Cookbook:Eastern North Carolina Barbecued Pig

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Eastern North Carolina Barbecued Pig
CategoryPork recipes
Yield27 lbs meat
Timeall night

Cookbook | Recipes | Ingredients | Equipment | Techniques | Cookbook Disambiguation Pages | Recipes | Southern U.S. cuisine


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  • 80 pound pig (butchered with head removed)
  • Salt
  • 40 pounds charcoal (for charcoal cooking option)
  • Your favorite vinegar-based Eastern NC sauce


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  1. Salt hams, ribs/midsection and shoulders liberally and place skin side up on either a gas or charcoal grill or a BBQ pit.
  2. Keep lid closed, and aim for a heat of approximately 275–350°F.
  3. Allow 1 hour per 10 pounds cooking time (gas or charcoal).
  4. 2 hours before being done, place pig with the skin side down. As soon as it is flipped, pour BBQ sauce on meat side.
  5. Close lid and allow skin to crisp.
  6. The pig will be done to perfection when the ham bone can be twisted freely.
  7. Lift lid and allow guests to pick/pull meat, or the chef can remove meat and chop to their liking on a chopping block.

Notes, tips, and variations

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  • Any higher heat or longer cooking time will result in the hams drying out.
  • Heat source should be as indirect as possible if using a home made pit with there being less coals under the ribs/midsection and more around the perimeter.
  • Only lift the lid when required and not to let everyone take recreational looks at the pig.
  • The more consistent you can maintain the heat source, the more evenly cooked and tender the pig will turn out. Remember “If you’re looking, you’re not cooking”.
  • If picked, provide additional sauce for guests to add; if chopped add additional sauce and salt to chef’s liking.