Wild hogs may not be as revered as venison, but with the right recipes and the right cuts of meat, I’d argue that wild hog is just as good as venison.
By far, the best cut of meat from wild hog is tenderloin, but there are many more cuts worth knowing.
6 Best Cuts of Meat From a Wild Hog
In essence, most cuts of meat from a wild hog are good, which makes it difficult to pick the best.
Much of the decision comes down to what you want to eat. The flavor profile is the same through most cuts, and it’s primarily textural differences that make one cut stand out above another.
Some cuts are more suited to specific tasks, like a backstrap is most suitable for jager schnitzel.
However, if I could only choose 6 cuts, these would be my choices:
The tenderloin is the king of all cuts across a range of large animals, and this is no different for wild hogs.
Arguably the only cut better than the tenderloin is the fillet mignon, which of course, is actually part of the tenderloin.
However, for wild boar, I like to use the whole tenderloin.
Wild boar tenderloins are not very large but what the lack in size they make up for in texture and taste.
They are a very versatile cut of meat that can be roasted, grilled, fried, or smoked.
My favorite recipes with wild hog tenderloin are stirfry and roasted.
Because the tenderloins are not very large and extremely tender, they cook fast.
If the tenderloin is the best cut of meat from a wild hog, the backstrap has to be the second best.
The backstrap or loin is the long muscle that runs along the top of the back.
If you were to divide the top of a wild hog into four, it would go top of the head, blade, shoulder, loin, then leg.
The loin would be second on the scale of tenderness, only second to the tenderloin.
However, unlike venison backstrap, wild boar loin tends to be a little drier, which also makes it a little more challenging to cook.
For this reason, I recommend using a good brine if you are baking or roasting.
If you are confident in your cooking skills you can also use a marinade to add flavor and tenderize the meat a little more.
There are a plethora of dishes that you can make with wild boar loin, which is why it is on our list of best cuts.
One of my favorite dishes is a simple German dish, wild boar Jagerschnitzel.
This dish is simple to make, the meat does not dry out, and it’s tasty.
This may be an unpopular opinion simply because of the work involved, but if you are not afraid of a little work to get some of the best flavors any wild game has to offer, then you could easily move wild boar ribs to the top of the list.
Earlier I said most cuts of wild boar meat taste the same, and the main difference is the texture and versatility; well, ribs change all that.
They are only moderately versatile but probably the most flavorful cut of meat from wild hogs.
The downside is there is a lot of work in preparing them, and there is not much meat.
Unlike your regular pork ribs, wild hog ribs have much more membrane, which is also tougher, and a lot of silver skin to contend with.
I like to treat them similarly to shanks; I sear them on the grill to get a nice char, after which I continue with whatever recipe, such as smoking, barbecuing, or simply baking.
Yet another controversial cut, the shank, makes it to the top of my list. Just like the ribs, most people aren’t willing to put in the effort for shanks, which is a shame because they really are one of the best cuts of meat.
Like the ribs, the shanks are very flavorful. Also, like the ribs, they are covered in silver skin and membrane.
The shank is an extremely tough cut of meat, but with the right approach can be turned into very tender meat.
A classic shank dish is osso buco, which is not traditionally made with wild boar, but forgive me if I say I prefer it to venison osso buco.
Another way to get fall-apart tender meat is in the pressure cooker, and you could use my venison recipe to make pulled shank tacos.
Whatever you choose to make, give it time, and you will not regret eating wild boar shanks.
Another choice cut of wild hog that may not get as much love as it should is the Boston butt.
The name may be confusing because this cut of meat comes from the shoulder.
The Boston butt is from the higher part of the shoulder, above the picnic shoulder.
This is one of the best cuts for pulled wild hog. The Boston butt is typically well-marbled and tender due to its limited activity.
This cut can be used in many different ways. I have sliced and grilled it, made sausages and burgers, and made pulled pork from it.
One thing worth remembering is that it is a little on the fatty side, and most people find the taste of pork fat unpleasant.
In pulled pork, the taste may be unnoticeable, but for other dishes, you may want to cut the fat out unless you have a smaller hog.
This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning ham. Wild hog ham is just as good if not better than pork ham.
I know this may be hard to believe, given that pork ham has all that juicy fat to add flavor.
The difference is when it comes to smoking. The flavor of wild hog works so much better with smoking than pork.
With a simple wet brine and your favorite wood for smoking, you can turn a wild hog ham into a masterpiece that will impress the fussiest of your friends.
Like most people, it’s difficult for me to choose my favorite one of anything. I’d rather have them all.
Choosing the best cut depends greatly on your skill level and what cooking methods you have access to.
If I had to choose one cut from the list as my favorite, I would probably opt for the ribs. They have so much flavor, better than any beef or pork ribs you have ever tried.
Rusty enjoys connecting food and nature and has done so since a child. He was fortunate enough to explore cuisine worldwide and work at great European restaurants. He now enjoys thinking up new recipes that he can find around him in nature in North America.