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Cooking with Wild Hog

These tips will help you get tender, flavorful wild boar, and use it in place of standard pork in your favorite recipes.

| November/December 2019



If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard someone say wild hog tastes terrible, I’d be rolling in nickels. Truth is, with a little preparation, wild hog, or wild boar, as many refer to it, makes a flavorful addition to virtually any recipe calling for standard pork. When cooking wild boar, keep the following tips in mind to ensure a tasty and tender meal.

Careful with the Meat

Processing is the most important step to ensuring flavorful wild boar. Cleanliness is key, whether you’re field-dressing the animal yourself or taking it to a butcher. Wild boars are filthy, so make sure that no dirt or muck contaminates the meat. Also, take care that organs are fully removed, as any remaining organ tissue can lend an overly gamey taste to the meat. In regard to flavor, the biggest element in cleaning is to make certain the scent glands are removed properly. Even a tiny nick in a single scent gland will render the meat unusable, as the scent and the scent gland’s liquid will stick to your hands, the blades, and any meat it comes into contact with, making the meat musky and foul tasting.

Low and Slow Is Best

Because wild hogs’ diet consists of acorns, roots, and even small rodents, rather than being high in corn, their meat is significantly leaner and initially tougher than that of commercial hogs and hogs raised on small farms. Although great for health purposes, the meat’s leanness and tougher muscle fibers require more careful cooking methods. When dealing with large cuts, such as roasts, shoulders, and loins, it’s best to cook them over low heat for longer periods of time to make sure those tough muscle fibers have enough time to fully soften and become tender. Slow cooking, smoking, and roasting are wonderful cooking methods for making this lean meat fork-tender, moist, and full of flavor.

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