Bear hams

Discussion in 'Wild Game' started by fowldarr, Jul 26, 2014.

  1. fowldarr

    fowldarr Smoke Blower

    First of all do you know how hard it is to search for anything bear meat related on this forum?

    A friend of mine ask me a couple of weeks ago if I will smoke some bear hams for him. Of course I agree.

    So he has had them curing in brine for 10 days and says they are ready to go tomorrow. First ever ham of any sort, any pointers out there? Read a couple of threads on standard pork ham, I'll be trying that soon.

    What if anything do you guys rub your ham with prior to smoke? What temp do you smoke it at, looks like an internal temp around 155-160 should be good, right?
  2. bobank03

    bobank03 Smoking Fanatic

    Interesting questions... I'm sure someone can answer them. I can't but I wish I could. I will check back though to see what happens. You should do a thread on the cook and what you did. Lot's of pics... Just in case I get a bear one of these years! Looking forward to hearing more! 
  3. sb59

    sb59 Smoking Fanatic

    My guess would be the same as any ham except I would be sure to get to the 160 degree temp. and hold it there for a bit.

    Black bear meat can be a carrier of Trichinella spiralis  and Toxoplasma gondii, the parasites that cause the diseases trichinosis and toxoplasmosis in humans. Proper cooking techniques can ensure that your bear meat is safe to eat. Like pork, the proper cooking time for bear meat is 375 degrees F for 20-25 minutes per pound. Internal cooking temperature should reach 160 degrees for 3 minutes or more before consumption. Cook until there is no trace of pink meat or fluid paying close attention to areas around the joints and close to the bone. Freezing meat does not always kill these parasites. Connoisseurs of bear meat suggest freezing, canning or eating it within a week after the kill as the flavor becomes stronger with age. Trim fat from the meat especially well and, as is the case with all meat, good wrapping and sealing is recommended.
  4. fowldarr

    fowldarr Smoke Blower

    Agree on all of the above, except this meet is already cured, and there is no way my smoker is getting to 375.

    I'm thinking a real simple rub, pepper, garlic, brown sugar, onion (no salt the curing process should have taken care of that)

    Then set it around 200-210, and let it smoke. If that doesn't sound right to anyone let me know.
  5. sb59

    sb59 Smoking Fanatic

    I wouldn't worry about smoking at that high a temp. That article was just stressing the trichinosis risk in bear meat. I would just make sure to get to the 160 mark and hold several minutes.
  6. dandl93

    dandl93 Smoking Fanatic

    Bear Meat is very greasy I would smoke alitte higher at 250.Also put good catch pan under the grill grate catch all the grease that runs off if it gets rancid in your smoker your wife mite not be to happy.Mostly all my friends that bear hunt turn all the meat into sausage.Your idea of keeping the rub simple is spot on.Good Luck with it

  7. fowldarr

    fowldarr Smoke Blower

    Thanks for the tip on the catch pan, I always do with pork shoulders, buy just went and looked after your post and I'm out of my cheap disposable tinfoil pans....back to the store
  8. fowldarr

    fowldarr Smoke Blower

    I understand there is some sausage as well that will need smoked
  9. dandl93

    dandl93 Smoking Fanatic

    I like bear sausage not that happy with bear meat.It will be a fun smoke and a new experiance.

  10. fowldarr

    fowldarr Smoke Blower

    Okay, the article he brought me says to smoke the hams at 120 to an IT of 155. That makes no sense, right? I'm thinking the article has a typo and should say 220.....?
  11. driedstick

    driedstick Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I know Eldons Sausage. com has some brine kits for Deer hams I bet if you check they would have some for Bear also or ask them if the deer ones would work?? I have tried the deer ones and they are great

    A full smoker is a happy smoker

  12. sb59

    sb59 Smoking Fanatic

    Yea! I think the most you will get the I.T. up to smoking at 120 is 120.
  13. fowldarr

    fowldarr Smoke Blower

    That would be the logical conclusion. I'm not following his instructions, instead I'm just smoking it the way I think it should be done.

    On a side note, the summer sausage is currently in the smoker, for that particular one I had to get a little creative to keep the temp on my propane smoker low enough, but I think it has been successful so far. It is currently in the final phase, smoker is running at 180 (I used the step up method, 120, 140, 160....), slid the thermometer in the end and it is currently at 141 IT, if I'm understanding correctly, I want to hit 155, pull and put in a cool water bath. So they are smoking.....
  14. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    You might check out Hank Shaw Hunter Angler Gardiner Cook. If he has not done it I bet he knows exactly how. He has a website and Facebook page. You could probably easily dig up an email address or heck he might be a member here.
  15. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Yes you want to cool them down first and then hang for a while. Otherwise the casing expands and the meat contracts making for a loose fibrous casing. This improves the appearance.. You don't want the carryover heat to fat out your summer sausage. Hope this helps.
  16. fowldarr

    fowldarr Smoke Blower

    Thanks guys. Sausages are out. Bear hams are in.
  17. sb59

    sb59 Smoking Fanatic

    Never did one but this is all I got in my recipe book for bear ham, from Field & Stream. The hand written ingredients on the right are the same as whats printed on the left, I just needed larger print.

  18. fowldarr

    fowldarr Smoke Blower

    That is the one he gave me that says 120 degrees....
  19. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    The search engine on this site is really good, so if you didn't find your answer on the Bear Ham it probably means there isn't anything there. So don't blame the search! There aren't very many posts for bear at all.

    I do hope you post your recipes and photos so others can learn from it. That's what makes this site stand out from others. The info is there when members share.
  20. fowldarr

    fowldarr Smoke Blower

    It's all the references to bear carver that cause problems searching for it. Not much to the recipe, and I didn't do the wet cure process. I just threw a little garlic, onion, and brown sugar on it, smoked it with cherry and hickory for a bazillion hours until the IT hit 155, pulled it, put it in the blanket/cooler and let it rest for awhile. I took a little taste but it wasn't mine and it left before I got any good pictures. It tasted pretty good. The bark was a little chewy, so I would want to investigate that before doing it again.

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