The department where I work at Mississippi State University has had a tradition for many years of barbecuing whole hogs every October. Tradition holds that the pigs will not cook without an MSU hat on their heads, sunglasses, and a band-aid over the bullet hole. We cook them for 24 hours, putting just a few coals under each leg every 30-45 minutes. People are always stunned how few coals are actually used to cook them. After a few hours of "show time" at the beginning of the cooking, we cover them with cardboard and a tarp to hold the heat and moisture in.