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How to Cook A Wild Hog?

krooz

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Buddy killed a smallish hog at the club last evening. It looked like eating size so we dressed it. I came home with a 7 1/4# hindquarter, a 4# shoulder, and a 2 1/2# loin. I've never smoked or any other way cooked a wild pig so was wondering the best thing to do with the parts? I'm half tempted to just grind everything into breakfast sausage but thinking maybe this is prime meat and would be better served smoking it. Should I freeze it before cooking? I'd appreciate any recommendations!

Thanks
 

chilerelleno

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Cook it just like you cook any other pork, i.e. to a safe IT.
I wouldn't freeze it, but I'd let it hang for 2-3 days.

I'd rather have wild pig than venison.
I think the flavor is much better than domestic pork.
 

Brokenhandle

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and make sure you take plenty of pics! Sounds like some good eating

Ryan
 

smokerjim

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Being a wild pig I would definitely cook to internal 165, but that's me. Hind quarter I think I would brine in pop's brine and make a ham.
 

sawhorseray

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Yep, brine and smoke the hams, cut out the loin and tenders for grilling, grind the rest with 30% domestic porkbutt for sausage. That what I did with a LOT of them. RAY
 

krooz

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Cool, I think I'll first smoke the shoulder. Going to order cure#1 and try a ham for the first time. Being that the ham is on the smaller size how long do I need to brine it? Do I still need to inject the meat?
 

krooz

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I see LEM has ham kits - going to order one. It comes with ingredients to pump and soak. Beer fridge is 34F, how long can I keep the meat there while waiting on the kit? Going to top the shoulder with bacon since there's not a lot of fat (Fridays project!)
 

sawhorseray

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Cool, I think I'll first smoke the shoulder. Going to order cure#1 and try a ham for the first time. Being that the ham is on the smaller size how long do I need to brine it? Do I still need to inject the meat
Yeah you want to inject it with 10% of the green weight, 11-12 ounces of the brine solution should be about right. You want to make sure you slide the brining needle down alongside close to the bone also. After it's injected cover the ham completely with the remaining solution in a food grade (clean) bucket and set it in your beer fridge for 6-7 days, should be all set to smoke. RAY
 

SmokinAl

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My Son kills wild hogs down here in Florida every year. He soaks them in buttermilk for 24 hours before smoking them. He says it takes the gaminess out if the meat. For me personally I don’t eat it. I prefer my pork from Publix.
Al
 

Bearcarver

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Cool, I think I'll first smoke the shoulder. Going to order cure#1 and try a ham for the first time. Being that the ham is on the smaller size how long do I need to brine it? Do I still need to inject the meat?

If I was going to make a Smoked Ham from scratch, I'd check with daveomak daveomak for a How-To:

Bear
 

tallbm

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Buddy killed a smallish hog at the club last evening. It looked like eating size so we dressed it. I came home with a 7 1/4# hindquarter, a 4# shoulder, and a 2 1/2# loin. I've never smoked or any other way cooked a wild pig so was wondering the best thing to do with the parts? I'm half tempted to just grind everything into breakfast sausage but thinking maybe this is prime meat and would be better served smoking it. Should I freeze it before cooking? I'd appreciate any recommendations!

Thanks
Nice!!! I love wild pork!

First thing first. You MUST cook any wild/feral hog meat to a minimum of 165F internal temperature (IT) to kill any micro parasites/nasties that these things absolutely pick up in the wild.

With that mandatory requirement things like the loins and tenderloins are overcooked at 165F IT :(

You can cure them though for canadian bacon and since you are curing the bag legs for hams you can do this all in 1 shot!

As for cooking the shoulder I throw mine in the smoker, your bacon idea will help.
I wrap in foil with a little liquid (beer, old wine in the fridge, whatever makes sense, etc.) once the IT hits about 160-175F depending on how the meat is looking. Being wild they are lean and can dry out.

The shanks I use to make Japanese Ramen Noodle Soup in my Instapot. I just pressure cook them for like 90 min and then debone and make the rest of the soup, mmmm good!

Finally, when it comes to curing for ham you have to really calculate what is going in so you get the proper amount of cure, you dont use TOO much cure which can be deadly, and you have to manage how salty everything becomes.

I have a LEM kit and used it and OMG it was sooooo salty. Later I learned in much greater detail the principals of curing meat which helps ensure everything is done well and not too salty or at least how to correct things being too salty.

In short curing your ham, you need to add the weight of the ham and the weight of the water being used in ounces or in grams (grams is easier math).

You can use this simple cure calculator to calculate cure, salt, and sugar needed for the weight of water + hams/meat:

In your case you have roughly 9 and 3/4 pounds of meat (ham and loin) = 156 ounces = 4422.6 gm.

If you submerge that in 2 gallons of water = 16 pounds = 7257.44 gm.

Add up water + meat weight which in this case = 11680.04 gm
Pop that number into the calculator and you get:

Cure#1 = 29.15 gm
Salt (2%) = 206.27 gm
Sugar (1%) = 116.8 gm
TOTAL = 12032.26

Dissolve all that in the water and inject the hell out of the meat with it then submerge the meat in the cure liquid for 7-10 days while in the fridge and you have cured ham and canadian bacon that will NOT be too salty.

The LEM pack is a super heavy handed approach to this with much more salt and cure than needed for safety purposes and without the precision, so it's easy to over salt your meat.

Before you smoke the meat be sure to cut a slice and fry it in a skillet and taste for salt level.
If you even QUESTION if it's too salty even a little then it is. Soak in ice cold water for 6 hours and try again, if still too salty do fresh water and continue to soak this way until it passes the test THEN smoke it.

I hope this info helps because I went through the exact same thing you are going through with a small feral hog I got my hands on a few years ago and using the LEM ham kit :)
 

daveomak

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krooz

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Thank you all for the help. The LEM kit is already ordered so I'll use that this time. Bookmarked this thread for reference. Smoker preheating right now for the shoulder...
 

bill ace 350

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Cool, I think I'll first smoke the shoulder. Going to order cure#1 and try a ham for the first time. Being that the ham is on the smaller size how long do I need to brine it? Do I still need to inject the meat?
Look up Pops brine. Follow his directions. Inject also, especially along the bone.
 

krooz

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Looks like I'll need to freeze the ham and loin as I don't think my LEM order will be here soon enough. When I do the ham I'm going to cure the loin at the same time - does the loin meat need to be injected like the ham?
 

krooz

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So we dressed the hog Wednesday evening, it's been in a 34F fridge since. Ham kit will be here Monday - do y'all think it's fine until Monday? Pushing the envelop a tad I think but would prefer not to freeze only to turn around and thaw it out.
 

sawhorseray

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If it's in your 34º fridge it'll be fine Krooz, just aging it a bit. It you are going to smoke the loin along with the ham then it also needs to be cured. RAY
 

daveomak

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And injecting is good on meat over 2" thick....
 

krooz

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Good deal, thanks. Shoulder came out great! Took 9.5 hrs at 240F, wrapped at 160 and finished to 204F then rested 1.5hrs. Great meat, poured the juice back in - didn't need a finishing sauce. I won't feed 'em to the gators next time, lol. (Used pecan to smoke it BTW)

Shoulder.jpg

Pulled.jpg
 

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