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Sat Feb 29, 2020, 11:13 AM

Does anyone have experience cooking wild (feral) hogs?

My boss has some property out in the woods that has been invaded by wild hogs. A friend has been hunting them and having them processed into ground meat or sausage. Some is donated to the Hunters Feeding the Hungry and some is shared at work. I've done a bit of cooking with that and it's quite tasty.

The last hog he killed has been cut up into chops, steaks and roasts as well as ground. I want to do some playing around with some of it and I'm wondering if anyone else has cooked with wild hog and has any advice.

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Reply Does anyone have experience cooking wild (feral) hogs? (Original post)
Arkansas Granny Feb 2020 OP
yellerpup Feb 2020 #1
Bev54 Feb 2020 #2
Arkansas Granny Feb 2020 #4
The Blue Flower Feb 2020 #3
Arkansas Granny Feb 2020 #7
WheelWalker Feb 2020 #5
Laelth Feb 2020 #6
Arkansas Granny Feb 2020 #8
Laelth Feb 2020 #9
Arkansas Granny Feb 2020 #10
Laelth Feb 2020 #13
Laelth Feb 2020 #14
Arkansas Granny Feb 2020 #15
Laelth Feb 2020 #17
Arkansas Granny Feb 2020 #18
Laelth Feb 2020 #20
pansypoo53219 Feb 2020 #28
Major Nikon Feb 2020 #11
Laelth Feb 2020 #12
The Polack MSgt Feb 2020 #16
Arkansas Granny Feb 2020 #19
flotsam Feb 2020 #21
The Polack MSgt Feb 2020 #22
flotsam Feb 2020 #23
The Polack MSgt Feb 2020 #24
Warpy Feb 2020 #25
Arkansas Granny Feb 2020 #26
Karadeniz Feb 2020 #27
no_hypocrisy Feb 2020 #29
Demsrule86 Mar 2020 #30
Arkansas Granny Mar 2020 #31
MissMillie Mar 2020 #32
dem in texas Mar 2020 #33
Arkansas Granny Mar 2020 #34
dem in texas Mar 2020 #35
Arkansas Granny Mar 2020 #36
dem in texas Mar 2020 #37
Arkansas Granny Mar 2020 #38

Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Sat Feb 29, 2020, 11:19 AM

1. I'd imagine they would be tougher

not being pen fed. My experience is with venison, but for a pig, I'd go for the slow braise and cook it with an apple to cut gaminess. Have fun with it; you're always good with recipes.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Sat Feb 29, 2020, 11:21 AM

2. I have not but I have a friend who is a chef

and in his restaurant in SE Asia he often had wild boar on the menu and it was really good. Try looking for recipes for wild boar and you may discover some new ways of cooking it.

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Response to Bev54 (Reply #2)

Sat Feb 29, 2020, 11:27 AM

4. I haven't seen the meat yet, but I assume its much leaner than domestic pig.

This is not technically wild boar. The meat processors figured it was a 2 yo female so the meat shouldn't be very gamey.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Sat Feb 29, 2020, 11:24 AM

3. Please do some research

I recently read (wish I remembered where) that killing and eating them to rid them from wild areas where they're been too successful as a species can be dangerous due to the diseases they carry. It was an article about feral pigs and how they're proliferated.

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Response to The Blue Flower (Reply #3)

Sat Feb 29, 2020, 11:31 AM

7. They are taken to a commercial meat processor. I don't think they would process

an animal who showed any sign of disease. We are also careful to cook the meat thoroughly.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Sat Feb 29, 2020, 11:28 AM

5. Yes. Been forty-five years since then. Was living in my cabin on Oregon's south coast

Most flavorful pork I can recall, to this day. Wild boar fattened on tan oak acorns. Dressed out close to 400 pounds. Made it into fresh ground pork, chops and roasts. I'm just a simple guy with simple tastes.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Sat Feb 29, 2020, 11:28 AM

6. Where I'm from (Jawja), there's only one way to cook a wild hog.

We don’t think that there’s anything wrong with killing a wild hog, btw. They are a menace. They’re naturally mean, and they are more dangerous than anything else you can find in our woods and swamps (including cottonmouths, rattlers, bears, and gators). Wild hog is the worst.

So, here’s what you do. You dig a hole about 5 feet deep. You lob the hog in the hole. You cover it with dirt. You collect all the loose wood you can, build a bonfire, and, at sundown, you light that bad boy. Then, you sit around the fire with your friends and drink beer while somebody is blasting country music (or heavy metal) from the truck that they have parked nearby. You get a little drunk and have a good time imagining what that hog is gonna taste like when you dig it up.

Next day, in the afternoon, you dig up the hog. You then skin it, save the brains, eyeballs, and all the tender innards for Brunswick Stew (I don’t eat Brunswick Stew, btw), and then you separate all the meat from the bones. That hog meat is normally tough as shoe leather, but it will fall off the bone if it’s cooked properly—slow, high heat, with 3 feet of dirt between it and the fire, so the hog doesn’t burn.

Then you eat it—however you want to. Right now, I could go for a barbecue sandwich which, as any civilized person knows, is made from pork, not beef.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #6)

Sat Feb 29, 2020, 11:34 AM

8. Since I don't feel like digging a deep hole, I'm going to take the lazy way out

and cook it in the kitchen.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Reply #8)

Sat Feb 29, 2020, 11:42 AM

9. That's too bad. It won't be as good.

Wood burns at 451, so that’s the temperature you’re shooting for. Hog still needs long and slow. The hole gives you even temperature. That’s the point. You’d have to put it on a spit and rotate it to get the same effect in a conventional oven. Either way—long, slow, around 450, and covered so that the outside doesn’t burn.

You really are missing one of life’s great joys, though, if you’ve never had real, pit barbecue. Good luck!



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #9)

Sat Feb 29, 2020, 11:46 AM

10. I'm thinking about slow, moist cooking in a cast iron Dutch oven. Maybe surround it

apples or sweet potatoes (or both).

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Reply #10)

Sat Feb 29, 2020, 12:08 PM

13. That sounds delicious.

The Dutch oven will provide some of the protection from burning that the hog’s skin provides in the pit method, and the liquid you cook the hog in will reduce the loss of the meat’s natural juices (an effect best-created by the hog’s own skin in the pit method).

Part of me wants to drive to Arkansas to dig a hole for you and do this right, but it only works if you have a whole, freshly-killed hog to work with, and it sounds like your hog has already been butchered.

Either way, good luck, and let me know how it turns out.



-Laelth

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Reply #10)

Sat Feb 29, 2020, 12:57 PM

14. Now that I think about it, Granny ...

Assuming you are working with a decent-sized feral hog roast, I think I would wrap it, tightly, in either cabbage or collard greens—several layers thick. I might try my favorite barbecue sauce (Mrs. Griffin’s, naturally) to get the leaves to stick, and this should help to prevent burning and the loss of natural juice from the meat. A little string might be required to get the leaves well-wrapped, but that’s no big deal. Then, you might want to lob in your apples or sweet potatoes, or whatever else, much later in the process. It really does need to be a slow cook.

Best of luck!

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #14)

Sat Feb 29, 2020, 01:02 PM

15. I hadn't thought about wrapping it. Good idea. 👍

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Reply #15)

Sat Feb 29, 2020, 02:38 PM

17. On second thought, or third, for that matter ...

You’ve got to figure that the dirt used in the pit method gives you between 50 to 125 degrees of heat insulation, so the hog in the pit is probably cooking at about 350. I think that is what I would try if I were cooking a hog roast in an oven. It would probably burn up at 450 in an oven, no matter how well it was wrapped. Pork is safe at 150, but I bet the pit temp is about 350, and that’s what I would try.

Sorry to keep bugging you with this, but I am dying for some home cooking right now.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #17)

Sat Feb 29, 2020, 03:38 PM

18. I'm planning on roasting at 325 to 350 in a covered cast iron Dutch oven.

I love doing home cooking. Since I live alone, I look for excuses to cook for others. Fortunately, we have a full kitchen where I work and the boss doesn't mind when I use it. I freeze leftovers in individual servings so it's easy to share.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Reply #18)

Sat Feb 29, 2020, 03:44 PM

20. I cook for people whenever I can.

I keep small, single-serving containers for precisely this purpose. I hear you. You have me salivating. Hope your dish turns out well.



-Laelth

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Reply #10)

Sat Feb 29, 2020, 09:20 PM

28. cast iron best. but due to a mom/childhood apple+pork crock pot disaster(recipe just sucked) i CAN

never do apple + pork forever.

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Response to Laelth (Reply #6)

Sat Feb 29, 2020, 11:49 AM

11. If you said this in Texas, someone would be looking for a rail

Then you eat it—however you want to. Right now, I could go for a barbecue sandwich which, as any civilized person knows, is made from pork, not beef.


Personally I prefer pulled pork, tho. I just can't tell my neighbors.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #11)

Sat Feb 29, 2020, 12:01 PM

12. Oh, I know. They're HEATHENS! n/t



-Laelth

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Sat Feb 29, 2020, 02:37 PM

16. The only issue that comes to mind is Trichinosis - While it has been eliminated in commercial hogs

- that parasite is still out in the wild

That's why Bear and Javelina - and I assume feral hogs too - must be cooked to medium well or slow cooked to an 135F internal temp for awhile...



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Response to The Polack MSgt (Reply #16)

Sat Feb 29, 2020, 03:41 PM

19. I'm old school. The only way I eat pork is well done. Too many lessons about trichinosis

at school while growing up.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Reply #19)

Sat Feb 29, 2020, 04:10 PM

21. One of life's little pleasures

is a pork roast with a slight rosy blush at it's center. MUCH more flavorful and completely safe.

https://www.pork.org/news/new-usda-guidelines-lower-pork-cooking-temperature/

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Response to flotsam (Reply #21)

Sat Feb 29, 2020, 04:36 PM

22. My wife cooks Tonkatsu (Japanese style breaded pork cutlets)

and the taste and texture difference between juuuuuussst a bit of pink and tan all the way through is amazing. Medium pork roasts (as you say) are also way better than well done

But any wild omnivore is susceptible to picking up that worm and I would not want to risk it - and after all, low and slow until the meat falls apart is also delicious

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Response to The Polack MSgt (Reply #22)

Sat Feb 29, 2020, 04:45 PM

23. I agree to the feral roast being well done

but commercial pork needs that blush especially since pork is now extremely lean. Fat and bones is were the flavors hide .

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Response to flotsam (Reply #23)

Sat Feb 29, 2020, 04:48 PM

24. Agreed

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Sat Feb 29, 2020, 06:51 PM

25. Most of them are domestic pigs that escaped and went bad

They have been on the run instead of penned, so the meat will not cut with the edge of a fork. In addition, they're scavengers and they take their meals where they can find them, so get a meat thermometer to make sure it is cooked to a safe temperature.

For the chops, sear on both sides, then add enough chicken stock to cover them. Cover the pan tightly and cook until the chicken stock has boiled off and the chops are starting to sizzle again. That gives thicker chops the cooking they require while keeping them incredibly juicy and flavorful. The fond left by searing and evaporated chicken stock will make a great sauce, so don't forget to deglaze the pan while the chops are resting for a few minutes.

There is some hunting I heartily approve of. Hunting feral hogs in Dixie, where they're a big problem these days, is one of them.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #25)

Sat Feb 29, 2020, 07:19 PM

26. These hogs have been roaming on pasture and woodlands.

They've also been eating corn at the deer feeders. We had abundant acorns this year and a mild winter. All the wildlife that is being caught on camera looks sleek and in good condition.

We've done some reading on the wild hogs. Domestic pigs go feral in a short period of time and even their physical appearance changes. They are really a nuisance.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Sat Feb 29, 2020, 08:34 PM

27. Luau time!

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Mon Mar 2, 2020, 05:00 PM

30. Cook thoroughly. Trichonosis could be found wild hogs and bears too.

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #30)

Mon Mar 2, 2020, 05:41 PM

31. Several of you have brought up that subject and I will be sure to cook throughly.

I remember all those lessons we had back in grade school. Even though I'm told it's safe, I can't bring myself to eat pork unless it is fully cooked.

I have some chops thawing out in the fridge right now. They really look nice and have a thin layer of fat. The meat is a little deeper in color than domestic pork.

My plan is potatoes in the bottom of a baking dish and lay the browned pork chops on top. I will make a cream sauce and add caramelized onions, garlic and mushrooms, pour over the meat and potatoes, cover and bake until tender, then uncover and let brown. I think thyme and rosemary will be good herbs to use.

I'm open to suggestions.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Mon Mar 2, 2020, 07:56 PM

32. Nah... I don't let Al in the Kitchen when I'm cooking

tee hee

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Tue Mar 3, 2020, 02:06 PM

33. Yes, many times

My husband and his buddies used to hunt wild hogs on a ranch in West Texas. He's bring home chops, roasts and cut up meat which I'd take to a local butcher and get made into sausage. I learned to cook long ago and was taught by my mother to always add some water to the pork chops, sausage patties or links, then let the water cook away, then finish the frying or sauteing. This was to kill any of the trichinosis germs that might be in the meat. If the meat is handled correctly, it is same as supermarket pork.

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Response to dem in texas (Reply #33)

Tue Mar 3, 2020, 02:16 PM

34. I've never heard the tip about adding water, but it does make some sense. It's too late to do that

with this batch. I browned them first and they are now baking in the oven with potatoes and a cream sauce with caramelized onions and mushrooms and flavored with fresh thyme. I also slipped a little Swiss cheese in the layers. They will be thoroughly cooked before serving.

Something I noticed about this meat. The meat is a little darker than supermarket pork with a nice layer of creamy white fat. We had abundant acorns this past fall and the pigs have been eating corn at the deer feeders, as well. When I put them in the skillet, they browned up beautifully (no 12% solution added) without all the juices leaking out first and having to evaporate. I can hardly wait to try it.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Original post)

Tue Mar 3, 2020, 02:18 PM

35. Family favorite here - Baked pork chops and corn

Lay pork chops in shallow baking dish which as been sprayed with Pam. Top with sliced onion and one or two cups of fresh corn, cut off the cob. Season with salt and pepper and a few shakes of Worcestershire sauce. Cover with foil and bake in 325 oven for 45 to 60 minutes, if dry add a little water. When meat is tender, uncover, increase temp to 375 and let brown a little on top. So easy and kids love this dish as do the old hunters.

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Response to dem in texas (Reply #35)

Tue Mar 3, 2020, 02:19 PM

36. Do you brown the meat first or just lay it on top of the corn completely raw?

This sounds interesting.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Reply #36)

Tue Mar 3, 2020, 05:23 PM

37. Baked pork chops with corn

I don't brown them, they will brown in the oven. I usually trim most of the fat off the edges of the pork chops. Sometimes I use the thin pork chops and then I shorten the baking time. Been making this recipe for 50 years, was my mother's recipe. Since the oven is on, I will put potatoes or sweet potatoes in to bake. Easy meal
!

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Response to dem in texas (Reply #37)

Tue Mar 3, 2020, 05:28 PM

38. It sounds good. I'll have to try it.

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