For those of you who love smoked pork, exotic swine is something to try. Next to regular pork, feral hog, Russian boars, Razerbacks, and even Javalena are completely different in terms of taste and quality. Smoking wild swine in the smoker will render some of the most tender, succulent pork you’ve ever had! Continue reading to learn some helpful recommendations for acquiring and smoking exotic hog and boar.
Where to Get Feral Hog
The challenge to wild hog is not smoking it, but rather, finding it. Although not everyone has the luxury of hunting feral hog and boar right outside their front door, if you are ever given the chance to go hog hunting, leap at the opportunity and save your bounty! For those of you who do not hunt, you have the option of purchasing feral hog at an exotic butcher shop, or you can order it online.
As versatile omnivores, wild swine primarily eat vegetation, fruit, and insects that are rich in nutrients, giving it a complex and layered flavor that is simply unparalleled to standard pork at the local grocer. Most people describe wild pork as having slight sweet notes with several indistinguishable flavor nuances. It is a darker meat, often resembling cuts closer to deer or veal, but it is not greasy like most other dark meats. Instead, it is marginally stringy, very tender and moist, with slight sweet notes.
Smoking Wild Pork
When it comes to cooking feral hog in the smoker, it is recommended to use a good quality wood. Most pitmasters suggest using hickory mesquite wood chips since they will not overpower the natural flavor of the meat. The best cuts of wild hog to smoke include the ribs, shoulder, lower legs, and loins. This includes Boston Butts, picnic cuts, front legs, and spare ribs.
If you have a large smoker, you can simply smoke the whole hog! Hocks, side meat, and jowl can be cured into bacon, while rear hams can be cured into the best tasting ham you’ve ever had. The key to smoking any meat is low and slow. For your wild swine, set your smoker to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not exceed 200 degrees Fahrenheit or you risk drying out your cuts. Then allow your pork to quietly cook for at least 14 hours, but no longer than 36 hours.