Daisy May’s Big Pig Gig: Smoked Whole Pig for 12 People

Date July 24, 2008

Wow. Just wow. It’s hard to feel any other emotion when a 35-45 pound pig smoked for 7-8 hours is placed directly in front of you with one purpose: Feeding twelve hungry carnivores. For $480 plus tax, Daisy May’s BBQ USA, on 11th Avenue and 46th Street, will provide you and eleven others with a smoked whole pig, cole slaw, buttered and grilled Texas Toast, 2 Fixins’, watermelon, and an experience you’ll never forget. Vegetarians beware.

It all started when Danny at Food In Mouth.com posted his Daisy May’s Half Pig Gig. King of Ketchup and I were amazed. Never had we seen so much delicious, glistening pork in one place. That was the only motivation KoK needed. He rounded up 11 friends and family members and before I knew it I was face to face with a smoked whole pig.

Daisy May’s Carolina sauce (pictured) was provided for the pork. A sauce of their creation mixed with honey, it’s what Daisy May’s pulled pork is typically drenched in. Sweet with a hint of vinegar, I didn’t love it, but it definitely enhanced the pork.

In addition to cole slaw, Daisy May’s website offers 2 Large Fixins’. If you request to get smaller servings of the fixins’, you can get three different ones. Before the pig came, I loaded up on sides. This was going to be a feast for the ages. Clockwise from left to right: Texas Toast, cole slaw, Cajun dirty rice and beans, baked beans with burnt ends, and mashed sweet potatoes with brown sugar.

  • The airy, buttered and grilled Texas Toast came in handy when I had some over-sauced bites of pork.
  • The cole slaw was tasty, striking a balance between sweet and tart. The Cajun dirty rice and beans, flavored with Cajun spices, pepper, onion, garlic and bacon were mediocre
  • The baked beans with beef rib burnt ends were great.
  • It was the sweet potatoes, however, which stole the show: Mashed sweet potato with brown sugar, banana, and some heavy cream. By far the best sweet potatoes I’ve ever had. They could be eaten on their own as dessert. Unreal. I’ll be picking some of these up to bring home for Thanksgiving.

But everything paled in comparison to the pig. After being sliced down the middle, the skin was sectioned and peeled back revealing the glory you see below:

Junior, the manager, broke down which part of the pig was which.

  • The shoulder, aka the pork butt, is where pulled pork comes from.
  • The ribs are in the middle, underneath the loin.
  • The fatty meat on the sides of the pig is what eventually becomes bacon.

There’s only one way to get at all the goodness: Use your hands. Rubber gloves are provided but they don’t protect you from the burning hot pork, which was around 190 degrees when placed on the table. I went to grab a piece of skin but it was too leathery to eat.

I cleared some space on my plate and went right for the shoulder meat. It was hot, moist and tender. Unlike most barbecued pork, I didn’t really taste the smoke. Instead, you taste a hint of smoke and a lot of pork. It was an overwhelmingly meaty flavor. A little bit of sauce went a long way towards counteracting this, so be careful not to over sauce.

Once we cleared most of the pork from the easily accessible areas, we had the waiter slice the cheeks so we could get a taste of the moist, fatty pork inside. This wasn’t my favorite section of the pig so I moved onto the legs which were surprisingly as tender and flavorful as the shoulder.

I personally enjoyed the pork most when I mixed it with some sauce, a bite of the Texas Toast and then a little bit of the sweet potato; the confluence of sweet and savory was the best part of the meal. Most BBQ pork is smoked twice as long as Daisy May’s whole pig, so don’t go in expecting it to taste like BBQ you’ve had before. The best pork I’ve ever had came from Big Bob Gibson’s stand at the Big Apple BBQ Block Party. It was handed to me freshly pulled, 2 minutes out of the smoker, so I’m a little biased but you’ll see a difference in flavor between Daisy May’s whole pig and their standard pulled pork as well. The Big Pig Gig wins as far as experience but if you’re going for straight flavor and deliciousness, consider the $150+ tax Whole Pork Butt for up to 6 people.

In the end Daisy May’s Big Pig Gig was a delicious experience that I will never forget and I heartily recommend it to anyone who considers themselves a carnivore or a BBQ lover.

Special thanks to King of Ketchup and family for providing NYC Food Guy with a meal that can only be described as “awesome”.

29 Responses to “Daisy May’s Big Pig Gig: Smoked Whole Pig for 12 People”

  1. Timothy Allen said:

    OMG…. speechless…..

  2. ollie said:

    if you’re going for flavor, definitely go with with jumbo beef rib (which you can only get there — they dont deliver it). the jumbo beef rib is by far the best thing daisy mays has to offer, hands down.

  3. namey said:

    mmmmmy that pig pig looks piggy. lolz. ;P

  4. Danny said:

    Oooooooh! It looks as good as I remember it! For the amount of food you get, this really is a great deal. My group actually had some serious problems with their staff… Good food, HORRIBLE staff though.

  5. Robin said:

    I can attest to the fact that the pig was yummy and you are certainly right: the sweet potatoes were the best part (aside from the company)! Keep up the great work Lawrence!

  6. jeez said:

    that looks freakin amazing

  7. Dr. Dyspepsia said:

    Amazing amazing. I gotta go there. Are you making a return trip this decade, in need of medical supervision? I’m there. Not many in my social circle (wimpy boomer steamed fish-veggie-salad-fresh fruit eaters) would go near that bad boy, but I sure would.

    And the photography was excellent, especially the process of breaking down the pig. Ever think about a major video production? This would warrant a 1/2 hour “NYC Food Guy Special”. And then the promo, “Making of the ‘NYC Food Guy Special”.

    Congratulations on a classic contribution to your excellent site. Have you eaten since? “The only problem with the pig at Daisy Mae’s is that 72 hours later you’re hungry again”

    Your friend, the Doc who had his chance, didn’t take it, and will regret it for the rest of his days.

    And did anyone eat the head? Ollie, I know what you’re thinking, so shut up.

  8. Porky the Pig said:

    Not quite sure what you are doing here but was this a male or female pig. My friends at the Hague civil rights court are looking for you.

  9. Dr. Dyspervia! said:

    did anyone eat the head!?!?! yeah they didddd

  10. Anonymous said:

    How come the skin became rubbery? The Chinese whole roast pigs have crispy skin which is the best part of the feast!

  11. Dr. Dyspepsia said:

    You’re right about that. The skin should be among of the best parts. And is that King of Ketchup lurking in the background of some of the pictures?

  12. Phil said:

    Does the KoK eat his pork with ketchup?

    Pig looks amazing NYCFG. Job well done as usual.

    Dr. Dyspepsia, what kind of doctor are you? Can you give us a a projection of what NYCFG’s arteries will/already do look like?

  13. Dr. Dyspepsia said:

    I’m not a cardiologist, but I know enough on the subject. NYCFG’s arteries (and ours, Phil) will be more a result of genetics than diet, assuming he:
    - doesn’t smoke
    - doesn’t have diabetes
    - doesn’t have high blood pressure
    - isn’t too overweight

    So look to your parents, or better, your grandparents to get a glimpse of your biologic destiny. Regardless, who wouldn’t rather go out in a blaze of atherosclerotic glory at a younger age than lie around demented in your 90’s? A cardiologist I know was on the “Ornish” diet of close to zero fat- lots of steamed broccoli, and other tasty delights. Truly disgusting. I asked him if he thinks he’ll live longer. He said, “No, it just seems that way.”

    It’s all about quality of life, so pig on, Food Guy.

    The Doc

  14. BBQ ("Brown is Better" Queen) said:

    I’m sick of eating green food (salad & veggies) and white food (fish), and would love to live on brown food only (especially chocolate and meat), but the pig thing at Daisy May’s was kind of nauseating. I know this site isn’t meant for squeamish women who attend weekly Weight Watchers meetings and count the point values of everything they put in their mouths every day, but the pig thing was more of a cultural and social experience than a meal. I happen to like the beef ribs at Daisy May’s better than anything on their menu and the red velvet cupcakes are delicious if one saves room for dessert.

    Last night, the King of Ketchup and I had burgers at Five Points on Great Jones Street. Having gotten your start writing about NYC’s best burgers, I think you should put these up on your list. They’re my #1 choice for prime.

  15. wayne said:

    Had this 2 years ago. Disappointing for what it was, and the cost. The pork was essentially dull in flavor and the skin inedible. All in all, the pig looks better than it actually is, but that’s the trend on your site in general, my super-homo friend. p.s. You should also mention you can BYOB.

  16. King of Ketchup said:

    Haha Phil, I do not eat pork with ketchup…although I do eat pork chops with ketchup.

    The burger at Five Points was very good. BEST in NYC? Ehhh it’s up there, definitely better the Five Guys, that’s for sure. I heard the burger is cheaper during lunch, so you may want to get over there on the early side if you don’t want to eat a $16 burger.

    They used smoked bacon on the burger too — I prefer bacon that isn’t smoked, but whatareyagonnado?

    Also, re: the ketchup situation at Five Points — they bring out the tiny ramicans of ketchup that are good for about 3 french fries worth until you need to ask for more. The fries were thinly-cut, Micky D’s-esque — real good. The ketchup though tasted a bit more sour than good ol’ Heinz, but it was certainly tolerable — nowhere close to as bad as the fake Heinz they refill the bottles with up at Hi-Life on the UWS…

  17. The NYC Food Guy said:

    Timothy Allen,

    You know I take care of business. When you coming to NYC to feast?

    ollie,

    Duly noted, you’re not the first person to recommend Daisy May’s beef ribs. I usually go for the pork so its good to hear there’s some beef ribs out there worth trying.

    Danny,

    That’s really surprising to me that the staff wasn’t up to par for your Daisy May’s Big Pig. They were completely accomodating to us, refilling drinks and sides before we were even finished.

    Robin,

    You’re too sweet, probably sweeter than the sweet potatoes. Lookin forward to the next feast. What’s our next stop?

    Dr. Dyspepsia,

    Let’s save it for Ben’s Best. I think we’ll enjoy that more. Maybe we can get some Knishes at Knish Nosh after or before Ben’s. How do you feel about that? BTW I love the idea of the TV special, let’s keep working and hope for the best!

    Anonymous,

    I’ve never eaten any smoked whole animals before so I can’t say where they went wrong here but I have a feeling it’s because it was smoked for a mere 7-8 hours that it didn’t become delicious.

    Dr. Dyspepsia Says:

    It was disappointing that the skin wasn’t edible and yes that is KoK in the bkgrnd.

    Phil,

    Thanks man.

    BBQ (”Brown is Better” Queen),

    You are absolutely right, it was a gluttonous pig fest and it was shocking but it was awesome. We all got together and took that pig to the house, everyone did better than I thought. Good luck with your brown diet. I’ll try the beef ribs and Red Velvet cupcakes, you’re the 2nd person (other than KoK to recommend both of those to me). Thanks for the heads up on Five Points, I’ll have to check it out for lunch one day. How was the burger served?

    wayne,

    I agree with you, it did look better than it tastes that because it needed more time in the smoker. As far as super-homos go, I don’t know any on this site except you. Didn’t know it was BYOB at Daisy Mays, thanks for the heads up.

    King of Ketchup Says:

    That’s a sorry ketchup situation but the burger sounds good especially if you recommend it. I know you’re hard to please when it comes to burgers so I’ll definitely make an effort to get over there for lunch. RE: the smoked bacon, was it overly smokey or just what they wrote on the menu? Did the flavor dominate?

  18. hungry bob said:

    update this goddamn site food guy i’m HUNGRYYYY

  19. neeter said:

    oy very, a kosher person’s nightmare!

  20. Missing FG said:

    These long gaps between blog entries get me both worried and sad. Worried that FG is either ill or on a diet. Sad because I miss reading about pigfests and such. Damn it man, post already. I have lost 8 pounds already…

  21. Phil said:

    AGREED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. ulla said:

    That is so amazing! You have gotta love NYC! Wow! Great Blog post:)

  23. Reginald Bowie said:

    Please call me if you can ship one of these or 1/2 down south. Thanks.

    Phone: (205) 218-9579.

    Reginald Bowie

  24. Help Make NYCFoodGuy.com Better! « NYC Food Guy said:

    [...] Read about the Daisy May’s Big Pig Roast or click here for more great BBQ stories [...]

  25. miguel said:

    do you have to round up 11 people to buy it or can you go alone and they team you with other lonely carnivorous???

  26. Josef Lou Develos said:

    Try smoked pig in Cebu, Philippines. They call it “Lechon Baboy”.It taste so good. It is for real..

  27. bbqmackster said:

    Regards to the lack of cracklin..
    Anytime the hog is smoked, it becomes almost impossible to get crispy skin, it always becomes rubbery.
    Now at Wilson’s pit bbq, a great NC bbq’er who shows up at BIG Apple, he rips the entire carcass of the hog, lays directly flat over coals for a good 20-40 minutes before it gets crispy.
    I have had whole hog smoked before elsewhere and the skin was not edible for aforementioned reasons.

  28. The NYC Food Guy said:

    bbqmackster,
    So the difference b/t Wilson’s and Daisy’s is that Wilson’s actually rips the hog out of the skin and roasts it? What do they do with the skin to get it edible?

  29. Microcosm K said:

    I 100% agree with you about the sweet potatoes. The cheesy corn was also a revelation. Check my bloggity for the full report. I think it was July 2009.

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