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Wild Hog Sausage = Red, Farm Raised = Pink

Discussion in 'Wild Game' started by tallbm, Nov 3, 2017.

  1. tallbm

    tallbm Master of the Pit

    Well I believe I have discovered something interesting.

    I finished with my annual hunting trip last week and it was a great success though this is the first year in a while that I did not score a wild/feral hog. I usually make pork Franks out of the wild hog meat but this year I just decided to buy pork meat.

    I had always wondered why my wild hog pork Franks always turned out so red.

    I did a little light Googling and it appears that wild pork is simply darker and more robust in flavor and character than farm raised pork meat. The farm raised pork is lighter and more delicate in color as my current farm raised pork Franks below indicate


    The other difference you will notice is that this year I used Sheep castings but I am quite positive that had no effect on the color difference. Also the farm raised pork was much mushier when mixed where the wild hog pork does not emulsify or mush up nearly as easy.

    The flavor is a bit different. The wild hog Franks have much more flavor coming from the meat where the farm raised pork Franks are more delicate. The farm raised pork Franks taste much closer to store bought hot dogs than the wild hog pork Franks do. The flavor is amazing in both cases but the wild hog Franks taste more "sausage" like and the farm raised taste more "hot dog" like.

    In any case I figured someone may want to know this info and can verify that my findings match theirs. FYI, I use LEM's Backwoods Cured Pork Frank seasoning, and I mix it about 2 pounds lighter than suggested cause it can be a tad salty but damn does it make the best Franks ever!
    ab canuck, SmokinAl and griz400 like this.
  2. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    This is great info. No wild hogs here. Being a farmer I am glad but I really want to try some. I hear very good stuff about them.

    Them dogs look great.
  3. tallbm

    tallbm Master of the Pit

    Thanks, they taste great!

    Yeah I basically just use all my hunting meat to make my sausages so I never encountered this before. I was not going to go without pork Franks this year and Costco had 98% fat free Pork Sirloin Tip roasts for $1.68 a pound so that was my meat for Franks this year. This helped me understand (I assume) that my wild pork Franks were coming out red no matter what I did just by the nature of the meat being wild different.

    I have heard that Wild Turkey contains much more dark meat because they are running wild where Farm Raised Turkey that is not the case. Seems that applies to the porkers as well :)
  4. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Yup, wild turkey is almost all dark meat. That I do know
  5. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    TBM, Those dogs(both wild and domestic ) look great!
  6. griz400

    griz400 Master of the Pit

    points to you on a great looking pile of sausage :cool:
  7. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Your dogs look delicious!
    Nicely done!
  8. tallbm

    tallbm Master of the Pit

    Thanks guys, they have been gooooooood :)
  9. mowin

    mowin Master of the Pit

    Tallbm, how do you grind, emulsify your meat mixture? The one and only time I tried making hotdogs, the fat separated from the meat during the emulsifing resulting in very dry dogs.
  10. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    From a person who knows absolutely nothing about wild hogs. I would guess the red color is due to the age and higher activity of the wild critters having created more myoglobin.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  11. tallbm

    tallbm Master of the Pit

    I grind all my meat along with fat using my 3/16 or 5mm grinding plate. 1 grind, not multiple pass throughs.
    With the wild game meat that grind size has been good for burger and has never caused a problem with my sausage making. I would actually prefer to go a little bit larger of a grind for both but this plate worked well from the start so I stuck with it :)

    To be honest I don't try for too much of an emulsion. I let my mixing process "emulse" for me. I use a bucket, a chorded drill, a long aluminum sheet rock mud mixer, and a 7 gallon bucket to mix my meat with the seasoning slop poured onto/into the meat while in the bucket (water/liquid and seasoning blended in the blender).


    That little technique does my emulsion for me and I just take it as it comes since I'm not worried about it being store bought hot dog consistency. I actually prefer more of a meaty almost granule type consistency like we get a lot of sausage in TX.

    Well this year using the store bought pork sirloin tip roasts, my meat mixture got SUPER emulsified. I didn't do anything different. I just think that the farm raised pork is much much more delicate than the wild pork so it goes to mush way more easily.

    I have seen many who use a food processor to make a paste for their emulsification. My method that well enough with store bought sirloin tip roasts from Costco at $1.69/lb. It was the cheapest pork they had and the bonus of being 98% fat free was good since I buy trimmed pork back fat to mix with my meat for sausage making. I do 80% meat and 20% fat and I get consistently perfect sausages EVERY time! :)

    I hope this info helps :)
    mowin likes this.
  12. tallbm

    tallbm Master of the Pit

    If it's the myoglobin that gives meat a darker natural color then I'm on board with you lol. It is just funny that I was scratching my head and really really trying to make a pink colored Frank with the wild pork meat and then it just magically happens with the store bought pork. I don't think the change in casing size is the big culprit but who knows. I just know that the wild pork ones have a heartier pork flavor where the store bought pork has a milder flavor and tastes closer to store bought hot dogs BUT beats them by a million miles! :)
  13. Wild animals have more collagen in the meat, which is why they are tougher. Wild hog meat is definitely darker than domestic, but it is not a huge difference IMO. I have made both domestic and wild hog smoke sausage and the color was about the same. I think what you are seeing is due to the mixing process..
    Since the domestic pork is not as tough, the mixer shreds and emulsifies the ground meat easier. This is the reason for the lighter color. I am basing this off the goose mortadella I made last year. The goose meat was so dark it was almost purple, but after the emulsion in the food processor, it became a light pink color.

    goose meat on the left before emulsion:

    After emulsion:
  14. biteme7951

    biteme7951 Smoking Fanatic

    One reason the wild hog is darker as it did not fully bleed out when killed, retaining blood within the meat. I find this a lot in my deer kills when butchering depending on how clean of a kill shot. A lung or liver shot will give a lighter colored meat than a heart shot as the heart keeps pumping until there is nothing left. In a heart shot the pump is broken and blood is retained in the meat.

  15. Wild hog meat on the left, domestic pork fat caps on the right:
  16. myownidaho

    myownidaho Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    It’s also a feed and lifestyle issue. Commercially grown pork is noticeably lighter than what I buy from small, local farms where the hogs get to roam around more and are fed a better quality feed.
  17. tallbm

    tallbm Master of the Pit

    It all sounds feasible to me so far.
    Indaswamp you may come across them more often than I get a chance to. If you emulsify some wild pork meat and smoke it I would love to see how it comes out.

    My hope is that this thread will get to the bottom of the mystery and I provided what little insight I could with my experiences so far but I'm sure there are a lot of contributing factors to color as other guys are also mentioning.

    If I get into any wild hogs before my yearly October hunting trip I will be sure test what I can as well :)

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