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Thread: Hanging bear meat

  1. #1
    Member willphish4food's Avatar
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    Default Hanging bear meat

    Does hanging improve bear meat? Just wondering if anyone has experience with it. I usually treat them like pork; little or no hang time, get it butchered and into whatever cuts/grinds I want, then in the freezer. Any other thoughts, and whether you can treat a leaner bear differently than a fat one?

  2. #2

    Default Bear meat - no hang

    You have the right idea, to get bear meat processed a.s.a.p. It is like pork in that sense. Even in relatively cool weather, it will go fast. Best to get it skinned out right away and bagged. Supposedly bears are actually in the Porcine family.

  3. #3
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default

    You can salt and hang bear meat just like pork too, or brine it. We don't have a freezer out here so we jar most all of our bear meat, but we like to hang and smoke it first (cold smoke with alder), adds a nice flavor before jarring. We strip most all of the fat to render into lard before smoking. You could smoke it then get it to the processor too. By necessity we've hung bear meat for four or five days before and kept it okay. After smoking it seems to keep for quite a while before jarring if you keep it cool and dry.

    FYI, bears are in the Family Ursidae. Pigs are members of the Suidae Family.
    Cheers,

  4. #4
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Alder? ALDER????? Yuk! haha. Man, alder is so strong. Try those cottenwoods, Mark.
    Just my opinion.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  5. #5

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    Bushrat

    How do you render bear meat into lard. I have tried it twice by cutting the fat into small pieces and put it in a pot over heat. The first time I did it the lard was fantastic and had a sweet taste (a good year for berries) and the next time I tried it it had a slight burt taste to it.

  6. #6
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Bearbob,

    We cut in very small pieces and simmer in a big pot. We use a potato masher or equivalent to push down the fat and squeeze the oil out, as it's simmering. You do have to be careful not to get fire too hot and burn it. It's usually a half-day deal at least. When most all of the oil is rendered out of the fat, scoop the fat pieces out. They are really good as "cracklins" with salt added over any dish, though they are very potent. Learned the hard way not to eat too many <grin>. As you know the rendered oil will set up into lard when it cools. You can store that in mason jars or whatever, just keep cool and use as needed. And yeah, fall "blueberry" bears make the best lard, even has a bluish color to it.
    Cheers,

  7. #7

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    Bushrat

    Thanks, I guess I cooked the second batch a little to fast. I will try the next batch a lot slower. And yes the cracklin is fantastic tasting.

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