Wild hogs are becoming one of the biggest ecological threats to North America. From California to Florida and every state in between, this invasive species is destroying crops, ruining land, and putting farmers out of business.
At this point, the only thing standing in the way of a complete swine takeover is the American Hunter.
Wielding rifles, shotguns, pistols, spears, traps, knives, dogs, and helicopters the American Hunter is fighting off this invasion with every pig they kill. Combining this ecological benefit with how much fun hunting hogs is and its no surprise that hog hunting is becoming one of the most popular outdoor activities in the country.
But at the end of the day, when the hunter has protected the land by killing these animals, all too often, the hunter casts the dead hog away. This gives hog hunting, and hog hunters a bad image.
Wild hogs have a bad reputation as table fare. It may have to do with how disgusting looking and smelling these animals are, or it maybe the somewhat gamey taste of the meat.
No matter the case, though, throwing away a hog after killing it is a waste of meat, and I’d argue, unethical. Wild hog meat is lean, tender, and full of flavor and if you cook it correctly, it can make for an interesting and hearty meal.
So, we’re going to give you 3 recipes for cooking wild boar, and give you some ideas of where you can go grocery shopping. At this butcher, you won’t need a shopping cart, but be sure to pack your favorite weapon, and consider talking to one of our favorite hog hunting guides.
Wild Boar Bacon
What would a list of pig recipes be without bacon? It’s the king of pork, and deservingly so. But what you ever had bacon made from wild, free-range hog? Probably not. Next time you go hog hunting, give this one a try.
Here’s what you’ll need:
2 wild hog bellies
2 gallons of water
2 cups sea salt
1/4 cup pink salt
1/4 cup whole peppercorns
1/4 cup garlic powder
1/4 cup onion powder
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 cup brown sugar
1. Mix all the ingredients to form the brine. Let the pork belly soak in the brine for 2 days in a cool, dry place. A refrigerator works perfect.
2. Next, remove the pork from the brine and rinse it under cold water. Hang the meat in a clean and dry area, preferably in front of a fan for 1 hour or until a thin film forms.
3. Cold smoke the pork for 2 hours at around 100 degrees. Applewood is a popular choice to add flavor, but hickory can work as well!
4. Next, freeze the pork for about 24 hours. Remove from the freezer, slice thinly, and cook on a cast iron skillet or in the oven.
Credit to The Reverent Outdoors for the recipe!
Wild Boar Rack with Whiskey Apples
This next recipe is a little more fancy than just cooking bacon, but will be sure to impress your dinner guests.
And nothing screams “manhood” more than whiskey and a rack of meat.
Combine all that with some delicious apples, and you’ve got a 5-start Robert Baratheon style meal. (Hopefully your hog-hunting trip will be mores successful than his)
Here are the ingredients:
1 Wild Boar Rack
1/4 cup of breadcrumbs
4 Tablespoons of Dijon mustard
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of whiskey
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Drink half of the whiskey.
2. Preheat your oven to 400.
3. Mix the breadcrumbs and Dijon mustard in a bowl
4. Sear the rack. I prefer to use a cast iron skillet, only a little oil, and as much heat as possible.
5. Move the rack to a roasting pan and coat it with the mustard and breadcrumb mixture.
6. Cook the rack until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees. This should take around 30 minutes, but use a meat thermometer to be sure.
7. Slice the apples while the meat is cooking. Thicker slices are better.
8. Heat a pan on high, and add the sugar.
9. Cook sugar until it caramelizes by becoming a light amber liquid.
10. Combine the butter to the caramelized sugar.
11. Add apples to mixture and coat with the liquid.
12. Pour in the remainder of the whiskey, after enjoying a last taste, and scrape pan to remove caramel.
13. Allow alcohol to cook off which should take a couple minutes.
14. Remove the rack and let it rest for a few minutes.
15. Cut the meat into individual pork chops.
16. Serve chops with liquid and apples poured on top. Enjoy!
Credit to Chefdruck for the recipe!
Wild Hog Pulled Pork
Now, how can we talk about cooking pig without mentioning pulled pork?
This recipe is similar to the methods people use to cook normal store-bought pork, but has distinct differences that allow for the wild hog’s flavor and texture to be maximized.
Here’s what you need:
A 4 to 8 pound wild hog shoulder preferably bone-in
A lot of salt
Your favorite dry rub
Your favorite barbecue sauce
Half a cup of bacon fat, lard or butter
1. Cover the shoulder with salt, making sure you’re getting to every surface. Put meat in a sealed container and store in the refrigerator for 1-3 days.
2. Rinse off the meat and smother it with your favorite dry rub. Black pepper can also work.
3. Place shoulder in an aluminum foil covered pan leaving excess foil to wrap meat later.
4. Heat smoker to 200 degrees, or 250 if you’re in a hurry. With wild hog, low and slow is better.
5. Set meat and tray in smoker.
6. Flip meat every 60 minutes or so, and cook for 4-8 hours. Again, low and slow is best.
7. Wrap meat in extra foil, leaving it in the smoker and allowing it to continue to cook until meat is fall-off-the-bone tender. This can take up to 8 hours for a tough old hog.
8. Shred the meat and mix in the bacon fat. Throw it on a bun, in a taco, or eat it by itself!
Credit to Honest Food for the recipe!
How to Cook Wild Hog
Now that your mouth is watering, you may find yourself craving some wild hog meat. If you’re looking for a place to go hog hunting, you’re in luck! We have hog hunting guides from California to Alabama, and plenty of states in-between.
If we don’t have a guide in your state, it maybe worth a short road trip for you to travel to one of the Top 10 Hog Hunting States. Going to any of these places will ensure you have a successful hog hunt, and that you come home with a full freezer.
If you get a chance to hunt with one of our guides and y’all put down a big hog, give one of these recipes a try and let us know how it tastes in the comments below!