By Lucy Ellis

A Guide To Cold Smoking A Wild Hog

What is better than a fresh kill roasted over a fire and enjoyed with friends and family, preferably with some drinks and music? If you’re a bow hunter, that reality could be easier to achieve than you think.

Once you’ve managed to hunt down a wild hog, the first thing to do, after you take a picture with your prized kill, of course, would be to plan a gathering. Surely it would be hard to wait to share it with friends and family over some great tasting dinner with a fresh hog on the menu.

So why not add a little twist to the old barbecue, and add that extra flavor to your kill by cold smoking your meat instead? Cold smoking requires a temperature of fewer than 90 degrees Fahrenheit, so keep in mind it can take some time to prepare, from a few hours to even days, depending on the size of the wild hog.

The do’s and don’ts of cold smoking

Before venturing into the task of cold smoking, it is important to know the health risks and precautions that need to be taken to ensure food safety. It is true that the flavors created by cold smoking are unmatched and would be the highlight of the event you are planning.

However, because cold smoking involves cooking at low temperatures, if not done properly, it could pose a health risk. So it is vital to adhere carefully to the instructions of the process before beginning.

The first process of cold smoking is called curing, this is where curing salts are applied to the meat to extract moisture while ensuring there is no room for bacterial growth in the meat being prepared.

The second part of the process is smoking the meat, where the meat is exposed to smoke of fewer than 90 degrees Fahrenheit taking from several hours to days to be cooked.

Types of meat that can be cold smoked

While you can easily cold smoke that wild hog you have for a tasty dinner there are other popular foods that you can cold smoke as well to add variety to your dinner table.  Another favorite item to cold smoke is Salmon giving it a rich flavor and preserving its natural flaky texture. Also, if you are thinking of adding wine, or even not, cheese can also be safely cold smoked to reveal an exquisite array of flavors bound to impress all.

If you choose to be adventurous and venture into the art of cold smoking, it is helpful to remember that it is a delicate process and all care should be taken to adhere to the instructions. If performed correctly, cold smoking can greatly enhance the flavors and texture of the dish being prepared.