slow cooking with charcoal????

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BigJakesrq
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slow cooking with charcoal????

Post by BigJakesrq »

So I just found out the PX (I live and work on a military base in Iraq) has whole pigs for. I have a big grill here at the shop that I could fit a whole pig on and it's pretty deep. The only thing is it's doesn't have a fire box, and I can't get any wood over here. I was wondering if anyone has ever tried slow cooking with charcoals and what would be the best way to do it. In order to cook it long enough I would have to be able to add coals, but I don't know how I feel about adding black coals to grill that has some thing I'm going to be eatting on it.

Any ideas?

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Whitebear
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Re: slow cooking with charcoal????

Post by Whitebear »

Your smart with that last comment. Not all charcoal is created equal. The best for using in a grill is the random pieces not briquetts. Those briquettes have all kinds of stuff in them, many different woods and I have heard even ground up tires. Charcoal like Snappy or Sparky is generally at least all one kind of wood. When I was able I got local charcoal from local folks who made it themselves. All over Africa and the Mid East. Always got good results but never tried anything as big as a whole hog.

On the other hand you could cook it underground like they do in Hiwaii, with coals and oops I bet you cant get coconut palm fronds ...........well damn.

Maybe someone has experience cooking LARGE items on low coals with direct heat.
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Re: slow cooking with charcoal????

Post by cflacowboy001 »

experiment with it see how it burns , I think you'll need two fires though one for cookin and the other to start the coal with so you can add as cookin goes on .

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Duane Scarborough
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Re: slow cooking with charcoal????

Post by Duane Scarborough »

BigJakesrq,

I've slow cooked (I mean REALLY slow, like 8-12 hours) many a Ham or Turkey on my grill, using indirect heat. That works fine because the meat is much smaller than the grill surface, and I can get a lot of separation.

I build the initial fire, then when it's ashed over spread it to each end of the grill. I put a pan of water under the meat, (not in contact with the meat, but below it, on the same level as the charcoal) and close things up. When it begins to cool, I can add more charcoal on each end, without upsetting things.

Never tried it with a whole Pig. My grill is not nearly big enough. So I can't help you there, but I CAN tell you that chunk charcoal (unprocessed) works a whole lot better for this than briquettes.

Chunk charcoal is very hard to find here in the US, but I'm guessing that it may be easier in that part of the world. I usually use briquettes, but prefer chunk if I have it.

I first learned about chunk charcoal 20 years ago, in Brazil. On an open grill, it burns HOT. But it also works GREAT for slow, indirect cooking, on a closed grill.

Hope this helps.

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plumcrazy
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Re: slow cooking with charcoal????

Post by plumcrazy »

google a china box best way to cook a whole pig yummy

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nomad41
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Re: slow cooking with charcoal????

Post by nomad41 »

Image

Image

Jake this is from Howl At The Moon 2008.There are more pictures there of this.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nomad41/
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Re: slow cooking with charcoal????

Post by plumcrazy »

thats the ticket you can add coals for the whole time and maintain temp and no worrys about fuming the pig

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keebo
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Re: slow cooking with charcoal????

Post by keebo »

That china box is cool man, think I gotta have one. Jake, you can still cook that pig in the ground with charcoal, dig the hole, dump a load of coals in there. put some rocks in the with it and set it a fire, wrap that pig up good in foil, when the coals are ready set that sucker on the rocks, cover the hole with a piece of metal and cover the metal with a little earth, happy eating in about 8 hours or so.
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Re: slow cooking with charcoal????

Post by Whitebear »

I'z thinking the same thing Keebo, I may gotta have me one of them China Boxes !
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Re: slow cooking with charcoal????

Post by C1gator »

Hey Jake you might be surprised about how much wood u have access to....do u have pallets around? Lots and lots of pallets are made from oak....You'd be surprised.....They cut it green and nail it to a pallet, just might work....

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Re: slow cooking with charcoal????

Post by keebo »

Just remember all pallets going overseas must be treated, by chemicals or heat. The pallets stamped (HT- heat treated) are ok to use as well as the (MB-methyl bromide) either one of these methods leaves no residual effect or danger to people.

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Re: slow cooking with charcoal????

Post by AntiqueFarmEquipment »

Jake,
You can definitely do it with coals! I used to do them like everyone is saying in the ground or since we were in Miami and it's a pain in the ass to dig a big hole from all the rock I would build a little box out of concrete blocks about 3-4 blocks high and have an opening in the front to shovel coals into and then another metal piece to go over the top. Don't forget the grate on top of the first or second block!

Then start a huge fire with wood to get the ground and the bricks real hot after the coals die down throw about two chimneys of charcoal in. Put the pig on and close her up. You'll have to add a shovel or two of coals every two hours give or take thirty minutes. Basically just maintain good even heat for about 8-12 hours. No better thermometer for when its done than pulling on the leg. It should pull right out of the shoulder when it's complete.

Also a good way to marinade it is to insert a knife just under the skin and with the tip of the knife separate the skin from the fat and the meat. But there shoudl only be a small opening from where you inserted the knife and spun it around to do this. Take a turkey baster of you favorite wet marinade (Homemade or store bought) and pump her full in both ham, shoulders, and a few areas on the straps.

Also make sure you split the ribs from the spine or the spine with a saw or ax so it lays flat on the grate.

Eat that sucker up!
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R L Williams
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Re: slow cooking with charcoal????

Post by R L Williams »

Antique, call me when you put the next pig on the grill. :lol: :proud:
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AntiqueFarmEquipment
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Re: slow cooking with charcoal????

Post by AntiqueFarmEquipment »

Hey I didn't say it was the best method. I just said it works... :cheers:

I've had them out of the chinese boxes and they taste no different than this method. I mean external fire box is the way to do it, but as for building a ghetto shanty and making a pig in it. You're good to go. Let me see if I can't go dig up some pictures to help explain the disaster I just typed before...
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Re: slow cooking with charcoal????

Post by AntiqueFarmEquipment »

Image

Grate goes on top you than build another row of blocks and than I put a metal top in it.

Finished Piggly wiggly with two beveraged up by standers

Image
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Re: slow cooking with charcoal????

Post by AntiqueFarmEquipment »

I'm going to get poked fun at for quite sometime here because of this thread aren't I.....

Crap......
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Duane Scarborough
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Re: slow cooking with charcoal????

Post by Duane Scarborough »

AntiqueFarmEquipment,

Not from me. The only way to cook a pig "wrong" is to not cook him at all. :( Pigs spend there lives getting ready for this!

Now, here in eastern NC, we generally slow cook our pigs skin side down. My grill ain't big enough for a whole pig, but I've been to a LOT of pig pickin's.

Usually, the head is removed, so the pig doesn't need the sunglasses. :)

Also, dead pigs don't smoke cigarettes here. Maybe it's different there.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pig_pickin%27

Custom made, high end Pig cookers are pretty popular here. (as are the home made ones. :bounce: )

http://www.bqgrills.com/Custom%20Page%201.htm

(from a place about 5 miles up the road)

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Re: slow cooking with charcoal????

Post by AntiqueFarmEquipment »

I hear ya. I'm not too worried about ti as we were in college and made due. Can't always run the most kosher operation when your on a beer and ramon noodle budget. I figured a few guys around here would get a good laughs at my expense from those pictures. I've been to a few pickin's as well in NC outside of Sanford. Some boys up there do some mighty fine BBQ!

As for the head if you're ever able to leave the it on try the jowl meat! It's second to none!
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Re: slow cooking with charcoal????

Post by airduds »

Image
This is how my father got his coals. Most any wood would have worked since all he used was the red-hot glowing coals so any flavor was gone, but he wouldn't use anything except green blackjack oak.
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