View Full Version : Can bacon be made from Wild Boar?
October 7, 2009, 11:22 AM
If so, then you guys might want to check out these simple recipes I found online for home curing & smoking it:
It is my experience that bacon is the easiest slow smoked product to produce at home and the results are as good as, or better than, the best commercially produced bacon.
I use Morton Tender Quick and brown sugar.
Rub down a slab of fresh bacon (pork belly) with a liberal quantity of the Tender Quick. You can't really use too much but a cup or so should do.
Then follow with a thorough rub of brown sugar (again, start with a cup or so).
Then place the meat in heavy plastic and allow to cure for 7 days at 38F. I use a small refrigerator for this. I run a remote temperature probe inside and monitor the temperature, tweaking the thermostat when necessary. The temperature is important; too low (below 36F) and the curing action will cease, too high (above 40F) and the meat will begin to spoil. I also cut the pork belly in two and cure it with the meat surfaces face to face and the skin on the outside. It helps it fit in the fridge and improves the curing action.
I then smoke it at 140-150F until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 128F (about 8 to 10 hours). I find it best to remove the skin about 3/4 of the way through the smoking process. This way the fat is protected but still acquires some color.
Chill overnight before using. Slice into approximately 3/16" thick and fry as usual.
If you are using Prague Powder #1, mix 2 oz with 1 lb of salt and use like the Tender Quick.
Other sugars can be used instead of brown sugar. Try honey or even some maple syrup.
Another, with NO nitrites or nitrates, and really yummy looking pics!:
October 7, 2009, 11:32 AM
Scrap, It can and has been done but rarely do they have the fat content to make more than a couple ounces to under a pound on a good size hog...
The way to create belly meat is to "barr" a young boar and hope he has lots of food available and re-catch him a year later... They will have lots more fat as the fighting and breeding emotion is diminished...
October 7, 2009, 12:29 PM
Not to rain on your parade, but there are a few things to consider:
1- Commercial bacon is made from fat pigs, not lean wild pigs. Lean bellies do not cure well, smoke well, or cook well.
2- "No nitrites" to an experienced meat curer is like just advertising that the meat will rot or give you botulism if it is very thick at all. The nitrites are there for a reason: they inhibit anaerobic bacteria growth. Sodium nitrite is used to "cure" the meat and keep it from spoiling during the smoking and aging process. The "Prague powder" in your recipe is sodium nitrite.
3- "Salt cure" or "sugar cure" (a blend of sugar and salt) are not commercially acceptable curing, and the meat will require refrigeration after smoking unless it is dried to less than 10% moisture content. This is why hams cured without nitrates are dried and hard as a bone.
4- If you want to cure the meat with salt, it takes a lot of salt. For your home projects that will be eaten right away, salt or sugar cures will work fine, just remember that the meat will require refrigeration.
If you are interested in learning about sausage-making and curing meats, try this book
October 7, 2009, 01:35 PM
Thanks Scorch! These are not my recepies, but ones I have come across on the internet. I am still learning a lot, and have a couple of books coming to me on this stuff..
I should have mentioned that both of these recepies do call for freezing or refridgerating after the smoking, tho.
I have read (and seen) that lots of people (for thousands of years) have made dried meats without nitrites (mostly sausages, but also cappicuollo & proscuitto), but only under the perfect conditions, found mostly in Mediteranian areas...my family comes form Italy, so I've seen that done lots of times but I was never involved in the process myself before this weekend.
I can tell that you obviously have a lot of knowledge on this stuff...would you mind taking a look at the sausage thread I put up and offering me any tips you might have?
I'm using the slow fermentation process with the T-SPX culture, fermented for 2 days at 70 degrees & 70 - 80% humidity & I just moved them into the cooler last night...I'm hoping they come out ok, but could sure use any advice you have!
October 7, 2009, 04:12 PM
I've never tried it. Most bacon hogs are raised to over two hundred pounds before slaughter so their bellies will be thick enough. It might be worth trying but I think your sausage might be better tasting on a large wild pig.
Some of the best tasting, most expensive hams in the world are made from the Iberian black pig. Many of our feral hogs are descended from this breed so they might make tasty cured meat products as well. A pig descended from this Spanish strain that's been eating acorns should be as good as it gets.
October 7, 2009, 04:39 PM
Lunch was a long time ago so reading this is really aggrivating my glands, drooling just thinking about it all.
I'll second what HD said about the wild ones, except for those having been cut or the VERY rare giant one that's spent to much time in a peanut field. In general they belly is just to thin and fat free to make much in the way of bacon.
But you should taste that stuff FRIED!!!!! Not healthy in any way but fried crisp and diped in syrup.............!!!!
October 7, 2009, 04:51 PM
October 7, 2009, 07:09 PM
Scotch I don't know what your sugar cure or salt cure is but it must be diifferant than what we use around here I've seen many a ham and bacon keep for a long time without refrigeration. In a year they get so salty you can hardly eat them but they don't spoil
October 7, 2009, 08:40 PM
This year i have killed over 40 wild hogs. Only one of them had bacon of any thickness. That big boar was rolling fat with bacon 3" thick.
We used to make home cured ham, shoulders and bacon. We used a home made cure. In the spring we took all the meat that was left from the winter and smoked it. If you did not smoke the meat in the spring it would get worms we called "skippers" in it.
October 7, 2009, 09:44 PM
I tried it once with a Big Cypress hog that went about 250. No good. Then marinated it and went for jerky, another failure.
I'm really leaning towards the Hawiian guys way, just take the good cuts and leave everything else to the Turkey buzzards. http://californiahuntingtoday.com/hogblog/2008/09/26/gutless-field-dressing-and-boning-video/
October 7, 2009, 09:48 PM
Swamp, the "good cuts" are very numerous... Neck meat, back meat, rib meat and the 4 hams leaves very little for the yotes. That belly fat is an excellent addition to ground venison to make it harder to dry out.
Fat White Boy
October 7, 2009, 10:57 PM
I asked the butcher who processes my wild pigs about bacon. He also says the bellies aren't fatty enough for good bacon. When he makes sausage for me, he has to add some store-bought pork to raise the fat content....MMMmmmmmm, I just made myself hungry, I guess I'll go grill a sausage now!!!
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