The Eating of Mr. Pig


Pumpkin had the cleanest face in the whole group.

I’ve got a feeling this is going to be a giant post so get comfortable. I’m just getting all 340 pictures uploaded (there are a lot of good ones) and I have not even thought about putting videos online (hopefully available for tomorrow’s post). We had a unique process of BBQing some pork this weekend and it could not have worked any better. All the pictures are available to view, print or save on our smugmug page.  I am exhausted and no one has made any coffee yet but here goes.


It feels like I was a happy busy guy the min I left work Friday. I headed home and started getting me and things ready. I had my todo list from my website and as things warmed up I thought of more items and started writing them down and doing them. Early on I had helpers showing up and pitching in.


We all jumped in and started getting things ready. Especially the important stuff like getting the keg,


and the pig. I’ll warn you right now there is a dead pig in several pictures from here on so beware.


Besides all the boring setup We put the keg on ice and built a little storage area out of cinder blocks for the pig and then put him in and covered him up with ice and plastic. He was about 5 feet long and 1ft wide and 1ft deep. The pig weighed 180lbs. I planned to get 100lbs pig but didn’t really want any smaller just in case it was enough so I called the butcher and asked for a 100-120lbs pig. They explained that there was a price break at 150 and it would be cheaper per pound to get a 151pound pig and that they can usually get a pig at any weight. So I changed my mind and ordered 151lbs. KK and Chiaki went to pick it up and were told 180lbs was the smallest they could find and they gave it to them at the 151lbs price.

While the pig was in storage we started digging.


The first 4-6inches was nice top soil that our shovels got right through. After that there was not really anything nice.
There was a lot of rock and they seemed to get bigger and rougher.

4-5 of us dug and picked and lifted and pried for 3 hours. There was not much for breaks and everyone was working really hard.

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Here is a good view of one side of the hole.


When the 3hrs were up the hole was about 8ft long 4ft wide and 4ft deep.  IMG_2452

There was not much time to admire the hole before we started filling it up. First we put Jon’s air induction system in. It was just a long pipe with a bend in it and lots of holes in the section laying flat in the hole. Then we added back the biggest rocks we had.  IMG_2456

The hole had to be so big because we wanted a lot of rock in there to hold the heat and radiate the pig.


In the days leading up to the roast I heard a lot of horror stories of uncooked pigs and not enough heat. Once there was a real nice layer of rock on the bottom and sides we filled in around with smaller rocks and then sand.


Then started a fire.

We used 1 wheelbarrow load of brush on top of paper and cardboard, then 1 wheelbarow load of split wood and then started adding on chunks.


We added a vacuum hose running in reverse to get the fire extra air. Early on the fire sounded like a train chugging on the air.

We had the hole really full of burning chunks and mostly tried to stay away from it for a while. It was in the upper 80s out and it was uncomfortable ti be within 20 feet of the hole.


So we had fun. The keg was pretty lonely during digging and afterwords we all needed water but once the fire was going and more people started showing up the keg was put to use. We also started bringing out food and Stephen fired up the grill and ran it for me.



We had a great spread of food and we kept an eye on the fire raging on all the wood and heating everything in the area up. There was lots of eating, drinking, talking and even some games.


It was getting later and later and we tried to make the fire hurry up but there was a lot of big wood in there. Eventually we decided it was close enough and we could get started. We moved the pig to a small table near the fire with some lights on it.(GRAPHIC PIG STUFF)

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We got out my big container of homemade rub and started spreading it on the skin and spreading some on the inside.


We also filled the pig with apples and onions.  IMG_2503


Then we got some special rocks and put them inside the pig. We had picked these out early and put them on a really hot area of the fire. We pulled them out and dumped them into the pig.  IMG_2505

This was really cool. The rocks were so hot that when we turned down the lights you could see these large rocks glowing red. These rocks were so hot that several shattered inside the pig when I pushed them in with a stick. They were so hot that instantly there was a sizzle of bacon and the backyard started to smell delicious.


We tried to wire in the rocks some and then laid out some chicken wire on the ground, on the wire we laid wet towels then lettuce and cabbage and then we rolled up the pig in everything. It was pretty patriotic thanks to 1 towel.



We got it all wrapped up like a giant burrito and it was steaming away. We ran some sticks through the wire and moved it to the fire. We added a layer of old wet clothes to the fire to help steam the pig and protect it from the coals.
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Then in a crazy and awkward maneuver we got the pig in the pit.

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Once it was in we started adding rocks. First really hot ones we had put up along the edge of the fire and then just any to help hold in heat and fill up the pit.  IMG_2568

Once plenty of rock was in we added sand and dirt to top it off.


Then we put down 3 tarps because there happened to be 3 tarps laying around.  IMG_2598

And we were done for the night.  IMG_2596 IMG_2599

Some people left, some went to bed and a few of us hung out and watched as the lightning we had been seeing off and on picked up and then it started to pour. We moved to the garage and watched the rain come down harder and harder.


We talked a bit about how to handle a hole full of water and a cool pig but decided not to worry until the morning.

We went to sleep and in the morning made a bunch of potatoes and biscuits and gravy and various other snacks. We watched some videos and looked at pictures from the night before. The hole was inspected and the ground was warm and there was a small but steady stream of steam sneaking out one corner.

So we didn’t worry and we had fun. There was AC and snacks inside and a pool on the deck and some shade and we made a slip and side for a bit and turned my truck bed into a very popular pool.  DSCF3771 DSCF3776 IMG_2606 DSCF3791 DSCF3786 IMG_2610

We ran the air induction system a few times briefly during the day to ensure the coals were going strong. When it ran we had more steam/smoke coming out and some pretty hot air with it. Eventually things felt right (we were hungry) and removed the tarps.  DSCF3807

And started to uncover our treasure.


We shoveled out dirt and sand and picked up the rocks.  DSCF3817

We found a warm steamy pig and actually got it out easier then expected.
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The back end was a little exposed and we could see bone falling through meat so it was a good sign. There was kind of a long process of cutting away the wires and chicken wire to get it ready.
Then we moved it to the table and removed the towels and uncovered the pig.



We croweded around and started taste testing and cutting away fat and collecting meat.  DSCF3844 IMG_2626 IMG_2628

Everyone joined in the fun.



We filled container after container of meat. It was easy to slice or pull off and the bones just fell out. There was a lot of fat to avoid and some dirt/sand that had snuck in we tried to keep out. Eventually we had all the meat out and we were left with a pile of fat, bones and towel.


Then it was time to eat. A spread was laid out all over the place and everyone began to stuff their faces.

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From the ones.  IMG_2635

To the little ones.


We got the fire going again then wrapped up the cleaning table and tossed all the wasted stuff into the pit.  DSCF3872

I was super happy. The pig had cooked, everyone was having a good time, nothing had really gone wrong and I was really full. The keg ran dry as we were cleaning the keg so I moved to a backup cold can of Natty and sat in the deck pool and digested. Things were calm all over as we relaxed and digested.  DSCF3876

Guests came and went and said there goodbyes to Kentaro and Chiaki. We had a fun night messing around on the deck. Sunday we mostly took it easy. We cooked up piles of fried potatoes, eggs, cheese and pulled pork and spent some time cleaning up the yard and house. We spent the rest of the day watching movies giving away pork and relaxing. Heath and I tested out the first Wheat and Brown Ale and they were both really good. Our family all went to bed really early.

Couple of things: If you left something let me know. I have a ton of video to edit up some and upload. Do you like lots of little clips or big montages? Things I’ll do different next time. Marinade the pig and inject it with flavor and wrap it up in more veggies and cloth.

A late edit, here is the video

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