Far too often wild boar is overlooked as a food source, because people are either afraid of it, or don’t know how to cook it.
A lot of scaremongering happens in the hunting world surrounding wild boar.
I’ve heard everything from they are full of diseases to they taste disgusting, none of these are necessarily true.
Hopefully, this article will shed light on the truth about how to cook wild boar and consume it.
Cooking Wild Boar Risks
As I mentioned many people are fearful of eating wild boar due to the associated risks.
However, like with most meat, if properly handled, and cooked, wild boar meat is no more a risk than venison or domestic pork.
One of the biggest concerns with consuming wild hog is trichinosis.
This is a disease contracted by consuming the trichinella parasite that may be found in wild hogs.
There are two methods of making meat infected with trichinella safe to consume.
- Cook the meat to an internal temperature of 136F, however, it must be held there for 68 minutes or more. A better and safer option is to cook the meat to 145F and hold for 3 minutes.
- Freezing also kills trichinella, but gauging the temperature is much harder. You can freeze wild hogs below 5F for six days to kill trichinella. However, this method does not kill all strains of trichinella, so cooking is much safer.
However, the issue that arises is judging the internal temperature of the meat. So if you choose to use this method, it’s best to freeze the meat in thin slices.
Wild Boar Internal Temperatures
Unlike venison, cooking wild boar cannot be eaten rare, unless checked by a professional lab to test for parasites.
Temperatures for eradicating trichinella:
- 145°F (63°C) – Hold for at least 4 minutes.
- This is the standard recommendation for lean cuts.
- 150°F (65.5°C) – Instant kill.
- 160°F (71°C) – This temperature is often recommended for ground meats. Instant kill.
- 136°F (58°C) – If you’re using a sous-vide method or other precision cooking, holding meat at this temperature for 68 minutes will kill Trichinella parasites.
Remember that it’s essential to measure the internal temperature of the meat using a food thermometer.
Also, allowing the meat to rest for a few minutes after cooking ensures that any potentially harmful parasites or bacteria will be destroyed.
When freezing wild game, very cold temperatures can also kill Trichinella larvae, but the freezing conditions and times vary depending on the thickness and type of meat.
- -4°F (-20°C) or colder for 7 days will kill Trichinella in pork.
- -4°F (-20°C) or colder for 4 weeks is recommended for wild game.
But as I mentioned above, some strains of trichinella are resistant to freezing, particularly ones found in the Arctic.
Wild Boar Cooking Methods
There are many ways of cooking wild boar meat, with each having its own pros and cons.
This list will give a brief overview, but for more in-depth information visit the hog recipe section.
Frying is one of the most popular and easiest methods of cooking wild boar meat.
- Ground wild boar meat (sausages, burgers, loose ground meat, etc.)
- Stir-fry type dishes (teriyaki, stir fry, Mongolian etc)
- Preheat oil on a pan over high heat
- Season the meat if it’s burgers or steak
- Place on the pan and sear each side
- Reduce the heat (keep in mind the temperature will drop from the meat)
- Remove from the pan at 155F
- Rest for 5 minutes before serving
I find using cast iron or carbon steel is best for frying wild boar meat. These two types of metals make getting a nice sear on the meat much easier.
The process is the same for stir-frying except the meat is usually returned to the pan at the end of the dish to mix with the other ingredients.
Roasting is probably one of the most classic methods of cooking wild boar. However, today, slow-cooking wild boar is also considered roasting, like this roast wild boar recipe.
Traditional roasting is cooking in the oven using dry heat, for larger cuts of meat (roasts)
Round (inside and outside)
- Marinate (Optional but recommended):
- Preheat your oven to 325°F (165°C).
- Lay a bed of vegetables (e.g., onions, carrots, and celery) in a roasting pan. This adds flavor and prevents the meat from sticking to the pan. Place the boar on top of the vegetables.
- If you didn’t marinate, season the boar with salt, pepper, and any other preferred herbs or spices.
- Roast until the internal temperature reaches at least 170°F (77°C) for safety, or until desired doneness.
- Every 30 minutes, baste the boar with its juices or additional broth to keep it moist.
- Check for Doneness, this is important for wild boar so use a good meat thermometer
- Once cooked, remove the boar from the oven. Let it rest for 15-20 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute.
- Carve and Serve:
Grilling is one of my favorite methods of cooking wild game meats. The added flavor from the charcoal elevates wild boar so much.
Couple this with the really high heat makes it much more pleasurable for cooking meat.
- Burgers, sausages
- Full backstraps or tenderloins
- Heat your grill to 450-500F
- Depending on what you are cooking you may need to set up a dual-zone
- Season the meat and oil if steak or lean cut (not ground)
- Place over direct heat and sear all sides
- Move to to cool side and cook to an internal temperature of 155-160F for ground or 145-150F for lean cuts.
- Remove the meat once it reaches your desired temperature
- Rest for 50% of the cooking time
Slow cooking has become one of the most used cooking methods in my kitchen.
I used to love cooking wild boar stew on a stovetop but now all stews and roasts are done in a slow cooker.
I find that it adds so much flavor to wild game, it also works better with lean meat which is what wild game usually is.
- Large cuts for stew or roasts
- Tough cuts like shanks for tacos
- Ribs, like wild boar Korean ribs
- Heat some high temp oil in a pan over high heat
- Season the hog meat
- Place on the pan a sear all sides
- Remove from the pan and place in slow cooker
- Add in the other ingredients
- Cook for 6-8 hours
Smoking wild boar can produce some of the tastiest wild meat you have ever tasted.
This is a bit of a labor-intensive method, but the results make it worth it.
- Cure the meat if you are making ham or bacon
- Set the smoker between 180-200F
- Smoke the meat until 150F for solid cuts or 160F for ground meat
- Rest for 20-30 minutes for large cuts
Smoking wild boar meat not only imparts incredible flavor to the meat, but it can turn otherwise tough cuts like ribs and shanks into fall-apart tender cuts.