On the face of it, wild boars and domestic pigs are the same. They are so similar they can breed offspring; this gives us the feral pigs that are widely spread around North America today.
However, there are some prominent differences in the meat of these two animals.
Wild Boar Meat vs. Pork: A Comparison
Wild boar meat is the meat from a wild hog. The term wild boar is often used, but in fact boar refers to the male of the species only. The proper term to address all meat from the species is wild hog.
Domestic pork is meat from a farm-raised animal, and the meat that you can purchase at your local grocery store.
Domestic pigs are usually fed intense diets to help them put on weight fast, coupled with a lack of activity usually makes for fatty meat.
Wild boar, on the other hand, are highly active creatures that forage for their food. Wild boar meat is typically leaner and more intensely flavored because of this.
Domestic pork is paler in color than wild hog due to the lifestyle of both animals. Because wild hogs are more active than domestic pigs their meat takes on a redder color due to a higher concentration of myoglobin.
Related >> Is wild boar good to eat
Differences in Nutritional Value
Nutritionally wild hog is superior to domestic pork in most respects.
Protein values are similar in both meats, but fat levels are typically lower in wild boar.
Although wild hogs in colder locations have a thick outer layer of fat, there is often very little fat surrounding individual muscles.
Domestic pork, on the other hand tends to have fat marbled throughout the meat.
Wild boar is also typically lower in calories, cholesterol, and sodium. It is also higher in zinc, iron, and vitamin B12.
|Nutrient||Pork per 100 grams||Wild boar per 100 grams|
|Protein||29 grams||21.3 grams|
|Fat||19 grams||3.3 grams|
|Saturated fat||7 grams||1.1 grams|
|Cholesterol||86 mg||72 mg|
|Sodium||75 mg||63 mg|
|Carbohydrates||0 grams||0 grams|
|Iron||1.4 mg (8% DV)||1.8 mg (10% DV)|
|Zinc||3.1 mg (28% DV)||4.9 mg (45% DV)|
|Vitamin B12||1.1 mcg (45% DV)||2.6 mcg (108% DV)|
DV stands for daily value and represents the percentage of the daily recommended intake of a nutrient that is provided by a serving of pork or wild boar meat. These values are based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet.
Related >> Wild boar meat disadvantages
Differences in Flavor and Texture
While there are some large differences in the nutritional values of both of these meats, I think the taste and texture separates them even further.
Wild boar flavor depends on it’s habitat and diet, much similar to a domestic pig.
However, due to the vast range wild hogs can roam and the various ingredients in their diet, they have a much more complex flavor than domestic pork.
Wild hogs have a deep earthy flavor with sweet undertones. There is a hint of nutiness, and almost a taste the forest.
Domestic pork is much miler in comparison. It is slightly sweet but lacks the complexity of wild hog. Pork on its own would be considered bland, whereas wild hog would have more going for it.
The texture of wild hog meat can vary depending on the age of the animal. Older larger males have a tougher meat than younger hogs, particularly sows.
Domestic pork is usually from younger animals which is easily managed in a farm.
Comparing similarly aged animals, domestic pork meat is typically denser than wild hog meat.
Related >> What does wild boar taste like
Availability and Price Comparison
It’s difficult to compare wild hog meat and domestic pork availability or pricing, because in most states it is illegal to purchase wild hog meat.
However, in some states like Texas the sale of wild hog meat has been legalized to deal with the ever growing population.
The animals must be insprected by a USDA offical before it can be sold, this prompted numerous holding stations to pop up around the state.
If you are a hunter, there is abundant wild boar meat available.
Domestic pigs are easily farmed meaning there is rarely a shortage of pork. This also leads to pork typically costing much less than wild hog meat.
At the time of writing ground wild boar meat is $12-13 per pound, whereas ground pork is $3-4 per pound.
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.