Pulled pork sliders are one of the most popular BBQ staples. I love them, but I think the pork is actually a bit bland and we use a lot of rub and BBQ sauce to give it flavor. On the hunt (pun intended!) for a more flavorful meat with more character, I decided to do an experiment in this episode of the #FOGOlife: pulled wild boar sliders.
This wild boar comes from Texas. They’re actually trapped and then they are checked to see if they are safe for consumption, as wild boar could carry a lot of diseases if they’re in the wild. And because they’re in the wild, they eat whatever is around them, grass, nuts, and acorns, so you would expect that to make a difference in the taste.
This episode was the first time I cooked wild boar, so I was really excited but I didn’t know what to expect. I was looking to see if the wild boar would have a taste that would shine through more, have more character and more flavor than that of regular pork. Let's face it, I love my sliders but I’m not such a big fan of too much BBQ sauce!
Charcoal Pro-Tip: I actually shot this video right after my 75 days dry-aged brisket video. Smoking the brisket took more than 14 hours and there was still enough charcoal to smoke this wild boar, which took about 5 hours more! I just shook the ash, re-lighted it and used it again! FOGO Super Premium is the way to go for doing long smokes, the duration of the charcoal is so great that you don’t have to refill while you’re cooking.
- FOGO Super Premium Charcoal, the first ingredient. Light with FOGOstarters
- 5lb wild boar shoulder with the bone removed and tied together
- Cherry wood
- Sweet Lou Rub from Barker BBQ
- Red Cabbage from Beet Red Cleveland Kraut
- Bread & Butter Pickles from Bubbies
- Martin Potato Rolls
- BBQ sauce
- This Boar shoulder had the bone removed and was tied together so it wouldn’t fall apart while cooking. Season it generously with Sweet Lou Rub from Barker BBQ.
- Set your smoker to 275. I added cherry wood so that the wild boar would get the sweet smoke from the cherry.
- Once the wild boar reaches 165 internal temperature, wrap it in butcher paper so it can finish cooking and steaming in its own juices.
- Let it cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 185-190 degrees and the meat is tender. Pull the wild boar into shreds.
- Grill the Martin Potato Rolls and stack the slider with the pulled wild boar, red cabbage and pickles. Put a dash of BBQ sauce and enjoy!
The smoked wild boar had a very nice color. It was not as tender as we expected it to be, but it still pulled off rather easily. Maybe leaving it more time would have made it a little bit more tender. We expected the taste to be a bit gamey, but it wasn’t at all! Though it was definitely a sharper flavor than a regular pork shoulder.
I liked the smoked wild boar meat by itself, but really the game changer was making the sliders with it! Always make sure that you grill your buns, because it gives that awesome char, and it stops the bread from absorbing the sauce - this way the buns don’t get as soggy.
The combinations of the taste of the sweet and spicy wild boar (from the Sweet Lou Rub) and the tanginess and sour taste of the red cabbage and the pickles, were just amazing. Like really, amazing! My 10-year old son loved the sliders so much that he had them for dinner, lunch and then dinner again! Until there was none left!!
One thing that I want to try the next time I do wild boar, which I think would add a lot to the sliders, is to caramelize onions with the fat of the wild boar. So next time I cook it, I will put it on a pan and on a bed of onions so that the fat that drips from the wild boar actually caramelizes the onions and we don’t lose the fat dripping into the grill. Sounds really good, right?
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