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Bear meat

agaffer

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I while back I posted a picture of a bear I harvested. At the time I was still waiting for my new smoker and stated that once it arrived I would post step by step pictures of smoking the different cuts. We smoked racks of ribs using two methods. We made meatloaf with ground back strap mixed with venison breakfast sausage. We did a long slow smoke with one of the hams. We documented all the cooks from making the rubs and injections and marinades, the cooks, the finished products on plates with other foods.
Let me cut to the chase. Bears are only good for making bear skin rugs. Can you make the meat taste good, sorta. Because of parasites you have to cook to a very high internal temperature which would ruin even the best piece of beef. Basically bear tastes like bland buffalo. But you have to figure out ways to have decent flavors while at the same time over cooking it. Just not worth the trouble. Because it is not worth duplicating our cooks I will just show a couple of sample images
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poacherjoe

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We grind it up and make fresh sausage with it but like you say you get tired of it pretty quick. I want to try summer sausage with it next.
 

agaffer

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Grinding up meat for use in sausages, or meatballs or, meatloaf, etc. is what you do when the meat really isn't worth tasting. Believe me, our processor gave us a ton of ground bear meat.
 

SmokinEdge

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I come from a long line of Bear slayers. Never roasted. Only thinly sliced seasoned and fried hot.
 

jcam222

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The high rate of trichinella infection in bear has always discouraged me from trying it. Thanks for confirming I’m not missing out haha. Nice smoker , Stumps?
 

olaf

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Our snack sticks were pretty good other than that just used the burger in chili. Don't get the comparison to buffalo though unless you mean water buffalo.
 

tallbm

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I've never taken or eaten bear BUT I have done so with plenty of wild hogs in Texas. The same concerns lead to mostly just grinding it out and doing sausage and other ground options.
The sausage is taken to 165F IT for the same reasons and tastes fine. I've personally done this.

If I had a bear I would follow the same route and make various sausages and have it ground for meatloaves, loaves of sandwich meat (ground meat pastrami), and other ground meat purposes.

I hope this helps give you some ideas for the next bear :)
 

agaffer

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Like most wild meat, the flavor of bear is very dependent on diet. We had a wet summer that produced a lot of berries and then I started laying out corn for the deer which the bears have been eating. On top of that the oaks have really been throwing out a lot of acorns. So, the bear I harvested had a very mild beefy flavor which I liken to buffalo because of the leanness of the meat combined with the mild beef flavor. A bear that has been eating fish or dead animals would have a much different flavor.
 

Fueling Around

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Bear meat has a … funk that is hard to describe. Some like it, not me.
In December, a member of our morning coffee club brought samples of sausage and jerky he made up.
Confirmed my taste buds from years ago, bear is best fed to others.

Internal temp of 165° is the recommended minimum for fresh meat to kill (potential) pathogens.
That isn't grilled into submission if you don't forget to watch your cook.
 

poacherjoe

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Good Bear meat depends on the food source and time of year ! Have any of you guy's had Spring bear from Idaho ? I bet not . It has just come out of hibernation and it tastes great ! Here in California the small bears usually taste better than the big 300 plus pound bears and if they are eating berries and acorns they are okay but not as good as prime rib by any means. I would like to try it in Summer sausage.
 

pc farmer

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Like most wild meat, the flavor of bear is very dependent on diet. We had a wet summer that produced a lot of berries and then I started laying out corn for the deer which the bears have been eating. On top of that the oaks have really been throwing out a lot of acorns. So, the bear I harvested had a very mild beefy flavor which I liken to buffalo because of the leanness of the meat combined with the mild beef flavor. A bear that has been eating fish or dead animals would have a much different flavor.

You are 100% correct. Diet is very important to what bear taste like. At the Pa gathering HalfSmoked HalfSmoked brings a bear roast. Farm fed bear. It tastes great. Not a strong taste at all.
 

Brokenhandle

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Have only had bear once, it was a farm raised bear also. It was about 30 years ago, it was really good... I remember it was made on an open fire in a Dutch oven at our local towns Christmas celebration. So I could see diet as being a big part of it.

Ryan
 

sawhorseray

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Let me cut to the chase. Bears are only good for making bear skin rugs. Can you make the meat taste good, sorta.
I've whacked about a dozen bucks and over seventy wild hogs in my hunting career, seen a dozen bears at least that I just let go. I've eaten bear meat twice, greasy and pissy. I made some bear sausage for a friend that turned out fair, cut it with 2/3's pork butt. For all it takes after you pull the trigger that ain't worth the time and effort, especially if it's a big one that has to be dragged out of a canyon. They don't bother me, I won't bother them. RAY
 

chef jimmyj

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That Ground Bear Meat Halfsmoked brought to one of the PA Gatherings made the best Well Done Cheese Burgers, I've ever eaten. Anywhere!!!...JJ
 

Millberry

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That Ground Bear Meat Halfsmoked brought to one of the PA Gatherings made the best Well Done Cheese Burgers, I've ever eaten. Anywhere!!!...JJ
DAMN! Is that where they came up with Smokey the bear? From that pretty red smoker? Geez.....Learn something every day.
 

GATOR240

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You are 100% correct. Diet is very important to what bear taste like. At the Pa gathering HalfSmoked HalfSmoked brings a bear roast. Farm fed bear. It tastes great. Not a strong taste at all.
For sure the diet has everything to do with the taste. I had eaten bear 5 or 6 times before the Pa. gathering and a couple of those times the meat was absolutely putrid (guessing they were into eating garbage on a regular basis). The bear meat at the gathering was by far the best tasting bear meat that I've eaten. It also speaks volumes when my wife says she liked it!!
 

agaffer

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I still have another roast in the freezer. Would be very interested in the recipe used by Halfsmoked.
 

agaffer

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I am surprised by the posts describing bear as "greasy". All the cuts I got back from the processor are very, very lean. That is why I likened it to buffalo. In fact, more like horse meat it is so lean. And yes, I have eaten horse.
 

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