The diversity of styles for meat prep and cooking vary with as many Back Yard cooks,
myself included. But the first step I found so useful was to read what the award winning
cooks have done. Then I adapted my own style for my tastes and for my customers.
There are so many good books on Smoke Cooking and Grilling, that one cannot go
wrong with one book, but can really excel having the wide range of thought and ideas.
Each region of the nation will have unique tastes for whatever kind of meat is the norm.
Texas is brisket, pork shoulder, eye of round, pork loin and fowl (chicken, turkey, & others)
that we cook using our favorite woods. I prefer hickory, while others swear by oak. Then
we have the fruit tree woods to add more flavor.
In the frontier days settlers used "smoke houses" to keep their meat and the usual wood
was oak or hickory. WHY? Because these hard woods "preserve" the meat and it will last.
While the fruit tree woods flavor a meat for that meal and then is not good thereafter. When
I prepare a smoked turkey I will use hickory and a fruit tree wood to acquire a nice flavor.
I've used cherry, peach, and apple just to mention some. There are many sources for
finding the woods and the BOX stores are beginning to carry a wider variety although the
bags are not real big. At one time a place near Redmond, WA would provide a selection
of woods and ship.
So here is a method of preparing Wild Hog. Make sure you know how the hunter field
prepped the hog - IT IS THAT IMPORTANT! Hog must be field dressed and skinned
then iced down as quickly as possible. Don't go put it on display and then think it will
be good for eating. Most likely it will end of foul tasting. Because the body fluids must
be drained promptly and the meat iced or frozen. Venison the same way. It's crucial!
With the hind quarters or fore quarters thawed apply your rub of choice. I place the meat
in an aluminum roasting pan then put the rub on. Wrap the pan with foil or plastic wrap
and foil then place it in the refrigerator for at least a day. I have cooked quarters that were
seasoned for two days before they came to the smoker. The meat was well seasoned,
had the smoke ring and finished very well. Served hot and moist, the dish served to the
customer as it was still hot! The pig was on the smoker for about 4 hours and with the
digital thermometer checked the meat for finish temp of at least 170f. There is no sin to
taking the meat off the smoker and finishing it in the oven. The smoker has already
done its job so let the oven make sure the temp is correct. Enjoy your meal!