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Old February 24, 2013, 09:55 PM   #1
phil mcwilliam
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What size hogs do you guys target for eating?

Reason I ask is I've got a lot of pigs on my place at the moment & last week shot a mid-sized sow that was full of milk. I took the backstraps & a hind leg.
I used the backstraps in a stir fry & had to chew each piece for eternity. Meat tasted ok, but could not finish the meal. I made sure I skinned the tendon off the backstrap prior to cooking.
Attempt number two was the leg. I soaked the leg in saltwater in the fridge overnight. I placed cut apples & an onion in a dutch oven. Rubbed the leg with garlic & spice mix. Added apple cider & slow cooked for 6 hours. The meat smelled and looked delicious & was easy to remove from the bone. Only problem was even after 6 hours slow cooking the meat was stringy & exceptionally tough. Ended up throwing the leg of pork out & putting a beef T-Bone on the BBQ at 9pm.
I'll probably give a trotter size pig a go next time. I had shot a small (foot long) piglet earlier in the day, but on inspection I didn't think it had that much meat on it.

Last edited by phil mcwilliam; February 25, 2013 at 09:34 AM.
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Old February 24, 2013, 10:03 PM   #2
ice9_us
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only heard..

I have heard big ones are good only for sausage..
Smaller are better eating...

Beyond that I have no idea.. I would like to know what is
small and what is big..i have seen various opinions on this.
That may be due to location...

Next one like that u get.. try making sausage or pulled
Pork u

Also.. u say flavor was good.. just texture of meat was off?
Am i understanding that right???

Last edited by ice9_us; February 25, 2013 at 04:24 AM.
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Old February 24, 2013, 10:15 PM   #3
phil mcwilliam
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The mid -sized sow that I cooked would have weighed 120 -150 pounds. The meat was not objectionable to taste, but was that tough & chewy that it could not be eaten. Don't really know what age the sow would have been, but I guess it would have had several litters.The trotter size pig that I will choose next time would be in the 30 to 50 pound range.
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Old February 24, 2013, 10:57 PM   #4
Hog Buster
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I find that the ones between 60 and 100 pounds are best, but depending on what they eat the bigger ones can be fine table fare also. The shoats split in half and put on the pit are great tasting and tender. They’re better caught than shot, too much meat wasted. Google Cochon di Lait (Suckling Pig) you’ll probably find more info on cooking the young ones.

Try soaking it in vinegar. That gets rid on the wild taste among other things. Cut it into chops steaks etc. Soak overnight, it does wonders. If you think it may be tough cook it in a pressure cooker. It may not be be barbecue, but very edible and the meat will fall off the bone. A shot of barbecue sauce over it doesn’t hurt a bit. Of course you can pressure cook it a bit to tenderize it then throw it on the grill and brown it. If it tastes good and the texture is OK, whose to know.

You can also Jaccard the meat. This is nothing more that a device that pokes small blades thru the chop, steak or whatever to tenderize it. Google Jaccard you'll see how it works.

Sows with little ones are usually pulled down from the nursing and don’t make the best eating. Big boars just smell bad, some eat OK while others should be dumped. Over 200 pounds and they become coyote food here. However I eaten some rather large hogs cooked in a jambalaya, gumbo or some sort of stew that were tasty. Big ones need a cook that knows what he’s doing. Fortunately I have one about a mile down the road so he gets all my big hogs. No cleaning or butchering, just eating for me.

Again a lot depends on what they’ve been eating. Down here it’s mostly sugar cane and corn, but if they’re piney woods rooters eating pine trees and cypress knees the taste or texture can be from bad to awful.

Almost any size can be turned into sausage with the addition of fat back and good seasonings.
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Old February 24, 2013, 10:57 PM   #5
BuckRub
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150#s and lower are good eating. 60#s and lower are better. But a 20 pounder will taste like crap if you don't know how to cook it. Put them in freezer and let YouTube be your friend. They'll help you find great recipes all sorts of styles. Pork- it's great meat and also great knowing you gotton it free. Good hunting.
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Old February 24, 2013, 11:17 PM   #6
Hog Buster
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As an after thought I don’t think soaking it in salt water is the thing to do. Salt draws moisture out of sutff and might just make it tougher.
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Old February 25, 2013, 10:27 AM   #7
hogdogs
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Another for under the #150 mark...

Brent
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Old February 25, 2013, 10:46 AM   #8
hunttheevil
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For under 150# hogs and large deer, i'll pack mine in a cooler full of ice for 5 to 7 days. Drain the water off each day and add ice. This will take alot of the gamey taste out of the meat and make it more tender.
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Old February 25, 2013, 11:08 AM   #9
BuckRub
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I do mine same in ice except about 14-15 days. When the water you drain off daily looks like clear drinking water.
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Old February 25, 2013, 11:19 AM   #10
Saltydog235
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I just target them all, if I get one I know has been eating a steady diet of corn and under 120 without nuts, I'll process it.
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Old February 25, 2013, 11:59 AM   #11
Wild Bill Bucks
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If you like a really smokey flavor, I have a tall smoker that will hang about a 30 lb porker perfectly. 200 degrees for about 12 hours, basted about every 2 hours with your favorite spices.

For a little less smokey flavor, piglets (under 15 lbs), my favorite is to, cut small holes in the meaty places, and stick a piece of Bell Pepper, Onion, Garlic, in the holes, in as many places as possible. salt, pepper, and hand smear a jar of strawberry jelly over the meat, and place into the smoker for about 2 hours. Take the piglet out, and place it in an aluminum roaster pan. Coat the little porker with some onion soup, cover with foil, and replace in the smoker for about 10 more hours, at 200 degrees.

Meat will be "Fall off the Bone tender" and you won't believe the way it tastes.

In my humble opinion, anything over 80 lbs to 100 lbs is better cooked in the ground, Native style. Anything over 150 lbs should be sent to "Swamp People" show, for alligator bait.
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Old February 25, 2013, 12:28 PM   #12
BuckRub
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Wild Bill I don't know if I believe you about the taste, will you send me some so I can sample it? well there you go Phil your first recipe. That sounds awesome, basically the same way I like to do em.
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Old February 25, 2013, 12:32 PM   #13
Rmart30
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80-150# but we also cook the larger ones or have them processed into sausage. We did two 300# and one close to 500# this year. Long slow cooking will tender em up.
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Old February 25, 2013, 12:58 PM   #14
BuckRub
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Yea them big uns will tender right up- and make your whole house smell like boar hog for a week
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Old February 25, 2013, 01:01 PM   #15
dieselbeef
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buzzard meat..you gotta be hungry man...
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Old February 25, 2013, 01:20 PM   #16
Keg
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We have an abundance of pigs..so I like to keep 75 lb or less pigs....We only use them for BBQ or breakfast sausage....I am gonna get a friend to make homemade tamales for me tho....
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Old February 25, 2013, 04:48 PM   #17
Tickling
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I'm going vegetarian, why did I have to click on this delicious thread?!

Bring me your huddled masses of tough stringy meat! Instead of tossing it in the trash, throw it in my mouth!

Last edited by Tickling; February 25, 2013 at 05:59 PM.
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Old February 25, 2013, 05:15 PM   #18
CCCLVII
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50-100 pounds taste the best in my limited experience.
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Old February 25, 2013, 05:25 PM   #19
Moby
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smoke them low low heat for a long long time.
A water smoker works best.
150 lb pig = 24 hours or until meat is falling off bones.
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Old February 25, 2013, 05:29 PM   #20
Keg
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Quote:
smoke them low low heat for a long long time.
A water smoker works best.
150 lb pig = 24 hours or until meat is falling off bones.
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Sounds good....
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Old February 25, 2013, 08:12 PM   #21
Rmart30
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Quote:
Yea them big uns will tender right up- and make your whole house smell like boar hog for a week
Dig a hole about 2 ft deep, hog inside and hole covered with a steel plate.... build a fire next to it, when the coals get good and hot put them on the steel plate and repeat all night... We usually do them down by the river and stay up all night running jugs, keeping the coals going and socializing with some adult beverages.
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Old February 25, 2013, 08:37 PM   #22
bswiv
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To much is made, IMHO, of the whole size/sex thing on hogs.

Usually comes down to how you handle them after they hit the ground. Only bad one in the last 40+ years that I can remember was a big sow that we shot on a island of the Georgia coast. Took us hours to drag her, and another smaller one along with shotguns and stands the 3 1/2 miles to the road where she waited for at least another couple of hours before she got to the cooler.

It was January but not really cold, just cool. To say she was spoiled in the sense of being UNSAFE to eat would be untrue, but was she good.....no.

Our fault.....not hers.

The point being that time, place, temp, all the rest play a big part.

All that said I'll admit to doing as most suggest and aiming smaller, more so that my old back has a easier time getting it to the truck than for any other reason.

Now if I can just get Louann to go along with the program......
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Old February 25, 2013, 09:27 PM   #23
BuckRub
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Post #21 about cooking a big boar in the ground never did say they eat that stinking son of a gun. They just sit around and smell it and eat hamburgers. Lol
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Old February 26, 2013, 06:58 AM   #24
dieselbeef
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feed the buzzards and shoot them too....
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Old February 26, 2013, 08:22 AM   #25
GruntgunDr
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Hogs!

The ones we see are the ones I target. You can eat them all.
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