13-07-2004, 11:13 PM
Reg
 
Posts: n/a
Default Pig Skin

BOB wrote:

PHgggtttthhh!

The page cannot be found
The page you are looking for might have been removed, had its name
changed, or is temporarily unavailable.


The page is there. It should work.

http://f3.grp.yahoofs.com/v1/MFDzQFLO9VzCH8WPS9peP55Hyf1TpedAZ9nfE4Ocz5tqQCL8f1 YTvd0OuaEUJwutXl3Hil-3PKO2VHiZFyk6/Whole%20Hog/Bobs%20whole%20hawg%20cookin.html


--
Reg email: RegForte (at) (that free MS email service) (dot) com



  #11 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 13-07-2004, 11:13 PM
Reg
 
Posts: n/a
Default Pig Skin

BOB wrote:

PHgggtttthhh!

The page cannot be found
The page you are looking for might have been removed, had its name
changed, or is temporarily unavailable.


The page is there. It should work.

http://f3.grp.yahoofs.com/v1/MFDzQFLO9VzCH8WPS9peP55Hyf1TpedAZ9nfE4Ocz5tqQCL8f1 YTvd0OuaEUJwutXl3Hil-3PKO2VHiZFyk6/Whole%20Hog/Bobs%20whole%20hawg%20cookin.html


--
Reg email: RegForte (at) (that free MS email service) (dot) com

  #12 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 14-07-2004, 07:53 AM
M&M
 
Posts: n/a
Default Pig Skin


On 13-Jul-2004, Reg wrote:

BOB wrote:

PHgggtttthhh!

The page cannot be found
The page you are looking for might have been removed, had its name
changed, or is temporarily unavailable.


The page is there. It should work.

http://f3.grp.yahoofs.com/v1/MFDzQFLO9VzCH8WPS9peP55Hyf1TpedAZ9nfE4Ocz5tqQCL8f1 YTvd0OuaEUJwutXl3Hil-3PKO2VHiZFyk6/Whole%20Hog/Bobs%20whole%20hawg%20cookin.html


--
Reg email: RegForte (at) (that free MS email service) (dot) com




Document Not Found
The document you requested could not be found.

NetScape 7.1
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The page cannot be found
The page you are looking for might have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Please try the following:

If you typed the page address in the Address bar, make sure that it is spelled correctly.

Open the f3.grp.yahoofs.com home page, and then look for links to the information you want.
Click the Back button to try another link.
Click Search to look for information on the Internet.



HTTP 404 - File not found
Internet Explorer 6

These wimpy brousers are to lazy to handle a URL that long,or the ISP
is using a wimpy URL lookup engine. More likely the latter. At least in
the case of my ISP. I actually doubt it's the browsers fault. Both NetScape
and IE 6 are derived from the Mozilla browser technology and lets face it
guys, that goes way back.

--
M&M ("When You're Over The Hill You Pick Up Speed")
  #13 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 14-07-2004, 08:14 AM
Reg
 
Posts: n/a
Default Pig Skin

M&M wrote:

On 13-Jul-2004, Reg wrote:


http://f3.grp.yahoofs.com/v1/MFDzQFLO9VzCH8WPS9peP55Hyf1TpedAZ9nfE4Ocz5tqQCL8f1 YTvd0OuaEUJwutXl3Hil-3PKO2VHiZFyk6/Whole%20Hog/Bobs%20whole%20hawg%20cookin.html

--
Reg email: RegForte (at) (that free MS email service) (dot) com


HTTP 404 - File not found
Internet Explorer 6

These wimpy brousers are to lazy to handle a URL that long,or the ISP
is using a wimpy URL lookup engine. More likely the latter. At least in
the case of my ISP. I actually doubt it's the browsers fault. Both NetScape
and IE 6 are derived from the Mozilla browser technology and lets face it
guys, that goes way back.


I'm not sure why you'd get 404 errors though. Very strange. Anyway, here's
the document. It's a great read.

-------------------------------------------

The following bunch of mumbo-jumbo comprise my thoughts and opinions on
classic pork bbq and try to address some of what you are planning to do.
While Garry Howard believed that the best way to learn bbq was to encourage
passers-by at a shopping center contest to buy a tin smoker, I'm a believer
that BBQ (or any food) should be learned "Classic first". At least this is
the way that chef's are taught and from there they have the background
knowlege to stray off and create. His point that classic bbq was out of
most peoples reach was, however, somewhat valid. This will probably end
up making you say "Geeezus, sorry I asked" lol

While the methodology is similar and both have been around for a long time,
I don't consdider Lexington style barbecue to be THE classic. In my mind,
the classic is East North Carolina Whole Hog barbecue.

You are right in that it MUST start with a whole hog. This is one of the
three main things that doesn't allow Lexington style to measure up in
these, most stringent of terms.

Shoulders make excellent bbq, but in a purist sense, there's no way
the two can be even judged against one another. It would be like having
a Champagne contest and allowing California Sparkling wine as a
contestant. Or allowing blue cheese to be judged to Rougefort. Just one
of them thangs'...

Classic is classic, and that's want you asked for.

In the old days, small hogs were used. In fact, Pete Jones (the elder
statesman of pork bbq) says that his uncle never cooked pigs over 40
pounds. I suspect this was approximately the size used by most 100 years
ago. But in more recent times the size has moved up close to 100 pounds
with Pete Jones cooking hogs in the 140-160 pound range.

The methodology used to cook this classic bbq, in my opinion, was not
meant for huge thick cuts such as the shoulder-butts from #1 hogs that
are sold at grocery stores. Reason being that I don't subscribe to the
newfangled idea that the process was ever intended to be "low and slow"
ala internet hobbyist bbq. But I'll get to more on that later.

Back then, hogs were raised much fatter, thus allowing them to be more
"violently" cooked, if you will, without drying out. So try to get a hog
with as much fat as possible.

The feral-type of hogs that I raise seem to have old genes and put on
fat much easier than meat. They grow slower and the older, more excercised
the hog is, the more flavor it will have. Of course, mine aren't suited
for commercial production because it is too ineffecient to allow a
profit on what is already a pretty tough business. I don't know what
type of meat you have access to, but that's my general opinion and
understanding and experience has backed it up.

It's nice that you have someone who will scald the hog for you. My
neighbor and I do this also. The one bothersome thing that you said was
that you intended to cook it immediately.

There was a very informative discussion between Kit and Dan Gill (that
never got completed) a while back on rigor mortis.

The general consensus seemed to be NOT to cook a hog until it had come
out of rigor, which if I remember correctly, was approximately 8 hours.
I can not provide any real-life experience on this. But on two seperate
occasions, I have cooked a hog about 24 hours after butchering and did
not like the texture of the meat. I normally cook 2 days after killing
and have never had any problems. Now that I've thrown this monkeywrench
into your plan, the first thing you'll ask is "where the hell do I keep
the thing for 8+ hours."

Ideally it is hung to stretch. Your butcher may have a walk-in cooler.
Unfortunately I do not have one and use a dedicated refrigerator. This
is especially a problem during this time of the year because during the
colder months you can let one hang for a while without much risk. I
encourage the input of others on all of this, but it is something you
may want to keep in mind.

A few last few thoughts on the hog and how to have it butchered. I have
to assume that classicaly, hogs are cooked with the head on. But I don't
know this for sure.

At the Skylight Inn, Pete Jones cooks his hogs butterflied with the
head on. However, they take an axe and bust the head in half before
cooking so that the halves lay flat on the pit. I know this is a little
different than what is done in the "beauty contests", but I highly
recommend it.

The head is extremely bloody and this allows it to drain thoroughly. It
also has a tendency to take longer to cook than the meat if left
intact. This could possibly leave you a choice of overcooking your
meat or trying to seperate bloody head-meat from the rest of your bbq.
Soaking the head in a bucket of water will also assist greatly in
draining a head.

Wilber's, on the other hand, doesn't cook their hogs head-on, at least
when I have been there. Heads simply take up a lot of room. They also
do not cook them butterflied. They are sawed in half down the backbone,
which makes them much easier to handle. Most times, this is what I do
also as the head has very little meat as a percentage to make it worth
messing with. You do lose a little more grease by having it sawed down
the back, but my experience says it isn't significant.

The Jones's traditionally caught all of the grease that they used in
their cornbread, but are able to catch only a small percentage nowadays
as a result of the move toward leaner hogs.

Assuming that you do not choose to cook the hog immediately after killing
it, here are some thoughts on meat temperature. It seems that I remember
a post from you in the past stating your opposition to leaving meat
out to come to room temperature. (which is technically 67 F, I believe)
I'm a firm believer in bringing meat to room temperature. In fact,
the popular formula for shoulder butts for internet bbq, in my opinion,
would be erroneous if it weren't assumed that meat was taken directly
out of the refrigerator and put on a pit. I normally leave thoroughly
thawed meat sitting at room temperature for 6-7 hours before putting
it on. I've never seen a cold hog on the pits at Wilber's or Pete
Jones's, either, for what that's worth.

I've only had trouble once and I'll tell you the story because there may
be some parts to keep in mind when you get it butchered, but I'm sure
the butcher is also well-versed on these things.

Late last July we attempted to kill a rather large sow in my wooded pen
of a couple of acres. I missed her on the first shot, only wounding her.
She took off in the woods.

Becoming quite skittish at this point, I couldn't get a decent shot
and only wounded her a second time. This time I couldn't catch her
and we had other hogs dead and awaiting scalding on a day that was
about 100 degrees. Another guy came up and volunteered to track her
a kill her. He finally dropped her at the edge of a small pond. When
I got down there, she was still alive but in the process of drowning.
I stuck and bled her and drug her up a steep hill with my lawnmower.
It had been about 1 hour since the first shot. Nothing seemed unusual
to me as I've had similar, though not as bad, experiences killing
hogs in large areas.

We cleaned her and I took a #35 pound shoulder and put in the
refrigerator to cool. I was to repay my neighbor for his help with
bbq the next evening. The result was that when I finished the bbq
and went to pull it, most of the meat inside was spoiled and extremely
foul smelling.

Now I can't tell you exactly what happend, but here are my thoughts.
The meat was extremely thick and I believe this may have lead to the
outside cooling while the inside was still quite warm. It was only
in the refrigerator for about 12 hours. But the outside being colder
also slowed down the cooking time (which was quite long due to the size)
allowing more time for the inside to spoil.

Theory 2...After this, my wife read up on something call "dark cutting".
This happens when an animal is exposed to tremendous stress during
the killing process.

According to the article she read, it can lead to much faster
deteriation of the meat, to make a long story short.

In commercial operations, hogs are stunned before killing, which
supposedly causes less adrennaline, which can cause flaws in the meat.

Good chance both things were at play here, but making a clean kill and
quickly sticking is the best way to avoid any troubles as far as I
understand. But I haven't come across any problems in simply leaving
meat to sit out. To me, it cooks more evenly.

All of this makes me want to make a comment on Kit's interesting
"Bacon on a stick" invention as it applies to butts/picnics. It is an
interesting concept. But I would be somewhat careful as to not allow
the outside to be too much cooler than the inside, especially if one
is going the "low and slow" smoker route with a cut that is extremely
thick. But my situation in the above was not comparable to what he
recommends doing for the most part. And he knows much more about this
type of thing than I do so I'm sure he has taken this into consideration,
if it even warrants it.

Here's some thought on how to build a pit for this "Classic BBQ"...

This is a very difficult subject to be able to describe in print. At
least to me So I'm not going to try too hard.

The biggest mistake I see people make is in the actual surface they lay
the hog on. This, I believe, is a crucial part of making this type of
bbq. In my opinion, the surface you must have is STEEL BARS. Not a
hamburger or some all purpose cooking surface. To give you a reason
why, I'm going to have to sort of jump way ahead for a second.

After you have finished cooking the hog (skin up) and deem it properly
cooked, you will be turning to blister the skin.

Upon turning, all of the grease will immediately flow down toward the
skin. This grease, when further heated by the coals actually fries the
skin like a pork rind. The grease-filled skin will expand downward. You
need the large gaps between the bars to allow this to properly happen.
The skin directly touching the bar will not expand and cook well
normally and often be inedible. Imagine having a mesh or other
all-purpose type of grate and attempting to pick the useable skin
from the non-useable in little diamond shaped patterns that cover a
large percentage of the hog.

Another reason this is a "must" is the same reason that bars are not
generally suitable for open-faced meat, such as shoulder pieces,
briskets and ribs. The uneven weight distribution created by a small
number of bars allows the skin to sag and expand much better.

The reason that I don't consider bars to be optimal for open-faced
cuts is that the uneven weight distribution of the bars tends to put
too much weight on the areas resting on them, thus creating hard
inedible area's on the outside or exposed meat. It's not a problem on
a hog because there's very little outside meat exposed, it's rests
mostly on bone areas and the "intactness" of it doesn't allow much
sagging. I do, however, cook open-faced cuts on my bars, but they
can't be done at very high heat/radiation without a detrimental
affect on some parts of the outside meat. Best is probably to lay
a more all-purpose grate over the bars. But that's not what we're
talking about here

Bottom line is try to get bars or a surface that has as large of
gaps as possible. I usually use about 5 bars or so under a small
hog. A larger one will take more.

Bob in Ga

--
Reg email: RegForte (at) (that free MS email service) (dot) com

  #14 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 14-07-2004, 09:08 AM
Reg
 
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Reg wrote:

I'm not sure why you'd get 404 errors though. Very strange. Anyway, here's
the document. It's a great read.


Better yet...

http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/whole_hog.htm



--
Reg email: RegForte (at) (that free MS email service) (dot) com

  #15 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 14-07-2004, 07:19 PM
Reg
 
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Steve Wertz wrote:

On Wed, 14 Jul 2004 07:14:15 GMT, Reg wrote:


http://f3.grp.yahoofs.com/v1/MFDzQFLO9VzCH8WPS9peP55Hyf1TpedAZ9nfE4Ocz5tqQCL8f1 YTvd0OuaEUJwutXl3Hil-3PKO2VHiZFyk6/Whole%20Hog/Bobs%20whole%20hawg%20cookin.html



I'm not sure why you'd get 404 errors though. Very strange. Anyway, here's
the document. It's a great read.



You can't quote/cite links from the yahoofs.com domain. Those are
some sort of dynamitic pages destined only for your machine. See
all that gibberish in the URL?


What's weird is the URL worked just fine for me several times,
then later started giving 404 errors.

--
Reg email: RegForte (at) (that free MS email service) (dot) com



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