Just for fun I’m posting some of my favorite videos you’ll find publicly on Youtube and Vimeo profiling the Gods of Whole Hog BBQ. For obvious reason it’ll be a short series. The list of people who are experts at cooking whole hog is very small. This is not because it’s the hardest BBQ style to cook, it’s because the barrier of entry is particularly high. Brisket, for example, is extraordinarily difficult to learn how to do correct. But it’s also pretty small so you could just screw up a brisket on a weekly basis until you finally get it right. Cooking a tiny 50 lbs pig on a weekly basis to get right isn’t really within reach of most people.
So today I’m profiling the competition titan Myron Mixon. Myron got his start in competition by winning whole hog and has since been a domineering force in all different types of barbecue contests. It seems that whole hog continues to be his best category. He is best known for his no nonsense iconoclast style seemingly breaking all “rules” of BBQ like ‘no lighter fluid’ and ‘no green wood’.
Style – Myron cooks hot and fast in an enclosed pit. His is specifically competition based, thought he does cook with wood embers in his “Memories Class” where he teaches cooking methods passed down from his father. His pits have a water tray underneath the pig which keeps the humidity in the pit very high. The hog is cooked for several hours uncovered until it has absorbed all the smoke it could and form a nice bark, then it’s flipped and wrapped in foil to finish cooking on its back. Judges will sample parts of the shoulder, loins and hams.
Fuel – Myron uses a mix of charcoal and green peach wood. To burn green wood you need a very hot fire, for Myron it’s charcoal. If the coal bed is not hot enough to burn the wood cleanly, the wood with start to smolder and produce some black bitter smoke.
Sauce – Because he’s largely cooking for competition, the judges are normally offered 3 sauces a vinegar, a mustard, and a regular red sauce. You can actually buy his sauces here.