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broden

Lechon how to

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broden

ok i'll do this in at least a few posts since i still have to upload some pics ... but first the hardware or at least most of it

 

 

 

the motor i use

 

great little motor ..what can i say when i plug it in it goes always never a problem and as you can see just a hair over 4 rpm .. perfect .. no on off switch though not a bother just plug or unplug

 

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broden

on ward

 

now the set up

 

the motor hooks on to the two legs

 

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then as you can see a special connector hooks on the other end of the two legs

 

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then on goes the charcoal holder .. it simpley lays stop the legs .. though it can be hooked with small chains and S-hooks to hang .. i prefer it this way at it's lowest

 

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to keep the heat more steady and keep the charcoal pan from warping i use gravel about 2 and a half 5 gallon drums.. some use sand .. sand is more messy and gravel is easier to reuse since you need to let it sit for a good long while to cool before you can scoop it up and put it away ( this is about 2/3 full in the pic)

 

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two drip pans in the middle .. not so much to save drippings as chances are they will get tons of ash in them but to keep it off the fire as to avoid cool spots or flame ups

 

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if you like to grill or bbq get one or more .. for the pig i keep two going ... of these .. charcoal chimneys .. i love em .. 5 pounds of charcoal a bit of crumpled news paper underneath light the paper and 15 minutes (30 if it's really wet out) you have red hot ready to go coals .. really need that for the pig .. need to put 5 to 10 pounds on per hour and you can't put cold coals on they have to be hot and going when added

 

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then you just need to decide if you want to cook pig or long pig .. we went with pig .. but my son gave us pause for though

 

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now i need to upload some pics on how we prepare the pig

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broden

a little more hardware and a bit of software

 

my system also uses a stainless steel pipe as the main skewer and a kotter pin to hold it in place on the motor..

 

you'll see the pipe in the pig didn't get a pic of the kotter pin sorry (you'll just have to imagine it :P )

 

two stainless steel forks on goes in the mouth end of the pg and one goes in the rump .. to make sure the pig turns rather then just hangs there while the skewer turns .. a small bit of wood to hold against them and a hammer to hit the wood with are a great way to get them in the pg securely .. also after many hours of cooking the pig may shrink a bit so maybe once or twice i have to stop the motor and give usually just the one in the mouth a good wack or two to lodge them back in deeper .. take just a second

 

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next is my needle .. looks like something out of a serial killers bag of tricks ..it's wel over a foot long and one of the most useful pig cooking tools i've ever bought .. from using it to wire the pig to the skewer to sewing up the belly it's pricless .. makes a hard job easy as pie

 

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close up business end

 

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and the software .. common everyday 4 ply or better white cotton yarn ... so many say to use butchers twine .. but i get this cheaper and it's stronger .. just make sure it's 100% cotton and not dyed

 

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lastly some other tools ... i mentioned a hammer .. wire snips for the bailing wire i use to wire the pig to the skewer ( no worries about it falling off even if it starts to get come apart tender as has happened in the past and crunchy skin cracks apart .. pliers again for the wire to twist it tight ... scissors to cut the twine but i usually just use the wire snips for that too .. and a screwdriver as the two stainless steel forks wedge to the skewer with two screws each to hold them tight

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broden

now lets get to the pig itself

 

the one we got this time around was 67.5 pounds cleaned and gutted .. we get them frozen from a restaurant supply butcher .. they only get them in during the summer months so they are i suppose what you would call fresh frozen .. not sitting in some warehouse for years in blocks of ice .. they will defrost for you where we buy tehm if you give them advance notice or well we defrost our own in the tub in the box we get it in with a few bags of ice around it in about 24 to 36 hours

 

and here he or she is and the box it came in for good measure

 

that's the base of the tongue hanging out under the yaw .. to make she skewer go through more easily i cut it out and toss it in the belly

 

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ok the skewer go's through the pig .. in the rump out the mouth ..a small wooden cone momentarily screwed to one end up the skewer makes this much easier .. then the wiring can begin ... usually my wife uses the needle to make a hole from the inside on one side of the backbone out .. then i get the needle pass it back in to her through the same hole from the outside in where she threads the bailing wire in it then i pull it back out .. hold the wire then repeat on the other side of the backbone but usually another rib up so it crosses over the bone

 

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then take your pliers and twist the two ends tight on the outside of the pig to make it secure ... do this 3 or 4 times along the back of the pig ... i've seen others make the twists inside the pig .. looks like more trouble than it's worth to me .. we also don't filet out the rib cage only to leave it in place like i've seen others do .. we keep it all attached .. it's all hand tender when it's done anyway

 

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here's 2 i did 3 on this pig

 

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then stuff it ... my wife is incharge of what goes in and she uses a pretty traditional list of ingredients .. though i did at a few big fistfulls of dried pineapple this time around .. worked out real well actually

 

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at this point before you sew it shut is a good time to start getting some charcoal hot .. sewing the belly doesn't take long but it is still a god two person job .. one to pull it shut one to sew and tie this is where you use the yarn.. and the big needle makes this job alot easier make hols thread the needle pull the yarn through over lap the skin where possible .. finally tie a good not ..always be carefull with the belly .. cause that's my favorite part :P .. .. then all that's left is to finish trussing it to the skewer .. onward

 

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here i am just adding some extra wire for good measure around the hams .. i've done the legs positioned forward and back .. i find stretched back too cook better

 

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initially i trussed up the entire rear end and forgot to put in the fork ... don't have a pic of the fork in the jaw endmy sis was taking the pics and missed that .. but oh well

 

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but then of course i undid the rear wire and got the fork in then rewired it

 

 

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anyway that's basically it ... then it's over the coals .. this pig i planned for 18 hours .. but i got started a bit early and went a little longer .. closer to 20 hours

 

i've cooked as short as 7 and as long as this one both great .. the longer the more tender of course .. just have to really manage the heat

 

i cook in the middle of the night i prefer that cause it's cooler more peaceful and most importantly i can see the coals glow and so for me anyway more easily judge the heat

 

next time i will likely go hotter and shorter like 10 hours at 10 pounds of coal per hour just to try something different .. next time probably just some salt and soy brushed on the outside too

 

i've used just oil and soy and oil in the past .. this time i constantly basted with coconut milk for the entire cooking time .. came out great

 

oh by the way for a basting brush get an all cotton mophead wash it .. use that ... it's big enough to work very well fast and easy

 

 

that's it .. if anyone has any questions or anything feel free to post or pm .. i'll do my best to answer

 

and yes when ever i cook a pig every filipino for many many miles around show up .. and the rest of the time they ask me and my wife when we'll be doing another one

 

can't wait till i retire and move so i can just pay someone else when i want one :D

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Irishguy
on ward

 

 

 

then you just need to decide if you want to cook pig or long pig .. we went with pig .. but my son gave us pause for though

 

gallery_2443_106_41765.jpg

 

 

 

now i need to upload some pics on how we prepare the pig

 

WoW they really do eat there young raw :P Dont even boil them :D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Truncated quoted post, due to length - paul

Edited by Admin

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Bet_Busta

Given the long cook time and the constant distance from the fire. is the skin crunchy/crispy?

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hoz

WHAT! No pictures of the finished product?

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broden
Given the long cook time and the constant distance from the fire. is the skin crunchy/crispy?

yes it is .. though in the past with shorter cook times hotter fire and no brushing with coconut milk i've gotten it crispier

but yes still very crispy and the longer cook time just makes the meat more and more tender ... but i really went over the top going for a long time this time around to try it out .. i think 10 to 12 hours with a hotter fire (10 pounds of charcoal and hour as opposed to 5 or so)is really the sweet spot so to speak

 

 

oh on a side note ... when i start cooking i get 15 to 20 pounds of charcoal going right away to get the ball rolling ... then after that i go with the steady hourly addition

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broden
WHAT! No pictures of the finished product?

oh man so sorry my bad .. my sis had the pics in her camera and i had to wait for her to send them from me .. alot of pics as you can imagine .. then i went through and was concetrating on the setup ... i got one of it done..and one i posted while i was cooking that night too of it about half way done

 

as you can see i tend to put them farther to one side of the skewer when i can .. just to keep the heat a bit off the motor .. but i've had them close to the motor before too in the past never seemed to bother it a bit

 

half way cooked (actually it could of been taken off and eaten at this point but as i said i wanted to go for a long cook time and it was still the middle of the night

 

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ok here is the finished product .. i know it looks dark and it is but it's in no way burnt and part of that dark is just the picture itself .. by the way under the pig and the aluminumfoil trays we cut up to put under it ( 3 of them) is covered in foil my pig board .. a big slab of 3/4 inch plywood i use only to carry my cooked pigs on .. sturdy and a great way to transport it from outside to inside

 

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for good measure here's a couple of pics of one i made in the past

 

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broden

one last thing i forgot to mention

 

i always make a small hole in the ear .. and in the cheak and tie the ear down over the eye to the cheek ... not so the poor fellow has a blindfold on .. but it makes the ears come out better with out them burning flopping around and falling off .. some people say to just cover them with aluminum foil but they don't cook right when you do that ... and can possibly fall of as the entire pig becomes more and more cooked and tender

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kar wren

Wow....

 

....between the " un-lechoned" pig state to the lechoned pig state, id prefer to just buy it lechoned already instead of going over the whole process.

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broden
Wow....

 

....between the " un-lechoned" pig state to the lechoned pig state, id prefer to just buy it lechoned already instead of going over the whole process.

yeah me too .. :) .. but i'm the only lechon connection around here .. if we want it we gotta make it...

 

 

by the way .. there are two things that make lechon in the philippines better then any lechon i make over here in the states ..

 

though i've been making them for several years i in no way have the many many years experience and family knowledge handed down to me that those guys have .. i'm pretty good at it ...those guys are artists

 

and the real kicker .. the pig itself .. the pigs over there are fatter thus better for cooking ... since the middle or early 60's in america they have been breeding pigs to be leaner and leaner as that is what people want or at least what they think people want ...a fatter pig especially when coing whole hog cooks up so much better .. better flavor more crispy .. you can even see the pigs over there are fatter even after having been cooked they look more bloated .. i wish i could get pigs like that over here

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kar wren

...Bestest part of the lechon and the yummmiest is the tummy area with all its fillings (spices!!!!) yumyum! and the skin ..crunchy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! yumyum! makes me hungry.i'm not so much into the meat. and the faaaaaaaaaaat! i love the fat! yum!!!!meeeeee!!!!!

 

 

We should talk more about food in this forum ya know. It's more stress-free and very filling.

Edited by kar wren

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broden
...Bestest part of the lechon and the yummmiest is the tummy area with all its fillings (spices!!!!) yumyum! and the skin ..crunchy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! yumyum! makes me hungry.i'm not so much into the meat. and the faaaaaaaaaaat! i love the fat! yum!!!!meeeeee!!!!!

 

 

We should talk more about food in this forum ya know. It's more stress-free and very filling.

 

 

agreed .. on both points .. but especially on the belly .. i love that .. the cheek is a close second though

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Jay
...Bestest part of the lechon and the yummmiest is the tummy area with all its fillings (spices!!!!) yumyum! and the skin ..crunchy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! yumyum! makes me hungry.i'm not so much into the meat. and the faaaaaaaaaaat! i love the fat! yum!!!!meeeeee!!!!!

 

 

We should talk more about food in this forum ya know. It's more stress-free and very filling.

 

That's why I call her "Garbage Gut". :)

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