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Wild Hog: Proper Preparing For the Smoker

Wild Hog: Proper Preparing For the Smoker


Hello there. Today, I'm going to talk to you about wild hogs, specifically what to do after the shot. Guys, we want to take these pigs home. We want to have a good meal with our friends and our family. It is crucial to what happens to that animal right after it is shot to make sure it is going to be a quality animal for us to eat and to share with our friends and family. So today we're going to talk preparing wild hog a little bit - what happens after the shot. And some wild hog recipes. Now, when we're talking about wild hogs in Texas guys, there's 6 million wild hogs down here in Texas. That's what they tell us, totally believe that. And it is a great way to extend your hunting season. You know, deer season's over, you're not ready to quit. Pigs are a great way to take your hunting season year-round. We can hunt pigs 24/7, 365. That's winter, spring, fall, summer, daylight, dark - we can hunt pigs. So it's a great time to do it. I'm going to flash some pictures up in here of some pigs we've taken down here in Texas. I'm going to go way back when I was a young man, give you a picture of me and my buddy, Pete Negland. Dads would send us out and go, "Hey, go shoot some pigs, we got a party." And we got free meat, right? Give you a shot of my son when he's young. And then we're going to take some other pigs. And I'm going to show you what my nephew does, running dogs. Maybe some hanging up that I've shot here in the last few years. But guys, they're a lot of fun. They can extend your season. And on top of that, they are FANTASTIC to eat. They are wonderful table fare, but you have to take care of them.


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Preparing Wild Hog In The Field


Field Dressing

Now, one problem we have down here in Texas is the heat. So even though we can hunt them in the summer and we can hunt them in the winter. Guys, sometimes during the rut, it's 70-80 degrees down here. So we could shoot a pig in December and have 80 degrees weather. Number one thing you could do is, is get the guts out of that animal as fast as you can. So if you shoot a pig early on in your hunt and you let it lay there till after dark - so it's laying there from six to seven o'clock. Bacteria is growing, that's what's taking place. If you can get him, get him gutted, get him on ice, that's the best way to do it.

 

Hanging or Icing

If it's a nice cold day, you guys up north, it's wonderful. Y'all, hey, hang it up, gut it, let it hang for a few days. Let it drain whenever it's cold down here, I do that. Not only with my pigs, but also with my deer. It's a great thing to practice when your harvesting wild game, is to let them hang the best you can. If you don't have the option of letting them hang. One thing that you can do is, is you can always quarter them out, throw them in an ice chest and leave them in there 3, 4, 5 days. Just let that water drain off. Keep putting fresh ice up on top of them. That's going to help a whole lot.

 

Package and Freeze

After mine have sat in the ice chest for a few days, what I do is, is I'll go out and I'll actually go ahead and package them. Put them in the freezer and that's all I'm going to do to them until it's time to eat. And now let's talk about what do we do when they come out of that vacuum-wrapped package.

 

Preparing Wild Hog To Cook


Thawing

All right, folks, we've got over there and we've got our animals frozen. We've pulled them out. What we want to do next is we want to thaw them out. Number one way is in your refrigerator over a few days, that's the best way to thaw it. If you want to do it a little faster, put it in your sink with running water. You don't want it in standing water. We're practicing safe food practices here, all right. I am a chef, and that's something that I teach all the time is how to properly thaw out food. Guys, don't leave it on your counter overnight. And don't put it in your sink overnight or don't leave it in standing water. If we practice safe food practices, we're not going to grow bacteria. We're not going to have some of that wildness.

Cooler with wild hog ice slurry


Ice Slurry

And what we're going to do this step, what wildness is there will help pull it out, we're going to put that meat in an ice slurry. Guys, I've got an ice chest and I'm going to show you all that, but it's full of ice and water. And about a cup of apple cider vinegar. I'm going to let my meat soak in that 24, 48 hours. A little longer won't hurt either, but that's going to help kill bacteria. It's going to help draw out any wild taste that you may have in that hog.

 

Seasoning Wild Hog

So once you've done that, it's ready to go. You're going to pull it out, pat it dry. And you're going to season that baby up and get it on a barbecue pit. That's what we're fixing to do right now. I'm going to take you back to this morning and show you what I did with that ham to get it going. And also what we're going to do to this backstrap because it's almost time to get it on there. So hey, let's spend the rest of the time here today, talking on wild hog recipes, I'll meet you over at the barbecue pit.

Let's head over there. 

For the slather, I use mustard and it does not take a whole lot. So little bit goes a long ways. That's enough that I can flip this over and probably get this side also, if not, I'll add a little bit more, right? And this is just going to help that rub stick. I've got a good rub. I'm going to show y'all today. I'll also put up a recipe for my rub. That's looking pretty good. It's going here.

We're ready for some seasoning. I'm going to double-layer this, guys. You always want to layer your flavors, but I've got some Galindo's. I got their Texas Trinity, which is salt, pepper, garlic, and I got their Beef and Hawg. That's what I'm going to use today, I will give you mine. But to layer this, first layer is the SPG, right. Got a little salt, pepper, and garlic going on here, guys. I think Ric drops a little onion powder in on his also. So get a nice coating of that. This is a good, big piece of meat. Don't be scared about getting plenty of seasoning on it. And remember, a ham's not quite as fatty as a pork butt is. So got to be careful not to dry it out. If you wanted to inject it, hey, injections work great. But I cooked and ate a whole lot of wild hog long before I ever injected any pork. But an injection, even a simple apple juice injection, yeah, would add some moisture to this. And again, Galindo's Beef and Hawg is a good seasoning. It's on there, ready to go.

[caption id="attachment_74325" align="aligncenter" width="750"]Chef Johnny's wild hog rub recipe Chef Johnny's rub recipe for Wild Hog[/caption]

 

Smoking Wild Hog

We're going to go put this on the pit. And like I said, I'm looking at about seven or eight hours. We'll go about four uncovered, and then we'll wrap it up and take it to about 200 - 205 degrees. So let's get it on that barbecue pit. What we have on here for smoke is about 70/30 oak to mesquite. We like mesquite down here in South Texas guys, and it can be overpowering. So what I do is I add just a little bit to give everybody that nice mesquite flavor they like, but we use that oak for a good, steady coal bed. It's going to burn more steady. It's not going to burn as hot and it's not going to give us as strong of a smoke. So we're going to see y'all again in about four hours. If it looks like it's drying out, we may be you here a little bit sooner and I'll spritz it a little bit and tell you how I do that. Let's spritz this ham real quick. Got to get it spritzed up real nice. That is looking pretty. That ham is looking nice. It has been on about four hours now. So we're going to wrap it up. Spritzed it twice in the process of getting it there. Let me move my rubs back. Fold it over, if you got foil, be careful. Those bones will poke through there. So you want to be careful with those. Got one right there. Going to fold it up. This side, fold it over, pull it tight, roll it over. We're back up to where we had the side we had up is up once again. What I'm going to do is, is just fold this under. I'm not going to worry if that bottom's a little bit thick on there, that's not going to hurt anything. I got a nice package, tight. Going to go back on the pit. It's not going to last. It's not going to make it four hours. It is getting pretty good right now, starting to tender up. I figure two and a half, three hours we're going to have this on for. Overall cook time of, oh, about seven hours, maybe six and a half to seven hours. But let's get this back on there and I'm going to show you how I take care of my wild hog backstrap or pork loin. Guys, we've probably got about two and a half hours, maybe less left on that pork butt. And we are looking at getting these loins ready. Want them to be ready somewhere around the same time, I'm thinking an hour and a half to two hours. So by the time I prep these, get them ready to go, I'm thinking we're going to be down to that hour and a half to two hours on that. But I'm going to get these ready to go. I'm going to season them. I'll let them sit. Let them sweat out a little bit. Then we're going to get them over on that pit. And they're not real big. So we're going 90 minutes, two hours tops. They'll be ready to go. And we're going to have a great pork dinner tonight with some backstraps and with that ham that we cooked up. So let's come in here close. These are trimmed up pretty good. So I'm going to come in with a little Rib Grind on them. This is a nice course, it's got some good pepper in it, little brown sugar, salts. It's an excellent, excellent seasoning. And not just for pork, it'll work on just about anything. That looks good there, going to flip them over. You can see why I've cleaned up most of that silver skin. Let's come with some Rib Grind on these. Go set these in the refrigerator, let them sweat out. Then I'll let you see me getting them on the pit. It is time to get these on the pit. You see, we have our wrapped butt on there. We'll set these kind of right in the middle up here on top. Scrunch them up, always got to scrunch them. They're ready to go. See you all in about 90 minutes when it's time to get them off. That ham is off and resting and we're ready to look at it. But first, we're going to take a look at these pork loins that we did. They are just really pretty, got some beautiful color on them and I bet you they're still moist on the inside and tasting wonderful. Let's slice into them and see how they are.
Smoked wild hog backstrap

The Results

This loin is looking tremendous. Let's take some off the end here and take a look at it. Man, would you look at that smoke ring on here? That is nice. It is a pretty loin. It is going to be a tasty loin. I promise you that Rib Grind from Chicken Fried BBQ is excellent. Folks, that is beautiful. If you look, it is moist in there. That is not dried out. It is a beautiful, beautiful pork loin. This ham is looking pretty also. We're going to cut into it right there and see if we can take some off. Oh buddy, would you look at that? Look at this bone. Bone came right off. That is tender. That is looking pretty. Two great ways to prepare hog, right? Hey, and how to take care of it in the field. Use a few of those tips this season, and it's going to make your hunt even that much more successful. Remember the rubs I showed you today, or use the rub that I put up on the screen. That's my barbecue rub. And it's a good one also, or just use your favorite barbecue seasoning, they'll work. Hey, take a couple of tips I gave you today on care for your game and I can guarantee you you're going to be a lot happier next time you cook some of that wild hog.And if you want to make sure you get some of that wild game, make sure you're wearing that SKRE Gear. I know the guys over at SKRE will really appreciate that.And I tell you what guys, it is extreme hunting gear and you're going to like it.I am Chef Johnny, I'm on Texas Style BBQ and Cuisine. That's where you can find me. Thanks for stopping by. I sure do appreciate it. So long.
Chef Johnny in Skre's Deadhead shirt

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