my family has bbqed hogs off & on for yrs!
mmmmmmmm!! good stuff!
what i know about it ~ they usually butcher the hog the day before, so that it can drain. some of my family does their own, but my dad & uncle usually pay to have it butchered (approx. $40). a few hours before putting it on the pit, they bring it out in a cool room (usually AC running) so that it can warm up some & they trim it & season it w/ salt (you dont want to put a really cold hog on a pit but you dont want it to spoil either). if they are planning on putting it on around 7 or 8, they bring it out around 3 or 4, if you are paying to have it butchered, you could just pick it up a few hours before you're ready to put it on the pit, depending on the hours they run. usually around here the wood we use is either black jack or hickory. start w/ the skin side up, so that you dont mess up the rinds.
we usually have cardboard to lay over it to help hold the heat in. it's a constant thing keeping the coals going.... but you dont want alot of coals at 1 time. you want the hog to cook slow & not burn the outside. i know they turn them, but i cant remember at what point. i'll try to remember to ask my dad. after the hog is cooked completely, you can take the skin off & lay it fat side down on the pit & that is how you make your rinds.
to make hash, you can use the hog head (& other trimmings) & buy extra pork roasts & some beef roasts, boil them til they are falling off the bone. grind it all up (w/ a meat grinder) & cook the water out. i think they season it w/ some mustard, salt & pepper..... it's excellent over rice.
dont hold me to that, i'll have to check & see what they put in w/ it. LOL! usually they have me grinding the meat.
dont try to do this alone.
oh yeah, the way we work it out to turn the hog, take some wire & put around it (one "sheet" on 1 side, another "sheet" on the other). you dont have to necessarily tie it around the hog, just have 1 under it & 1 to lay over it & a pair of gloves, that will make it easier to flip it over.
w/ us, this is a big family affair! have some chicken or some quail or whatever to throw on the pit to cook for dinner or a midnight snack.
LOL! & SOMEBODY has to stay awake the entire time to keep the coals going.
(so, good luck!!)
another thing ~ top hogs are good to start with. if you get a hog that is 200 lbs live weight, he wont be too much less than that dressed. hogs have alot less "waist" than a cow or deer & be sure NOT to do this w/ a bo hog.
hope this gives ya an idea of what's involved.