Sounds like yall had a great time.it was a lot of fun.
we did need to take the head and legs off the pig to fit it in the smoker. this was made easier by the viking style battle ax my brother-in-law had made.
i think i started it around midnight and then woke up around 6:00 am or so. tend the fire, whiskey for breakfast, nap, tend the fire, beers. and so on.
after it was finished smoking we, my dad, brother, brother-in-law, my sons, put on some Heilung and started breaking down the pig. it felt pretty primal and masculine. there is probably a more refined way to do all this but we had a good time.
that being said, i probably won't do it again. the meat, while tender and moist, pretty much all tasted the same. i thought it all tasted like a good pork shoulder. and that's a lot of work for pulled pork flavor. the jowl and cheek meat was the best. like something between bacon and tenderloin.
if we ever get a whole pig again, i'll probably break it down before smoking and do everything separately.
I have been doing chicken and a few turkeys from the spring, but I will be slaughtering two hogs next weekend (if the weather gets right, but not looking good) so I will be firing up the pit real soon. It is a lot of work to pull the trigger at daybreak and pack it all, but the quality and freshness of the pork makes the effort extremely satisfying.