While I’m not a fan of the damage and destruction invasive wild pigs do to their environment, I am a fan of their meat on the table. Even larger, mature boars can be turned into fine table fare. Our rule of thumb on boars is this: If they don’t smell rank when you walk up to them, they are probably worth skinning and processing. Even stronger-flavored boars make great sausage. Some, like this recent Texas boar, fat from a mild winter living off deer feeder corn, are downright delicious.
For this loin recipe, we inject the meat with a combination of melted butter and apple cider. The combination helps add moisture and flavor to a cut that can be on the dry side. No conversation about cooking wild hog is complete without a discussion on trichinosis, common in some wild pig populations. Don’t let those fears keep you from enjoying your pork. Cooking your meat to an internal temperature of 137 degrees will kill any trichinella parasites that may be present in the meat. I like to take the loin to 145 degrees, then let it rest where the temperature will continue to climb another 5 degrees or so.
We finish the preparation by coating the loin with one of our favorite barbecue rubs, Myron Mixon Hot. Use whatever rub you like.
1 wild pork backstrap loin
1 cup apple cider
1 stick salted butter, melted
Whenever we kill a hog with a nice white fat layer, I like to leave as much of it on as possible. If the fat is really thick, you can trim it down to about 1/4 inch thickness. The prep for this one is easy. Use a meat injector to add the melted butter and apple cider to the loin in multiple places for even coverage. I usually inject the cider first, then follow up with the butter, but I’m not sure order makes a difference.
Next, coat the loin well with your barbecue rub of choice. Place the loin on a preheated grill or smoker at 225 degrees.
Smoke for 2 hours or until a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the loin reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the loin from the smoker and rest, tented loosely with foil, for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.
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