After I spent the day solving the “plague of pigs” crisis a few weeks ago, I began a hog cooking extravaganza. There were so many parts to break down and ponder.

This is my friend Mike breaking down and pondering:

Isn’t he doing a nice job? He’s a scholar of the woods and the kitchen.

The thing about wild hog is that there is just no fat in there. The very large one that I got had some great fat on the back but this didn’t translate into the loin. Fat never translates into the loin, it is really the leanest part of any animal. And because it has to be cooked through in the case of wild boar, 160 degrees F to be exact, to prevent strange and unpleasant things from occurring, it is important to find another way for it to stay moist.

The answer is to brine.




Once it soaks in a salt water solution, the loin will stay moist and withstand 160 degree F cooking.

Another thing that I like to do is tie it the way you would a roast. This is because when the piece of meat you are cooking is uniform in size, it cooks evenly. Thus no dry end bits go to waste.

And then there’s that unmistakable campfire smoke from pecan wood.

I could look into a fire for hours. I really could.

I think it is the meaning of life.

I could also watch a hog loin drip and sweat into a fire for hours.

That is also the meaning of life.

Speaking of the meaning of life… invest in a good meat thermometer!

In fact, this is the one time when I’m going to even hint at being wasteful. Throw it out and buy a new one every year.


They’re not expensive and you need them to work correctly. And they’re fragile little creatures those meat thermometers.

This is a very unappetizing picture, but it tasted quite moist I tell you. I blame it on the indoor deer camp lighting. But at least the camp is purty.

“Wild Hog Loin”

Serve with beurre blanc sauce, homemade apple sauce or mint vinaigrette.
Prep Time6 hrs
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time7 hrs
Servings: 6 -8 servings


For Hog Brine:

  • 4 cups water
  • 1/8 cup brown sugar
  • 1/8 cup white sugar
  • ½ cup Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 2 teaspoons crushed black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/8 cup white wine vinegar

To Cook:

  • 2-4 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 2-3 pounds hog backstrap chops, or tenderloin, brined


To Brine:

  • Combine all brine ingredients in a large pot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
  • Remove from heat and let cool.
  • Add meat and submerge in the brine.
  • Refrigerate the meat in the brine for 5 hours.
  • Remove the meat from the brine, pat dry and let rest, uncovered, in the refrigerator for 1 hour before cooking.

To Cook:

  • For the tenderloin and backstrap, truss them as you would a roast before cooking. The chops can also be tied around the meat and secured at the bone to maintain a uniform chop when sliced.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Sear the meat in a skillet in the oil over high heat until browned on all sides.
  • Transfer to the oven and cook for about 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F.
  • Remove and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes, covered in foil. This can also be done on a campfire with a hot skillet. Be sure to turn the meat regularly onto all sides.