Dinner Special Occasions

Eastern North Carolina Whole Hog BBQ

Every region has it’s own twist when it comes to BBQ, and I’m certain I’ll cover quite a few! The battle will rage until the end of time between which BBQ is best:

  • Western North Carolina – Ketchup based
  • Eastern North Carolina – Apple Cider Vinegar Based
  • Piedmont/Lexington Style – Kind of a mesh between the two North Carolina’s
  • South Carolina – Mustard Based

For today though, we’ll start with the BBQ I grew up with – Eastern North Carolina Whole Pig Bar-Be-Cue!

Eastern NC Whole Hog BBQ

Assume 1-1/2 pounds per person – this will yield about 1/2 lb per guest after cooking
Prep Time 1 d
Cook Time 8 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine American


  • Pig Cooker


  • 1 75-100 Lb Whole Hog Cleaned, dressed and butterflied
  • 1/2 Lb Salt


Prep work – This is essential to bring out the full flavor of the pork

  • Rinse thoroughly and pat dry
  • Trim and discard any excess fat
  • Rub entire pig with salt
  • Let rest overnight

Cooking the pig

  • Prepare your grill – Charcoal or Gas. I prefer gas due to the extended cooking time, but it's your call. Regardless, you are going to want 2 grates to make turning easier. You can also use wire grates grids for this.
  • Place the pig skin side up on the bottom grate. Cover with the second grate/grill and close.
  • Cook at 250 degrees for:
    75 Lbs – 4 to 5 hours
    100 Lbs – 5 to 6 hours
    125 Lbs – 6 to 7 hours
  • Turn the pig over and remove top grate/grid. Insert your temperature probe into the thigh, but do not touch the bone.
  • Baste meat with BBQ sauce and pour a generous helping (about 1" into the inside cavity).
  • Close and cook for 2 more hours until the thermometer registers at least 180 degrees and no pink meat is visible when hams and shoulders are cut.

Serving the pig

  • Chop meat and/or allow guests to pull the meat form the bones. Serve with BBQ sauce
  • Serve with Cole Slaw, Green Beans, BBQ Potatoes, and Hush Puppies


Notes from the NC Pork Council: http://www.ncpork.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/BBQ-brochure.pdf

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