The first thing you are going to think when you see this recipe is wow, that’s a long time.
But, firstly, it’s mostly idle time, and secondly, even if it wasn’t, it’s absolutely worth it.
Pulled Wild Boar Ingredients
The first ingredient for pulled wild boar is the boar or hog meat.
I find the best cut of meat for this is one of the hind leg muscles, these are the leanest and offer the largest single muscle cuts.
If you want a larger cut you should choose either the top or bottom round, if you want a smaller cut you could choose the sirloin.
Once you have chosen which wild boar cut you will use, the next step is to make the rub.
The rub is what’s going to make most of the flavor, and must compliment the wild hog meat.
I like to use a slightly sweet, yet slightly spicey rub for pulled wild boar, not so spicy it burns your mouth, but minimal spice so you know it’s there.
The rub consists of:
- Brown sugar
- Mustard seed
- Garlic Powder
- Chili flakes
- Onion powder
That’s all you need to make this rub, it’s super simple and super flavorful.
Not everyone likes to sauce their pulled meat, but I do. This pulled wild hog is plenty juicy on its own, but why stop there? Add in that extra flavor.
To do so I like to make up a batch of BBQ sauce, and if you cook it with a sous vide, you get extra juice to add to the sauce for a real flavor boost.
The BBQ sauce consists of:
- Worcestershire sauce
- Mustard seed
- Smoked paprika
- Liquid Smoke
- Cayenne Pepper
- Apple cider vinegar
- Juice from wild boar (optional)
Again, this sauce is only slightly spicy but it’s sweet and savory. I like to add only a little of this to the pulled wild boar, so I can enjoy both the flavor from the meat and a complimenting sauce.
Cooking Pulled Wild Boar
One of the great things about pulled wild boar is that there is a way to make it that suits everyone.
My personal favorite way of making pulled wild boar is first sous viding and then smoking. But I do occasionally make it in the slow cooker and the oven.
And if I’m feeling really optimistic, I cook it by only smoking.
Sous viding the wild boar gives the juiciest most flavorful meat in my opinion, but it’s also the longest.
For 3lb of hog, ideally, you should sous vide for about 20-24 hours for the best results. I find the perfect temperature for sous viding pulled wild boar is between 160-170F
A great benefit of sous viding is that the juice stays in the bag, which I later use to make a BBQ sauce to serve with the dish.
While you could sous vide the hog and serve it, I much prefer to “finish” it.
You can finish it in the oven, or my favorite is on the smoker. What you are looking to achieve is a better crust (bark), and to “dry” the meat a little.
You are not looking to remove the juices from the dish, but rather to make it less sloppy.
After sous viding, set your grill or smoker to about 200F, choose your favorite wood for smoking, and smoke the pulled boar for about 2 hours.
If you want a hard bark you can forego the water tray, but I prefer a soft bark and use a water tray in the grill.
After 2 hours, remove the hog meat from the grill and place it on a wooden chopping block, allow it to rest there for 30-40 minutes before pulling.
The slow cooker is one of the easiest approaches to making pulled wild boar with a set-it-and-forget-it approach.
In my experience it lacks the complexity of a smoked or sous vide pulled boar, but it still makes a fine dish.
Once you make the rub and apply it to the meat, allow it to rest in the fridge for a few hours, 6 hours is good, but 24 hours is better.
Then remove the meat from the fridge and place it in the slow cooker.
While there will be enough juices from the wild boar to prevent it from drying out in the slow cooker, you will need to add something to get this started.
I find half a cup of liquid is enough. 1/4 of the cup will be venison stock, and for the other 1/4, you have a choice between apple cider vinegar, apple juice, or apple cider.
Close the lid, set the cooker to low, and cook for 8 hours. After the 8 hours, you can pull the meat right away, and stir in the BBQ sauce if you like.
The oven is one of the most used methods for pulled meat, and what I first started out on.
While I don’t use it as much as the other methods anymore, it’s still a tried and tested method.
Similar to the slow cooker, you will need to rub the hog meat and let it rest in the fridge for a few hours.
Also, the same as the slow cooker you will need to add some liquid while waiting for the meat’s natural juices to start flowing.
For oven-pulled boar, I prefer using cider, beer, or Dr, pepper. Also, you will need more liquid, approximately 1 cup should be enough.
You can then sear the meat or set the oven to high to get an initial crust. Once seared, add the meat to a wire rack over a roasting dish and pour the liquid on the bottom, cook for about 6-8 hours at 300F
Smoking wild boar is one of my favorite ways to cook it, especially for pulled wild boar.
I have however started using the sous vide more plainly down to simplicity, both methods give you some great pulled wild boar, with a slight difference in flavor.
With the sous vide option, you can still get a decent smoke flavor and a nice smoke ring.
However, you obviously get a much better smoke ring and flavor by smoking the meat for the whole process.
The smoking process takes a little less time, but you may want to be a proficient smoker and be able to set your smoker up for a 10-15 hour smoke.
The steps are simple, and the only hard part is keeping the smoker’s temperature steady.
Set the smoker to about 190-220F. Apply the rub to the hog meat and let it sit for 20 minutes.
Once the smoker comes to temp, place the hog meat in the smoker and smoke until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 190F.
Once cooked, remove the meat and wrap it in foil, allow to rest for 30 minutes before pulling.
Serving Pulled Wild Boar
My favorite way of serving pulled wild boar is as a sandwich. I like to toast some buns, add the pulled boar, pour over some BBQ sauce, layer on some homemade slaw, and top with the bun topping.
That’s my favorite, but you do you, there’s no right or wrong way of serving pulled hog.
Some people like it with mac and cheese, especially if you are smoking it as you can also smoke the mac and cheese.
Some like to serve it with beans, and even more prefer to serve it with a side of some more pulled boar.
Do what works best for you.
Pulled Wild Boar
- 3 lb wild hog meat see note 1
- 1 tbsp paprika sweet
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp mustard seeds whole
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
BBQ Sauce (optional)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup Ketchup
- 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp mustard seeds ground
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp molasses
- 1 tbsp bourbon
- 1 tsp liquid smoke
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup juice from sous viding
- Pre heat the sous vide to 170F
- Grind all dry rub ingredients to a powder with a pestle and mortar
- Rub the dry rub into the wild boar meat and rest on chopping board while waiting for sous vide to heat up
- Place hog meat in vaccuum bag a seal. Place in sous vide container and cook at 170F for 20-22 hours
- Heat smoker to 200F
- Remove wild boar meat from sous vide and carefully remove from vaccum bag, reserving the jusices for later
- Place in smoker and smoke at 200F for 2 hours
- Remove meat from smoker and rest on wooden board for 30-40 minutes
- Pull meat with hands
- Pour over BBQ sauce if you like
- Add vinegar and sugar to a small saucepan over medium heat, and stir until it dissolves
- Add all other ingredients and stir, reduce to low and simmer for 15 minutes
- You can use any lean cut of meat for this recipe. Some of the best cuts come from the hind quarter such as the top or bottom round, eye of round, or sirloin.