Friday, November 17, 2017

Smoking a Wild Hog Ham

Cherie asked:

My husband and I were wanting to smoke a wild hog ham and were wondering if there was anything special I needed to do and for how long do I need to smoke ?

 Hello Cherie,

 Thank you for the question and congratulations on your hog harvest! I love processing wild pigs and one of my favorite products is smoked wild boar ham and I would be happy to give you a few tips. I've had allot better success injecting my hams rather than simply submersing them in brine. I feel it gets the brine in next to the bone allot better and making sure the ham is well cured next to the bone is very important. If you don't get enough cure/brine down next to the bone you can actually sour the meat down near the bone and no one likes that!

I mix my ham brine and use a Weston injector to do the job, I inject ample amounts of brine along and around the shank bone that travels down the center of the ham. Next I inject the rest of the ham in a 1" grid pattern on the front and back. Next simply cover and place in a covered pan, place the ham in refrigeration and then in 5-7 days you can remove the ham, rinse it well in cold water and then place it in your smoker. I always begin by setting the smoker at 165F for 1 hour just to dry the surface of the ham slightly, this will prevent the smoke from adhering to the surface to quickly and creating a "muddy" appearance to the ham. After drying the surface for an hour at 165F then increase the temperature to 175F for 3 hours while smoking, then increase the house temperature to 200F until an internal temperature of 156F is achieved.

 Good luck and let us know how your product turns out!

Brad Lockwood
Koola Buck Inc.
Outdoor Edge Cutlery

Thursday, August 3, 2017

How to keep your meat cool during a hunt in the warm months

Nick asked:
Hello doing a Sep elk hunt temp could be high 70 and low 30.
I have heard if it is very hot you should put your meat in a cold creek? What are your thoughts. Its a back pack elk hunt 7-10 miles from the truck. I was going to take your game bags. I was going to pull out the bone. the hang in a shaded area while I take meat back to truck. just wondering if it is a hot day and hanging in shade or should I put in creek if it will be 18-36 hours before it gets to the cooler in the truck.

 Hello Nick and thanks for the great question.

Dealing with warm meat in warm conditions is always going to be a tough issue, I understand what you're saying about putting the meat in a stream to cool it down but you also run the high risk of contamination of all the meat with contaminated water. As you know in elk country the animals often times roll and urinate in the creeks and streams causing Giardia which can lead to severe illness and even death. I would take my chances with the Koola Buck Antimicrobial game bags and spray. If you really believe it could be 16-18 hours until you can get the animal out I would debone the animal to allow as much body heat as possible to dissipate from the large quarters of meat, I would try not to overload my meat bags to allow the heat to come out and I would use the game bags and spray. Soaking meat in a water source that you're not 100% sure if safe to drink is a tough call. I understand you don't want to loose meat but soaking it in a contaminated stream may not be the best answer either. Keep it up off the ground in the shade and keep spraying it with the Antimicrobial spray. If you could build a meat cash/hut above the surface of the water so the coolness of the water helps dissipate the heat and then cover it wish shade limbs that would help but soaking in the water isn't  a good idea. That would be my recommendation Nick.

Good Luck this fall and be sure to let us know how everything works out for you.

Brad Lockwood