BBQ Chat with Cowboy Kev & Mikey K

Show Notes

On this episode of Huntavore, Nick is joined by a couple of BBQ pitmasters, Cowboy Kev and Mikey K.  Both of these guys live for the live fire pit and the low and slow lifestyle.  You can find these guys at the pit or on their own podcast, BBQ Chat.  Nick tries to take advantage of their expertise by having them give him some pointers when cooking large cuts of pork.  If you plan on putting something on the pit this weekend, Mikey and Kev will have you thinking about your process.  WIth the memorial holiday coming fast we need to get ourselves in the spirit of low and slow, on this episode of Huntavore.

Cowboy Kev hails from Connecticut and runs Wilee BBQ while Mikey is based out of the Chicagoland area and heads up Man Meat BBQ, yet is poised to head south sometime soon.  These two share a passion for barbecue.  These two take on challenges that normal home cooks don’t take on, cooking for huge crowds and serving amazing bbq.  These guys gave me some great pointers when cooking up pork butts and picnics.  First, that butts trump picnics because of their meat content and shreadability.  Picnics have more bone and do not shread as easily. Which makes them good candidates for chopped pork instead of shredded. Second, don’t forget to season after the shredding or chop because the outside got all the seasoning, 85% of the internal pork won’t be seasoned. Mikey Kay says for a special punch, add all the juices back in after the shred or chop. cowboy Kev does his whole hogs upside down with a skin facing the heat. Skin does a great job of keeping things in or out, essentially creating a bathtub for flavor all the juices render and can’t run off the meat.  You can find these guys, and their show @bbqchat on Instagram.

Show Transcript

[00:00:00] Welcome to the Huntavore podcast, powered by Sportsman's Empire, where we celebrate the hunting and fishing lifestyle through the utilization and consumption of our wild game. No egos fork in hand, beer in the other, no status, a piece of red meat on a hot grill, and turn it into a burn offering. Just catch it.

Cut it. Cook. This is episode 1 24, barbecue Chat with Cowboy Kev and Mikey K. On this episode of Hunt Devour, Nick is joined by a couple of barbecue pit Masters, cowboy, Kev and Mikey K. Both of these guys live for the live fire pit and the low and slow lifestyle. You can find these guys at their [00:01:00] own pit or even on their own podcast, barbecue Chat.

Nick tries to take advantage of their expertise by having them give him some pointers when cooking large cuts of pork. If you plan on putting something on the pit this weekend, Mikey and Kev have got you thinking about your own process with a memorial holiday coming up fast. We need to get ourselves in the spirit of low and slow on this episode of Hunt Ofor.

And before we begin, I just wanna say that there's going to be some sound quality issues on the first half of this episode. I'm gonna have to chalk it up to me not having some settings in the right way. But all in all, I think we salvage the whole conversation, so please stick through it and enjoy because there is some great information to be gleaned from this whole episode.

With that said, enjoy the show.[00:02:00]

Hey folks. Beautiful evening here in Michigan. I tell you what we saw the sunshine today. That big orb in the sky, it's on fire. It surprises me all the time because we never really get to see it. And yeah, we were full sun today. I think I even got a little bit of sun on my cheeks, but that's neither here nor there.

Tonight we are joined by a couple gurus here of the barbecue world. I tell you what those, that sunshine was making me think of barbecue, it's making me think of charcoal and I am on deck here with the Barbecue Chat podcast crew. We got Cowboy Kev, and we got Mike K on the line. Gentlemen, thank you so much for coming on this evening.

Cheers. Cheers. [00:03:00] No problem bud. Happy to. Yeah. Mike, you got you got something in the the sleeve there? What are you drinking tonight? Drinking. Drinking. A little bit of cool cords, light. Oh, there you go. There you go. Keeping it classy. He's down in Florida right now, waiting on a part for for his slide.

For fifth wheel. Yeah, for your fifth wheel. But I was gonna say, you're down in Clearwater, Florida I don't feel too bad for you. I wouldn't gotcha. We also got Cowboy Kev. Now I'm trying to put all the connections together. I was trying to get the inside scoop from Mikey here. You're based outta Connecticut, but at the same time you're rocking the cowboy hat.

Is, are you from Connecticut or is that is just the cowboy hat? It's just been your thing. Born and raised here, but I've been doing, I've ride horses, love country music and just been my thing. Okay, so you are a rodeo star there.[00:04:00] I take it probably not English style. You seem to be western style guy to me.

You get into a lot of trail riding. You get into roping. What aspect of horsemanship are you mostly trail riding. I was learning a little bit of crap. Now I can't think of the name of it, but it's like stunt riding, so doing like the spins and that kind of stuff. Oh my goodness. Yeah. Real talent.

My sister-in-law is, yeah, my sister-in-law is big into horsemanship. And since marrying my brother, they now have their own little pasture of, I think they got three horses now. And so I always like to give 'em a hard time. I'm like, you'll at, you just throwing money right there on the ground so that these horses can eat it.

Hay burners here. Absolutely. Gentlemen, I wanted to have you guys on if you haven't tuned into the Barbecue Chat podcast, you're gonna find that on[00:05:00] fellas, you're gonna have to help me out. It's on on Instagram that you guys post that. Is that, am I correct? On Instagram and on YouTube?

Instagram and YouTube. Sunday nights, seven o'clock, eight o'clock. When are you guys On Seven Central. Eight on the East coast. And then you can go do the math the other way, but we go live every single weekend. Mainly every single weekend that we can. Sometimes we do skip a week or two, but it's just a chat show, you can throw in your questions, you can do whatever you want and we'll try to answer 'em the best that we can. And then we just talk about the topics we bullshit a little bit, it's che. Gotcha. Yeah, I tuned in and I tell you what it's like standing next to the pit with just a group of people.

Like it was real low key. Loved that about that whole aspect I felt really engaged into [00:06:00] talking about it. And maybe it's just, people getting around hot coals, people getting around, smoked meat, people are getting around a spot that they're gonna be for a while, and it was just great conversation.

And that's why I was like, man, I gotta be able to get these guys on. We gotta talk about meat, we gotta talk about wild game. I guess that's my first question to you, fellas. Are you solely into the the barbecuing side of domestic? Or do, are you guys sportsmans as well? Do you guys get out and enjoy hunting and fishing?

I'll let you go Mike first. So I, I do a commercial, so we own a food truck. We're called Fire and Smoke Barbecue on Chicago, Illinois. We're moving down to flow. So it is, we're changing location, right? But I do since I do it commercially, I don't get into the wild game stuff [00:07:00] because le the legalities of cooking that.

And selling it to the public is nonexistent. Absolutely. Absolutely. It's very difficult. So even on the personal side, just being on the truck, being at the commercial spot that you guys have set up, there's just not a lot of time elsewhere. This is the hobby, this is the life.

And that's your dedication at that point. Pulling away for a week to go to Deer camp, you're like, listen, we don't got time for that. We got miles to feed. We got a show to get ready for. Gotcha, gotcha. So Mikey is all in on the commercial side. So then Kev, have you got a chance to dabble in the outdoors, seeing how you got the horses with you?

So you've got, I don't, I'm not into the going and getting the meat. I have a pile of friends that do, so I get to cook a lot of it for 'em. But I've done a lot of, I've done.[00:08:00] Wild hog for those guys. They really like to go up and go looking for them. So that's been the biggest one. I do some venison, but mostly wild hog for these guys.

Gotcha. The wild pork is probably where you shine the most. Good. I we've got a few questions about that because that's my big thing is I, and again, I'm not commercial, I'm fully home cooked. I'm fully utilizing and consuming everything that I hunt, fish, go, get, even purchase. I get, I want to get a chance to know my grower or know my packer.

Getting out and just finding someone, At this point deals as far as getting meat cheap. I think that's long, long gone now at this point. Yeah. I think with, not just to say that Covid brought that out, but I think just the system in general and as far backlog as things are, you're not gonna find cheap cuts.

You're not gonna find just cheap [00:09:00] meat anywhere. Is barbecue now become with, without these cheap cuts anywhere, knowing that was the background of barbecue? Is barbecue gonna start to raise its nose up in the air? Are we gonna become a distinct style of cooking or cuisine almost? Is this gonna be like an American cuisine?

There's Mexican cuisine, Italian cuisine is barbecue gonna become its own thing that's gonna have some real nuances to it? So we've talked about this, a lot of the show that to us, that barbecue is. The American cuisine. It's definitely something that, when you look at people make barbecue restaurants, American style, barbecue restaurants, the rest of the world.

So it has been elevated and that has caused a price increase [00:10:00] to the meats that we pur if you're purchasing them. But it's still, it's a, it's in a weird place because to a lot of people it's still the backyard. It's simple cooking to them. So it's hard, especially if you're not in a barbecue land, the Texas, the Carolinas.

It's hard getting people the rest of the country to understand that's what's going on with barbecue. And why? There's, you can run out and you want me to run out, you don't want me to hold it for the next day and do things like that. You want it to be a runout cook.

So as the, even as the runout cook is going, you're still purchasing meat for that next day or you've already got you're purchasing meat for the day [00:11:00] down because you've got stuff either soaking in a marinade or brining at that point. My goodness, what an operation that this is like you're thinking days out with the hope and prayer that you're gonna sell everything that day.

Is that gonna take some calculation? Is that gonna take some almost crystal ball esque type of looking as far as what are your numbers gonna be and. What is it gonna take to, to sell all this meat? Am I gonna have to hold back a few pieces? Because it looks like rain's coming, weather doesn't look great.

Or Oh dude, it's gonna be a weekend. We have, this music festival dude, let's get double the amount of beat. Is it, does it take a lot of that, know how that guesswork Uhoh? Mike. Mike, he's talking but we can't hear him. He asked a great question, but he's still breaking up. So he's thinking about your dinner before you've even eaten the meal before.

Gotcha. [00:12:00] Holy smokes. So he's gotta be, we have to be ahead and like you said, looking at the weather, what I'm doing, where I'm going, and understanding what our costs are in order and what we wanna make for a profit. Because anything we leave there with is lost money. Yeah, there's no tomorrow. Like you're selling it today.

Nobody wants next day barbecue. Nobody wants correct stuff from overnight. Now, culinary side, I mean shoot in my eyes, chili gets better day three and day four. But at the same time, as far as selling barbecue, people wanna see that coming off the spit. They wanna see that coming off the pit, sliced up right then and there.

The reheat, I'm sure is not a desirable thing. At least off the commercial side of that. You are there for the, now you're there to sell it hot off the smoker. [00:13:00] So that does add man, that add a lot of pressure. What is bang for buck as far as economical cut that you guys are gonna make the most profit on?

Is it gonna be beef? Is it gonna be that brisket, those ribs? Yeah, I already see him taking his head. No. Or are we gonna look at the humble hog Here is the pork side. Is that the true money maker for the barbecue specialist? If he, can he answer today?

Nope. He's got so much insight. Try jumping back in. Yeah, try. Let's kick you out and let's let's get you back in. We've got some technical difficulties here. We're work. I shoot, I think it's Florida. I think it's that dog on inter interference from that man right now. Fifth wheel. Yeah. He's Florida man.

But no, pork generally is [00:14:00] the one that you can stretch. It is on the cheaper side and it feeds a lot of people. So that's why, especially like you've got all that whole, that hog. A pork shoulder, A pork butt, you can feed a lot of people, especially when you come up with cool menus that, pull pork, mac and cheese, things like that where you can stretch that pork and make it go even further and still bring people good product.

There's things like you talked about chili for us or for somebody like Mike with a food trailer, he doesn't have any place to make that and have that like sitting for three days. He doesn't have the refrigeration and [00:15:00] everything to bring that in. So yeah now we can hear you a little bit. There you go.

Kev was just going in that Pork is where you're able to stretch things out and how being in your trailer setup you don't have a lot for holdover as far as like refrigeration and everything, like everything's set up for Yeah, no, we don't hold anything. Yeah. So the issue that we really have in that sense is we make what we're willing to risk.

So if I'm willing to risk five briskets, eight shoulders, and four or five pork bellies, like that's what I'm willing to risk that day. And if I sell out. And if it happens where it's it's an early sellout, I'm sorry, like you guys should have got there earlier[00:16:00]

and that's the. The game that we play. Gotcha, gotcha. Yeah, up here in Michigan, that's, we do have a barbecue joint near us and it's still foreign to us as far as like they themselves, when they open their restaurant, they had to get us used to the idea that they're gonna sell out. Like we would show up on like a Sunday afternoon and I would say oh yeah, gimme some of that pulled pork.

And they're like, Nope. All we got is brisket and sausage. What the heck happened with all your other stuff? And as much as they were having to train us on being ready to do that, we were also part of their Guinea pigs as far as well shows up. This Sunday crowd, they really want their pulled pork.

So let's throw another couple butts on there. And it's, we laugh at it now, cuz at first we were like, oh yeah, this place ain't gonna make it. They're gonna run down, but they trained us up just as much as we were able to train them getting 'em to that. So that is totally a unique idea, [00:17:00] at least for us here in the north, that we just don't understand that.

Yeah. Most of us are up in the rest of the country, are used to going to a steakhouse. If they need a steak, they just go in and get one. Yeah. And cook it a brisket like Mike said we're thinking about what you're gonna eat for dinner the day before, so we have to start there and hope you're gonna show up in time before it's gone.

Pretty much. Yeah. That's just a, that's, Hey, when the way the meat is going, man. Yeah, that's, This is the great setup of it because those tender high dollar cuts are going to go to, yeah, they're gonna get picked up by the steakhouses, they're gonna get picked up by people around.

But now there's that magical transformation that happens where you apply heat at just the right just at the [00:18:00] right temperature for the right duration, where you guys are applying that in a very special, very concise way that you're gonna be turning stuff that if you just put a quick sear on it, you'll be able to pick it up off that griddle and bounce it and have it be real rubbery, real tough, but at the same time, to do the magic of taking these hard cuts.

Break, letting them break down inside of your smoker, letting that slow heat go to work. But at the same time, take what people would think as far as flavorings or seasonings. Shoot, you're taking dried branches, you're taking dried hunks of wood and applying a different flavor profile. Just depending on which piece of wood is going into that.

It's just a total artistry that you guys are doing. How long Kev, did it take you to feel like, okay, I think I have this down. I think I [00:19:00] have an understanding of what I'm doing. So it took me yesterday, a couple of years. Yeah, yesterday. Yesterday was, yes. Yesterday was on a picture. I understood it.

Probably a year and a half to say I've perfected it, and I'm Michael, tell you the same thing. I haven't. I still have days where you think it's going one way and it is not, because that's the beauty of fire. It's not an exact, it's not an exact science. It's, it really is art, which is what we talked about the other day.

You're guiding it along. You can have checkpoints as far as temperatures go. You can have a sense of feel as I've been here before in this stall, or I've been [00:20:00] here before in where it, it looks like it's done, but it still needs another couple hours. But at the same time, given different elements, you can control the temperature pretty well.

You can contribute or you can then help out the humidity. But again, even the environment is gonna take in, a hold of that too. So that's gonna just offer, offer folks, again, something that you're gonna have to continue to play with. I love that even the professionals here are saying that it's gonna be an art, that it's, you're guiding it along.

Because there's a lot of times where I'll be doing my own little setup in my own backyard and I'm telling folks Yeah, it's gonna be a little while. How long is a little while? I couldn't give and give you a ballpark. It could be 20 minutes, it could be another hour. I'm not exactly sure. When you start doing it commercially, you start to learn [00:21:00] the amount of hours you really need to give yourself, right?

So being in the backyard and you're cooking one brisket. You can baby it, you can push it through a stall, you can force it to go faster. You can do all these kind of things. And you can do it in, you can do it in the commercial aspect of it too. We do it all the time. There's times where it's like, Hey, this brisket stalled and fucking, we gotta go.

You know what I mean? We got a catering and it needs to be there. We've learned different tricks and different techniques to push things sometimes. Now do we do that all the time? No, we try not to. We try not to do it as much as possible. We try to let the routine take it, take its course right.

But there are tricks that you can do. Gotcha. Let's say I'm stalled out. What is something that I can do just in the backyard? [00:22:00] I got one brisket that crunch. What do I do? Yeah, you can wrap in butcher paper. You can wrap in foil. If you don't have butcher paper, you can do the butcher paper foil boat, which is wrapping it in butcher paper and then put it into a full pan and then foil over the top of it, which is going to create more heat deflection into it so that there's not as much heat being pushed out of it.

Okay. So it just depends on how fast you need to move it and you know what your timing is. But there, there's all these different ways to do it. You can protect just the flat you can. Protect just the point. It depends on where you're at. Gotcha. It depends on your cooker. Yeah. The other thing you'll find that [00:23:00] backyard people don't do that.

Commercially operations, do we wanna hold our meat? We wanna put it in a cooler in a cam for three, four hours. But that three, four hours also gives you a window

to adjust for things like the stall. And if it takes you a little bit longer and you gotta, you, you're planning on a four hour hold. Hey, I can let it go a little longer. There's tricks like that we'll say most people from barbecue really merly. We don't cook it and pull it right off and slice it and serve it to you.

That's one of the biggest mistakes you can do. You wanna let, you wanna hold it, you wanna let it rest. And [00:24:00] there's the idea that like some guys will use their smokers as holding boxes, to make it look like it's coming off the pit. That shit was not j that didn't just hit 2 0 3 and then he pulled it and sliced it.

It was done hours ago. Gotcha. And it was being held in that smoker for the show aspect of it to to. Fool the public in its done. A lot of times if you see smokers going at a barbecue restaurant and you're eating brisket right now, that brisket went on yesterday. Gotcha. They're doing tomorrow's brist brisket.

Correct. At that moment today. Yeah. Correct. Gotcha. Oh, guys, I feel like I've peeked behind the curtain. I'm looking at Oz right now, just man, I've been duped. I've been fooled, but now I see [00:25:00] the light. Hey, there are places that cook days ahead. Wrap 'em, let 'em cool down.

And then warm them back up because that does stuff like if you've ever eaten something that you smoked and you did save some and you reheated it a couple days later, the smoked flavor is stronger in it. Like you talked about the chili. Yeah. That sitting the con condensation and it gives it time to work its way through.

There are restaurants that literally, the briskets are done two days before and then they let that stall, they let that or not stall. Excuse me. They let that hold over in the chiller. They let everything meld together. They let the meat relax, they let it do it, go through, its the course, and then yeah, bring that up in some sort of heat, whether it's an oven, whether it's[00:26:00] whatever they're trying to do at that point, and then serve that up then.

Wow, that's cool. That's cool. Shoot, that's a great way to take all the work that they did off that smoker and make sure that is exemplified. Just cuz you are gonna get the work, the flavor that you guys added to that. So yeah, for the restaurant that works out good, but then at the same time you roll up in a truck, not a whole lot you can do at that point.

Yeah. I mean it's just, A little bit different in that sense. Yeah. So guys, I'm gonna lay out a picture here I kind of wanna transition into hogs. And I know Kev, you were talking specifically, you had worked with some wild hogs. So we're going to, we're gonna bank on some of your expertise. Mike, did I see that you've got some experience in the butcher world.

Have you been a meat cutter or were you a butcher in a shop for you? I've not. Gotcha. I've done events with certified Angus beef, [00:27:00] so we've done a bunch of stuff with them and they bring you into, the coolers and they allow you to take apart a half a p and show you all the cuts and show you all the things and do all that kind of fun stuff.

And I've read. A decent amount of kind of butchering books. To learn what cuts go where, how to do what, and all that. Gotcha, gotcha. So by the time you're getting pieces of meat we're into the Cryovac, you've got like a primal or a subprimal that Yeah, you're gonna have to either skim off a fat cap or you're gonna have to take off you might even have a shoulder where you gotta separate into the pork butt and into the picnic at that point.

When I went on this hog hunt, I yeah, I went deep dive, do deep dove into hog butchery. So yeah, YouTube ventures for, shoot, you'd [00:28:00] find a 45 to an hour long video. I just put a little scotch and a glass and I'm like, here I am. Buckle up. We're gonna take notes. Found me a couple books to look through.

And yeah. Then I show up in Oklahoma. I went with, I wanted to bring as much of the hog back as possible. I wanted to preserve, I wanted as much as the meat. I also wanted to preserve the fat. I have real grand aspirations of using the skin. So my first task was figuring out how I'm gonna get this thing, get the hair off it, but at the same time, preserve that fat underneath without having to skin it.

I brought down my propane torch and that trick, the trick of torching a hog even on the wild side, I was impressed. I s I talked to a guy who does that for a living. He does custom butchery. And so first one he does is go-to is the scald method, where, you know, full dunk hot water in Yep, yep.

Comes back out, [00:29:00] scrapes it down. But then he had some customers who, I think they were middle, not Middle Eastern, excuse me, they were Eastern European descendant, and they were like no, we want this hog torched. We love the flavor of a torched hog. And literally, I took my propane torch. It's one of the, the big yard weed burner.

And I just went to town just on the side of that thing. As much BTUs as I could put into it. Got all that hair off after a scrub. Smell fun. Yeah. That wild beast. The the smell wasn't even bad. I thought it was gonna be one of those here we go. It's singed hair up the wazoo. I thought it was going into me, my clothes.

I thought there was gonna be this smoke plume, all that stuff. Just, it melted into this molten, yeah, it melted. It didn't even really like ash up as thought as I, as much as I thought it would, and then I scraped that away and that hairy beast. It turned into something that was very familiar. It looked like a hog there.

In [00:30:00] that way it looked, or excuse me, it looked like a pig that it would be at a farm. And then, it's exactly, it's the same thing. And then as soon as I then got to that first layer, I bubbled up the outer epidermis, outer layer of that skin and scraped that off. It eaten it, even brightened that up.

So it took a lot of that outer tough layer off. And it really then looked like something I pulled out of, the fair. That's it really looked like one of those that I had found there. Ended up having two of them. One of them had to be a sow that was, we guessed right around 250 pounds at, she was the same size as I was as far as like I, I have a picture with me standing in between the two halves and it's it's all the way from my shoulders to my knees.

Just massive animal. And so going through this process, breaking them down. I actually tripped them up to Michigan. 15 hours. I had so many coolers in the back of my truck. The one guy or the one, the host that was having us down there. He is [00:31:00] I don't know if we're gonna fill all those. And then at the end of the trip, he was like, man, I don't, I think you need one more cooler.

I think we can go get you another hog and fill that thing up. But I got 'em home and got 'em into, I have a eight foot long freezer that I, the farm at my parents' Turkey farm wasn't using at the time. And I put a little thermostat controller on there so I could keep it at a chiller. So I was at like 34 degrees and I let everything set in there as far as, I took the whole halves.

And I left them in there for a couple days so that I could let that fat really just solidify up. Didn't freeze it. But then I came through and then I started to actually butcher it. Got my loin sections, got my belly. We want to try. The bacon, and that's gonna be something I'm really gonna try to do.

I'm hoping it's thick enough. Worst come, worst case scenario, I just have bacon spaghetti as a, as it, works its way down real thin. We'll find a way to use it. But as I was breaking [00:32:00] this down, my attention really focused on that front shoulder. I didn't want to cut it up like a deer. I didn't want to take the shoulder off and then turn the rest into sausage.

I was gonna have plenty of other pieces that I'm gonna have for sausage. But I then I just took those shoulders, those shoulder sec sections and cut it straight down the middle so that I had the pork butt and I had the pork picnic. As far as I was looking at them, the butt is the section that's gonna hold the blade, that's gonna have the shoulder blade, whereas the picnic is gonna hold the humorous.

And a bit of the not the hawk, but anyway, part of the shank anyway. Yep. I'm now ready to, depends on where you cut it. Yeah. Yeah. Now I'm ready to get these things onto a smoker. Preferably not an easy bake oven. I don't wanna plug it in. I want to use charcoal. I'm a man here. Okay. I got [00:33:00] cas. Let's do this.

That's a good shout out. That's a good shout out to my buddy who's about that. He's got a Traeger and I love to just bust his balls about it. As far as getting into barbecuing, I figure that's a great way to get somebody started. But at the same time, like at that point, like after you use it for a while, granted, what an entry step into there.

It's such a pricey unit. Just getting one of those those pellet grills. Just buy a barrel. Yeah, just buy an egg. Just buy in the same price range. Oh. But I've got these two pieces of meat. I'm ready to get out there. What are gonna be some of my preparations that I'm, if I'm gonna want some amazing pulled pork, walk me through what I want to do with either the butt or the picnic.

I would go for the butt over the picnic. But it's simple. A pork shoulder's, the redheaded stepchild of [00:34:00] barbecue, you can beat it. And it still turns out pretty okay. Get a good rub. Something would, that doesn't have a ton of sugar in it. Get a good rub. Put a good rub on it.

Don't marinate it. Don't inject it. Don't do any of that crazy shit. Just put a good rub on it, get good smoke on it, wrap it, pull it. Re season. Simple. Stupid, huh? Yeah. The nice thing about wild Hogs is they eat such a variety that one of the things I would tell you to do is you'll hear a lot of people, they'll try to trim off all the fat because they go, oh, there's all kinds of fat inside the meat.

No one wild hogs tend to actually be a little bit leaner with that fat because they're running around. So leave more, leave that outside fat. But [00:35:00] it, that's, you are gonna get some cool flavors because that is storing, depending on where it's running, around, what it's eating, so you can get some really good flavors out of that.

And if you take your time with a good rub, it's, you are not gonna get a super heavy gamey flavor to it, which is what people freak out about. Absolutely. Absolutely. With any time. It's wild game. Oh, it's gonna be game, it's gonna have this weird flavor. It's just not gonna taste like corn and soybean.

Because they're gonna be eating everything else. That is, we hear that time in and time out when it comes to venison. Oh, that buck's been up in a cedar swamp eating all it. But that doesn't, we're eating a wild animal here. That was the whole reason you chased after it. And that's the whole reason why we're eating this thing, is we didn't want something that stood out in a pasture and was finished [00:36:00] on green or finished on grass.

This thing was finished on shoot, it was finished on beating mushrooms, another buck's ass. It was chasing doze. It was eaten cedar. And that's a wildness that man I'm one that I desire. Stuff like that, that like really gets me excited and to hear people downplay it. And I know again, it's one of those, it's a naive thing.

It's somebody who, they have not had that experience of something that doesn't taste like corn, like soybean. So what term do they give it? And that's where they go into the gamey, I aspect the gaming. Yeah. Because on these hogs I was impressed with how much fat that they do have, especially along the back, a whole lot of fat there.

And that was one desire that I had was I wanna bring the skin on, I wanna protect as much of that fat on there so it doesn't get loaded or waterlogged or I need to cut it off. Cause now it's full of dirt or whatnot. Now at this point I just take off the rin, take off the skin and [00:37:00] I leave as much of that fat as possible.

So I do like that. You going down fry it? Yeah. We've done a ru, we've done a rump roast and Yeah, the only thing that was left was a Rhine. We've completely finished that off. My boys did the same thing they were, and they're the ones that really point stuff out to me. My wife is, she's man, she's a trooper.

She'll eat just about anything that I put out there. She will let me know Hey, this one, eh, something was off on that one. But at the same time, I asked her all about the flavor of the meat and she was like, no, this is quite good.

So now, like Mike said, once you're, you've done it, one of the biggest mistakes people make with pulled pork, and Mike said it at the end, re season it, because you're only seasoning before you cook it. You're only se seasoning the outside edge. That's a big piece of meat. [00:38:00] That seasoning is not going all the way to the center.

You're seasoning about 5% of the meat. Gotcha. So essentially the crust, shoot, we're making season 5% of your steak. Cook it and tell me how much seasoning you got out of it. You know what I'm saying? It that's the problem with that. Most people don't understand. That's why they try injecting, that's why they tried doing all these crazy shit.

You don't have to do that. You just re season mix it through and you're good to go. Now I personally save all my juices and all that and I put it into it afterwards so that you get all that pork juice flavor and all that fun stuff. But not everyone has to do that. You don't have to if you don't want to.

But always hit it with some seasoning again. Gotcha. And this is after The shred yes, correct. Okay. So I let it rest, let it do its thing. Shred this whole thing up. And as, as I got it, splayed out all over the board or all over the pan, [00:39:00] then I come back through with that same rub to then work into the pieces that weren't exposed to the outside.

Correct. The ones that were deep in the middle. Good. Yeah. Good. Great tip there. That's pro tip right there. Commercial tip. And that's the same reason why you said save. So we'll do is We'll, it'll be that pork will be in a pan, but we save all of that juice and we don't throw, we don't pull it out, shred it and throw that away.

We take that and that goes back in. Yeah. Good deal. That gets mopped in. Just poured in, mopped in. Do you have, will I have some absorption from that meat? Will it begin to absorb a little bit of that course? Yes. Fluid as well Or is it one of those where I'm just like, mop it in and then put it on?

No, it'll absorb. Oh, it'll absorb for sure. Good deal. And you guys jump in, boys. I gotta run. Oh, hey Mike, keep going. Thanks for [00:40:00] getting on. Keep Kevin on guys. Thank you so much. I'm sorry that I gotta run early. I hear Mel doing some crazy shit, so we gotcha. Florida woman starting to do something now, so you gotta go save that.

Cheers, my friends. Thank you so much for having us on. Hey, see you Mikey.

Yeah, he's over with Dark Side of the Grill, which if you haven't followed him and watched him, he's an entertaining person. Oh good. Dark side of the grill. You said? What's his name again? Yep. Mel. Mel. All right. He's actually on his way to Australia after Florida or meat stock. Oh my goodness.

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is, or he's a team big green egg guy. Oh, okay. Gotcha. If I gotta throw my team out, I'm PK three or team pk. Love my, love it. 360 or regular? Say that again. 360 or the [00:43:00] regular. Oh, the regular. I got it on clearance from Ace Hardware. Nice. And I'm feel like it's my little treasure and I tell you, a lot of meat has been cooked on that and a lot more meat will be cooked on that as well.

They work fantastic. Yeah. It's one of, like you said, like with barbecue, it's. It's simple don't complicate it. You, we've got these tricks. We've got these things that we're gonna do. And with it like I do, I just get my bed of charcoal on it. And if I want indirect, I move it off the one side, I get the little vents the way that I want 'em to go, and boom, let it do it's magic.

There's no fancy knobs, nothing. I use a probe or I use a, like a Bluetooth or a wireless probe, but that's for my own, like need to be able to know what the temperature I'm working at. But other than that, there ain't no plugins. There's no gizmos. It's just fire and meat. And that's, I have my, I have Bluetooth ones and I do it.

Being in Connecticut, I get wacky weather and especially when I'm using my big offset, [00:44:00] I have to feed wood every half hour, 45 minutes. And that's one of the unpredictable things about cooking with wood. Every piece doesn't burn the same way. So I like having that just as a guide to let me know, Hey, I need, I should go look at this and see what I should be doing.

Gotcha. You guys jumped all over the pork butt in that scenario. And shoot, it was the longest question I've ever said, but I basically, I was leading up to what I wanted to ask but I mentioned like, all right, what are we gonna do with the pork butt and versus the picnic? And, Mikey jumped all over the pork butt.

Why does the pork butt take key over the picnic? Fat, just fat contact. It has more fat, so it's, there's more intermuscular fat in there [00:45:00] versus the picnic. So the, it pulls better, it's juicier than what happens with the picnic. So you can make a good picnic one, but it's a little harder.

The other thing is there's a lot more bone in there versus the little sliver that you pull out of the blade. Yeah. You've got that humorous in there and that really takes up a lot of space. So that's where that why everybody jumps to the butt. Gotcha. In the hunting world, we eat full nose to tail because that's what you're given.

So that's where now. Now I'm gonna posee it to you. So I got this picnic. I want something that's going to resemble what I can get off the butt. [00:46:00] Am I going to treat this differently? Do I want to brine this overnight or two nights? So I wouldn't brine it, get that rind off. That's the other reason why people tend to not like the picnic, is you have that piece of rind all the way around and trying to trimm that off and keep as much fat from underneath it on the meat is definitely a little trickier.

But that's where I may do not, in not a brine when I start cooking it in the pan, I might add some like apple juice into that just to get some liquid in there because it is not going to have that same amount of fat.

And the apple juice is just gonna add that humidity aspect. Is that what [00:47:00] you're looking for? Just add a little bit of humidity because you're not gonna get the fat liquefying and having all that liquid in there. So I'm just adding some with that and then just keep probing it with, your thermometer or something else when you start getting to that 200 temp range and feeling how it is.

But remember it's not gonna pull apart the same way. Not gonna be as shredded. Tends to be a little more chunky from what I, when I've cooked it. Gotcha. Would that would that inter be helpful then if I go with a chopped pork as opposed to. A shredded where let's say I approach a butt, I know that's gonna shred apart, that's the sexy part.

I put on the the really expensive black gloves and I get my hands in there and just work that thing out. Versus now I get I get to bring my bri chopper out and we get to chop that meat on [00:48:00] the picnic. Yep. Is that gonna be a good approach go with the chopped as opposed to That would, that's not a bad way to go cuz it's gonna have a different texture.

Gotcha, gotcha. No, this is all good stuff cuz as I'm looking at it, I'm, I work with a lot of different proteins and I work with, either long or short. And so the more that I break into the animal, yeah. I get into getting to be in there and go this full circle aspect of seeing it in its environment, taking it out, lugging it up the hill.

Cut ba field, dressing it, cutting it down into pieces like you, you soon start to understand things about this. And so now I'm into this cooking aspect. I'm about ready to come full circle and finished out this animal's life like total Mufasa style where it's the great circle. And now, yeah, now it's, we're getting to the nitty gritty.

It's amazing that a few muscles just north of a couple other muscles have a completely different reaction to how things are gonna work [00:49:00] out. Yeah they're definitely different and that's why there's different cuts and there's different ways to cook different cuts because they will react differently.

If you try to take a pork loin and you try to take that loin and cook it like you do pork shoulder, it's not very good. No. That likes to be a solid piece that you're going to cut or gnaw right off versus trying to cook it down and break it down as much. I, the boar that I got, just as you were talking about that I got to the point where I kept his the, I guess the rib section of the loins.

I kept those together as far as a double chop. So I made myself a couple double chops through the vertebrae. Michigan is a C W D state. I don't know if you know a lot about [00:50:00] that. In Connecticut, but we've got the chronic wasting disease. It's a, it's in the spinal cord, it's in the brain. And so now if you're gonna butcher your own deer, at least here in Michigan, I've taken the practice where that's just, those are zones I don't break into.

You stay away from those. Yep. I try to get my deer tested. So I, I do my whole process, box it up, put it away when I get my test results back and it gives, tells me, Hey, it is the way the test is order that, yeah, it was one of those things like, it, it does not detect whatever it is.

It doesn't give you a yes or no. It gives you a, it's there or it's not. So anyway, when I get the, yeah, it's not beautiful, we can break into that, but I just play it safe on all that stuff. But now I get into the wild hog and it's that's not a thing that I need to worry about at this point.

So we've gotten the chance to do those double chops and yeah, just as you said, I, and even on that loin section, I. To take that beautiful meat and hit it with a hard sear and do it [00:51:00] fast on, direct heat, direct coals, and be able to pull that off that's just right where it needs to be. As soon as you put that on for a long period of time, you've, yeah, you're taking all that beautiful succulent tender meat and just almost at that point constricting it, getting all the moisture out of it, and then yeah, you're left with oh man, it's real subpar at that point, yep. I love how you did say depending on the cut, you are gonna approach that differently. Exactly. And like you were talking about making bacon, I'll tell you there's two things you can do with that belly. You can do pork belly burnt ends, which are absolutely fantastic. Or some people call it pork belly brisket, where you season it and you treat it.

Like a brisket, so a heavier pepper rub on it. And you keep it as a big chunk [00:52:00] and you let it go eight hours or so, and you slice it like you're slicing the flat of a brisket. Oh my. And you get a different texture and you get that fat, but it's melter with the pepper, like a brisket. I've got a couple sections that I don't think are going to do well as far as like a traditional cured bacon.

I'm looking at the idea of rolling it like a panchetta so that at least like when I slice it now I have a spiral or like a pinwheel that's what I can see. But I'm thinking now, A couple of these sections. We're not gonna tie these up. We're gonna go with this pork brisket idea. Yep. That's really good if you still have skin on it.

The other thing you can do [00:53:00] is you can put a salt crust over the skin and you cook it so that turns to a crack one. Oh, this is what we're going for here, because the salt pulls all the moisture out, rise the skin, and now, so now you get this crunch with the fat and into the meat. You get these, you get three distinct textures.

Oh, wow. Basically what you do is once it's cooked, you pull off all the salt because the skin does what skin does. It doesn't really let the salt go through it. It just dries that out. Am I creating like a slurry of salt or like almost like a paste of salt to put this on? Or am I just literally coating?

Just you're coating it with a quarter inch of salt across the top. All right. And my guess is like SC or meat [00:54:00] side is down. Is that on the grate or is that in a pan? So I, when I do that, I usually have it in a pan, but with a a cookie sheet or cookie cooling rack. Oh, okay. Yeah. So another grate on top of there, so that way you get the airflow underneath it.

It's not sitting in the juice to get, because you've got a lot of fat to render in there. Yeah. Like I said, you get this good crispy crunch. There's a restaurant here called Hudu Brown. And that's how they do their pork belly. And it, like I said, you get this, the texture of the crunch with the fat, with the meat is just a cool experience.

And it's delicious. Oh man. And it uses the skin, it uses the fat it uses every little [00:55:00] bit that I've gotten. And shoot that's what we're after here. We're after full consumption. So that's an excellent way to be able to do that, Kev working with hogs. Now, when you were saying you worked with wild hogs and you're up in Connecticut, are you getting guys bringing hogs back from Oklahoma and Texas, or are you getting the big hogs?

He's from Pennsylvania. Okay. So they're getting some, those Wild Pennsylvania boar big ones. Yep. Oh my goodness. That's a, my, I think my boar was pretty young. I think he was probably 150 pounds. He was no slouch. But at the same time, his, he didn't have huge, prominent tusks. Now his shoot, those cutters would hurt.

I'm looking at it and I'm like, dang man. If he, if it was a me and him in some real thick brush, like I'd be nervous. But at the same time, I see some of these pigs that come out of like the northern, either northern Saskatchewan, Canada, and even then in Pennsylvania, these things are wicked. [00:56:00] Have you experienced either on the butcher side or even the culinary side, what's referred to as bor taint or that real testosterone driven smell?

The musk, if you will. So I haven't, but haven't, I've done what, four or five shoulders now for these guys? And none of them have had a weird me odor ency to them. So I don't know if it's, Hey, they did a really good job of getting it before it got freaked and it had adrenaline and it intensified that.

Or if just I lucked out and they were all ones that didn't have it. Oh, okay. Gotcha. We talked about it before I first [00:57:00] cooked it, the first one, cuz they were all, they were kinda all looking for the same thing. Okay. They didn't have that oomph to it, I don't know. Good way to explain it. And we didn't find that.

Gotcha. I have, yeah. Micro experience. But the one, the board that I do have he must have been ready, he must have had been with the ladies at some point, cuz he's got just this hint of it. As I was butchering it, the meat itself really wasn't, I wasn't overwhelmed by anything, but like I could smell it on my hand.

As I was cutting each piece and moving 'em about, I was like I could just smell. And it really was this like tangy vinegar musk that would just hit you. And, at the point I'm like, this is all an experiment. I'm going to eat as much as this as I can. I was nervous a little [00:58:00] bit as far as is some of it gonna be so unpalatable that I won't be able to use it?

But I took those double chops and it was off that one. So again, and again, it's the one of those muscles that's least worked, but. After it got on, we gave it a nice coat of a seasoning, which it had some cumin. It had some paprika. It was gonna, that seasoning, that rub was gonna hold its own.

Yeah. But putting it on those chops, I could still taste the pork. And that, that tanginess that bore taint was so like, I mean it was just, it was in the profile, but it definitely didn't take high profile. It was just like in the back a little bit. And I feel it really brought definition to what it was.

Gentleman I talked to, his name was Brandon, and he even said that there, there's communities that look for. Boar that are really rutted up, that are really have a pungent taste. And so that was gonna be my thing for you is, what was your experience with it? [00:59:00] When I did get the boar, I knew hey, if I, the longer I can age him in a cool environment, the longer that I can take care of this meat in a quick way as far as not letting it get warm doing a very thorough field dress job on him, that's gonna be my best chance for getting the best quality out of this.

And I really feel like I'm really excited to see what the shoulder's gonna hold for this. Something that's worked a little bit more to see if that is a little more pronounced. Yeah. If it's deeper into that now are you gonna take one? You might probably don't have the facility to do it.

One of the things that people will do with that pork shoulder too, is you caught it up into pork steaks. So if you look at like down in Texas snows they do pork steaks and it's cut from the shoulder. Okay. Is that the, so back the copa muscle, is that what they're making that out [01:00:00] of? It's that top part right next to the feather bones.

They cut it with the bone and everything. They band saw it all the way across. Okay, gotcha. So you get this big chunk of steak and it's a pork steak. Gotcha. And then they slow cook it, but it's taken off before it, it's just a few minutes that pulled pork stage.

You, you're going up to bed. It gets a it's a different texture. And that may be a cool way to go. With that flavor because you're gonna, you're gonna slow cook it, but then sear it a bit very soon that when that bullet punches, that loose fat just absorbs all the energy. When I took these pigs apart, I found shots that we took on these animals and I found fragments of the bullet [01:01:00] not penetrating.

These are rifles, these are powerful rifles we're shooting these things with. I also found encapsulated, Shrapnel from previous shots. So the neighbors that took shot on these animals, I'm finding it in the fad itself. So I am curious to see when I get this bacon done, like I might have a piece of lead fragment still in there.

We should, we need to cut around and we'll do a little fur further inspection. But man, they just take a beating. They just absolutely keep on running. They're made to survive. And oh yeah. That's the beauty I think of when you get a hog. When I've been gifted these, this pork, it's gonna get me a fla.

I'm getting a bang for my buck on this point. I brought back several hundred pounds of pork that I wanna say is free. Nevermind the gas, nevermind the the equipment that I took down there. Time, the time every, yada, yada. It ain't free. But now let's not worry about that.

But [01:02:00] at the same time, like you said, each part of these, this pork, as much as it's as I wanna say, that, beef is beef and chicken is chicken, when I'm getting into this hog, like every aspect provides a new layer of flavor and texture that I don't think I'm expecting yet. And so that's where I'm very excited about all of those.

So with those rear quarters, you keep jowls. I got a full head. I wanna roast the whole head. I want to do the full barbacoa. Yeah. In the roasting pan. I think I'm gonna go out in the oven at that point, but I want the. The shoot I want the lord, not the lord of the flies. Yeah. Lord of the flies, where they have like that, they hang the head up, I think at that one point.

But I wanna be able to pull that out and bring it to the table and just have this giant boar's head just sitting there that I'm then gonna be able to then yeah, shred meat off of. Get behind the eye, get all those pieces, like we're going full full Neanderthal on that. So I got those jowls I [01:03:00] brought, so yeah, one head is going for that.

So we'll get that jowl meet. I sent one head with another one of the gentleman that I was down there with, and the third one has actually gone to actually he's been, it's been chilling. I think I haven't, I have that one frozen too. I might go in and actually save the jowls on that one. I'm gonna do a euro mount on that one.

That's my bore. I'm having a buddy do a euro mount for me where they basically, they get all the skin off. All the meat off and you're just left with the bone and that's what I wanna be able to hang that up. So I, I can save some jowls. With a jowl. Is that gonna be a quick sear or is that gonna be something I want to be lower and slower going with a cure on I like lower and slower on 'em.

Okay. The most when I've had 'em has been when I've done a whole hog. So then I've pulled it off and it's, we'll say it's all shredded. That's the one thing when you do like whole hog, it's all pulled pork. Gotcha. [01:04:00] At that point, you know you're doing the whole thing. You, it's all correct. Gotcha. So you're, it's all pulled pork at that point, but it's always been very tender.

Very good. Before we jump into going with this, the idea of the whole hog, we were touching on the Hein quarters and I've kept. All the hen quarters whole for the idea of, I, I do want to cure and smoke those and hang those for hams. I know my in-laws they do at Christmas, they do a big ham.

And so I was telling grandma, she's usually the one that we, she hosts it and she has it. And so I told her, I'm like, Hey, I've already got the ham for next year. Right now it's a green ham. We gotta be able to cure this thing down. If you had your chance to cure hams, what am I gonna wanna look forward to on that?

It's one, take your time. Don't rush the cure. Some people try to do that. [01:05:00] Take your time. Don't rock it. And have you decided how you're going to smoke it? Like it, like what you're going to do because that's trying to do that in your pk. Yeah, that's gonna be difficult as a slowmo. Yeah, you're it's gonna be difficult.

I've got it looks like a little it's an electric smoker. It's got three, four trays that you can put into it. I was gonna net my ham and then I was gonna find a way to hang it from the top, whether I actually have to drill a hole with a washer on top, just help support the weight, have a little eyelet.

But anyway, little piece of wire. Yeah. Hang that actually in there. It's an electric smoker. I know. I was just given crap to being able to plug things in. I'm total hypocrite on it, but that's the fun part of it. But that's, that was the route that I was gonna do mainly because I could set that temperature and have it stay right there at that temperature that the electric element does a very good job at that.

And [01:06:00] then I can then auto feeded or go back and then feed. I was gonna go hickory. At the same time I did bring down It was two years mul a mulberry tree, and I've done some venison with Mulberry smoking it, and that's actually been super delightful. I've really enjoyed that. So I might even add a little bit of Michigan esque mulberry into this one.

Yeah. I've never used mulberry. I do a lot of apple. Gotcha. So that's big where I am. And so I'm hooked up with one of the apple orchards here. So when I do like competitions and different things, I get all of my wood from them. Yeah. Yeah. As soon, shoot, pruning season, you just show up, you can get it by the truckload.

Yep. So I'm a big fruit wood person, so the mulberry, that, that would probably be very good on it. It is, it's sweeter. I it would, it really does. Yeah, it's a berry. [01:07:00] But at the same time, it really like matches up with apple with peach. It really falls in with that same family. It re responds very well.

I don't quite have a pallet yet where I can be like, okay, that was Apple. Okay, that was peach. I'm not quite there yet, and I've been told that you can't, you get it to a point. But until you've cooked hundreds of thousands and burned hundreds of thousands of logs and known specifically like this is this day I cooked with peach.

This day I cooked with cherry. And you really do it like that. It's not as easy as some people try to make it sound like it is. All right. That last good color from the fruit woods. Which is, that's why I was gonna tell you Okay. Is you'll probably get a nice color on it with the fruit wood and I'm, I [01:08:00] wanna do this rin off, I'm gonna wanna take that skin off, score that fat then at that point.

Exactly. Good deal. Good deal. A wind, I'm doing that anyway in skin. Yeah. Because it's designed to keep stuff out. And right here we're b brining, or excuse me, not Bri. We're curing, we're trying to get stuff in. So that's where we take that out. Yep. Good deal. When you had done whole hogs, so now we're jumping back to where you were alluded into there that when you do a whole hog as far as either a catering or just a big event, the whole thing becomes shredded.

In our shooting, we. I don't wanna say inadvertently because we were gonna, I was actually hoping to get some, but some piglets happened to fall into our crosshairs at just the right time. So I got three beautiful little piglets skin, or excuse me, I gave them the same torch treatment.

Cleaned them up as much as I [01:09:00] could, and I'm sure probably when I get them out, thaw them out get them ready for a suckling hog esque cook. I'm gonna have to do a little bit more cleanup on that. But as I'm doing now, if I'm taking one of these and I'm gonna do a whole hog, we're gonna be some of my steps that I'm gonna want to be able to pay attention to.

First, the apple does need to go into the mouth. Does it matter if it's always, does it matter if it's a Granny Smith or a Red Delicious? Take your pick. Take your pick. All right. But something's gotta go in. Good. Good. That's what I wanted. I just gotta go in. So I'm a little different. I always learn when I do my pigs, I always do 'em on their back.

Okay? So skin down at that point. Skin down. And the reason I do that, like we just said, skin's designed to do two things, keep stuff in, keep [01:10:00] stuff out. If you do it on its back, all of that juice, all of that rendering fat phases in, I like it. So that's my way I do it. Again, there's a lot of different ways.

Some people like to flip 'em. Some people will flip them after, especially if you get good crispy skin, which definitely. It takes time and I've done it on some of mine and some of mine, I, it came out leather, so that's one thing I'm still playing with the, to master that, but keeping it on its back, like I said to me you're, it's a bucket.

[01:11:00] I love it. And I'm, I plan fully planned on doing some injection in there. And if my injection, if I've got, yeah, if I go back or if I go, yeah, back up at this point, all that's gonna just run right down and go into my heating element. Turn into smoke and vapor. Yeah. It'll, we'll get some aromatics, but shoot, all that is now gone.

Whereas the genius of yours, you've, yeah, you've created the bucket. It can't go anywhere. It's gonna stay right there, There's one or two bullet holes. We'll have to, we'll have to plug those up. We'll find a way to plug those up. But anyway, we'll keep those juices in more Apple. Yeah. Yeah, more apple.

Just a little wedge right into the side. That's another pro tip right there is, yeah. Start out with it on its back. I'm glad to hear that that the skin, again, is tricky because I am hesitant to see where these pigs end or these piglets end up as far as skin goes. I don't think I'm gonna get the the beautiful crispy skin where, you see [01:12:00] the guy like rake his knife over it and then crack into it, crack it, but at the same time, if we get close, great, we'll give it a shot.

But other than the ice, I fully expected to be able to pull off those quarters, shred up that meat, make it nice looking platter. I'll probably leave the head with the apple with it for presentation. But as far as that's probably gonna be. The extent of it, but I think having it on its back is gonna be absolutely what I'm gonna do.

Yeah. Yeah. And I've done, similar to you, I have a friend of ours that has a boy farm, I'll call it, and I went over, we were gonna do a pig roast. He had already killed it. We went and gutted it, cleaned it. I did the same thing you did where I burned off all the hair, scraped all of it off, let it get cool to, to fill for a day.

And then I smoked it. And it was, that was [01:13:00] my first experience of actually getting to clean and gut and do all the hair, which was definitely an interesting experience for me. Yeah. Coming from a truck side of it, commercial side of it. Do you feel, I mean we just talked about that whole, or, at the beginning I talked about how like the curtain was revealed and I could see Oz behind.

Did you have a little bit of feeling of that? Of man, if I, now knowing where it, what processes go right up until I pick up this animal? Is that helpful as far as when you now get to the aspect of cooking, the aspect of now being able to barbecue this, does it give you a little bit more understanding?

It gives you a little more understanding of seeing what went on, where things are, why it's displayed the way it is, why this is cut here, that kind of thing. So you understand and see [01:14:00] it. So then you're not, all those times when you've cooked something and you've looked at it and you've been like, why does this look funny?

What now I get it. It also gives me appreciation for what those guys do. I'm glad I learned it. I'm glad I did it. I am happy to let them continue to do it. Let them continue to do it. Like you said the burning of the hair and scraping it off. It was again, interesting to do. I did my two times, my first and last.

I don't need to do that again. It was especially all I had was YouTube. Yeah. I had no other learning process. I didn't know anybody. Because the guy I got it from, he would cut him. He would kill him and gut 'em, and then they would go and then he would take 'em to the [01:15:00] butcher and let them handle the rest of it.

So he didn't really know what to do either. So it was a lot of YouTube, a lot of reading. And trying to sit and do it myself. Yeah. And when you got now, which as you found, yeah. There's a lot there. Several hundred pounds of animal and you're like, man, I am, I'm out here in the sun. I'm out here in the warm things gotta move ca like fast.

We need to be step one. Okay. Now step two. Now step three, we got, we have places to go, things to do puts pressure on you. Exactly. Yep. I'm glad that you went that far and got to s to, to experience that cuz shoot, when I put an animal down I get to see it living and I get to see that transformation from animal to meat and.

I tell you that it's something that as much as guys will continue to hunt and try [01:16:00] to find bigger animals and more points, more antlers bigger this, bigger that, like the whole transformation for me is the whole magic at that point. To go from something that is turning grass or grain into meat, and for me to then acquire that myself and to then take that and harvest the meat off this wild critter, it's just, I tell you it's powerful and I know it, it work.

That's where I, a lot of guys will say, this is when the real work begins, and they're right because it's a powerful representation of, shoot, if we're gonna enjoy meat we gotta know where it's coming from. We gotta know what it's doing. And then the guys that take over it and I appreciate that's how you look at it because so many people out there, One, there's a lot of people that hunt, like you said, just for the bigger rack the bigger animal to put on the wall that don't appreciate the whole thing.[01:17:00]

But we're also in a place where so many people have no understanding of where their food comes from. They can't look at it. You know that, that old saying, can't you go get your meat the way everybody else does at the grocery store? And that for me, I grew up around animals understanding that pig's gonna be in my belly.

I've sh I've helped raise and show steers that have then I've gotten to eat. And it is powerful, but it's a respect thing to me that. You're utilizing this animal for nutrients, but also enjoying what it can give to us.

[01:18:00] Amen, Kev. Amen. When I do my whole hog, and I was already saying this to my wife a little bit. We're gonna do it for 4th of July, and I was telling her how I wanted to take the head off and turn and put that out as far as display. And she's already, so she's trying to work me to not do that because she's that's and she I could get where she was going, that there's gonna be a little bit of, it's a party.

Nick, like, why do you have to, why do you have to display the head of the animal? Why do you have to add the shock value? But at the same time, I. As much as it is the shock value, it's like we're eating the meat of this animal. Let's know that it's an animal's a respect thing as much as it is. Yes. I'm not doing it for the shock factor.

If I was doing it for the shock factor, I would be taking the pig out as people are present and then go through the process. And that's, I don't want the shock factor, but at the same time to, to be able to basically have the animal [01:19:00] fully on display here look what this critter gave and enjoy that sandwich that you have like that.

Yep. That is ultimately why I'm putting that out there is it's, this is a full display of this critter. It gave its life whether it wanted to or not. It did. And I guess the best thing to do we can do is give thanks to this thing and if that means putting his head, head there on the platter two front and center, then so be it.

Absolutely. I, like I said, I love. I have a love-hate relationship with doing whole hogs. They're fun. They're definitely a great show. The biggest thing that I have against them, they're very like doing them where you're gonna purchase them and stuff. They're very expensive, but really not a lot of meat. Oh, if you really look at it because you're buy, like you said, [01:20:00] 250 pound hog, that's with the bone.

So it's, a lot of people look at it and they go, oh wow, that's huge. It's gonna feed a ton of people, and it does not feed as many as people think.

Bone weighs a lot, and as much as if you don't get to the point where the skin is gonna be utilized, that's, you know what? That's a big skin, weighs a lot. Hide, weighs a lot. Yep. And if that doesn't get crispy and people don't consume that either, that's also going into the compost as well. Exactly. So that's, I like cooking.

They're fun, they're cool to see, but at the same time, coming from a trying to serve people food aspect, and yes, I'm in the job to make money when I do it. [01:21:00] I want you to get the best bag for your buck. Gotcha. I can fill a lot more room in my cooker with just pork shoulders, just pork butts where this much of it is bone, it's only, a, a.

Not a pound, not even a pound of bone out of a 13 pound shoulder or a pork butt. You can, I can fit a lot more meat on that cooker than what a whole hog will take up. Gotcha. Shoot. What, by the time this launches too, it's gonna be right there at graduation party or graduation season. People are gonna be thinking about, what do I wanna do with feeding all these people that are coming?

Do I buy a whole hog and cook it? Or like you're alluding to right now, maybe just get a few [01:22:00] more pork butts. That might be the rep the way to go. Yep. And a lot of people will do a suckling pig for the show. There you go. And the rest is a bunch of pork butts that actually feed. Gotcha. Again, the commercial tips right here, the King Trade, being able to send these out.

Man, this has been a fun conversation, Kevin. We're here at an hour and 32 minutes. I'm going to, man, we've been chatting it up. I'm sure there's gonna be a segment too with you and Mikey down the road here soon. Where can my listeners find you guys? Where can they tune into the Barbecue Chat show?

The easiest way to find the Barbecue Chat show is over on Instagram at Barbecue Chat, B Q chat. You can watch our old shows. You can watch us live on Sunday nights. [01:23:00] It is an 18 and older show, and we swear we go at it we post them on there. We also do have a BBQ chat show on YouTube where we repost the shows there, and you can also pull the audio to listen to 'em as a podcast.

Nice. And then I'm on Instagram as at Wiley underscore e, underscore b q. And Mike is at Man Meet BBQ on Instagram and H for his seasonings at Fire and Smoke underscore bbq. But the easiest way to find us is on the barbecue chat page. Good deal. Good deal. I wanna make sure to put your guys' handles.

I'll put those in the show notes as well [01:24:00] so that people can find those quick. Kevin, hold on for just a second as I let our listeners on out. Folks, I hope that you are as excited for getting out and getting your barbecues warmed up as much as I am, I know the temperatures are still toying with us.

We had sunshine today. Who knows, maybe we'll have another squirt of snow here in the next couple weeks. But spring is finally here. We're gonna be looking forward to big gatherings and what better way to do that over live, fire, charcoal and wood that we can then apply big cuts of meat to. So if that is going to be something you're gonna be doing soon, get out there and scrape off that barbecue, get that old char out of there.

And give it a good fire through to prep it up. The big cut of meat that you're going to use. Maybe it's not gonna be a whole hog, maybe you're gonna find yourself a couple smoke or a couple pork butts, but whether you're prepping a butt or a picnic, or even if you are going the suckling [01:25:00] pig route, make sure that the blade that you're using is very sharp.