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Discovered Maggi's Seasoning back in the 80's in Germany you see it in restaurants on the tables like seeing A1 in the US....its available here but not easy to find....
I use it to make a marinade for any red meat from roasts to steaks.....with a 2 to 1 ratio of Maggi's and butter melt in a pan you only need enough to brush on the outside of the meat then sprinkle your favorite powder seasonings....vacuum bag a couple hours on thin cuts of meat 8-12 hours on a thick large roast....
Its like the brand Zip-Sauce that's $5-$6 for a small bottle....Maggi's is $9 for 27 oz. it goes a long way....

https://www.nestleusa.com/brands/culinary/maggi-seasonings
 

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I’ve only killed one but have also eaten others that friends have shot. I think it’s great meat, especially the blackstrap on the grill, but it’s all good. My little picky grandkids loved it years ago.

A story though: some years back I had some local NW Ontario friends over for dinner at my cabin up there and proudly served them a great meal of bear meat, kinda a Swiss steak dish IIRC. They demurred and were very polite and ate a little bit of it but mostly stared at a forkful as though I’d served roadkill rat. I didn’t realize until hanging out with them for more time that in their neighborhood, bears ain’t for eating.
 

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Brined or cured? Not nitpicking, I realize some people use the terms interchangeably but they are two different things. These two bear hams have been cured and came out great. I would recommend deboning first then tie or net it.

You did ask what my favorite is though....canned bear. Great stuff and extremely versatile. Whether making stroganoff, enchiladas or a quick stew. Plus it lasts for years.

How about sharing the recipe HTC - Thanks.
 

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So I've heard... not all black bear are created equally as far as table fare. Not sure exactly how true it is but a bear along a coast eating fish supposedly is not the same as a Michigan bear.
 

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So I've heard... not all black bear are created equally as far as table fare. Not sure exactly how true it is but a bear along a coast eating fish supposedly is not the same as a Michigan bear.
You are what you eat....
Bears eating stinky half dead salmon.... will be nasty....
Bears eating fruit, berries, grasses, nuts, donuts....great eating meat....
Grandpa raised pigs for the family he always would feed them heavy with apples and pears a month before slaughter....
 

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Trophy Husband
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How about sharing the recipe HTC - Thanks.
Sure. I use Waltons for about everything I do....Mostly because they sell everything you need and then dumb it down with easy directions for a guy like me.

https://meatgistics.waltonsinc.com/topic/203/how-to-make-homemade-smoked-ham-recipe

This recipe is what I use for hogs but works equally as well on bear. Two changes I do to their recipe; First I lower my injection rate to 10% vice 20% as my wife is salt sensitive. I also soak the ham for 24 hours in cold water after curing to further reduce the salt content. Not sure either of these make a difference but she feels better and I don't have to lie to her. Hams still comes out amazing. Pork I will smoke to 145, bear always to 160.

I used the below recipe for the bear hams pictured above just to experiment but to be honest I could not tell a difference in taste. I did learn during this that I'm personally not a fan of Tender quick but it does work. I felt the texture was off, (not the taste) but that could have been me.

https://www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/wild-chef/2012/12/meat-week-how-smoke-black-bear-ham/

The main difference between recipes is Walton's sells a prepackaged cure. It has the salt, nitrite and sugars in it already. Add some California Ham Spice, (best stuff ever) Cold Phosphate to keep things moist and Sodium Erythorbate to speed up the cure and you are good to go. I do not use the Sure Gel....your choice. The myriad of recipes on line have you buying everything individually then measuring it all out. Then come the spices...I have added all kind of stuff to the cure in the way of whole spices such as juniper berries, mustard seeds, pickling spice etc....to be honest I don't think they really do anything, but the cure sure looks cool and smells great. Taste? Doesn't do squat IHMO. I do not believe that simply by soaking a 15lb ham with juniper berries in the cure will get the flavor of that berry to the center of the ham.

I am in the middle of a large electric smokehouse build. Some say my hobby is out of control. For the time being though I use my Traeger and it works fine with the exception of holding a low temp within +/- 2 degrees for a long period of time. They tend to spike up and down...I hope this helps.

Last note. If you have never cured and smoked a turkey try Waltons Turkey cure, follow the directions and it will be the best bird you ever had....
 

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Trophy Husband
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For anyone wanting to cure and smoke a bear ham with no experience doing it, regardless of the recipe you choose, I recommend practicing it first on on a cheap picnic ham from the grocery store. If you wait 14 years for a Baldwin bear tag or travel to Alaska for a once in a lifetime hunt don't go jacking up the ham on your trophy with a recipe you never tried. Work the kinks out, pork is cheap, practice and see what you like.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
For anyone wanting to cure and smoke a bear ham with no experience doing it, regardless of the recipe you choose, I recommend practicing it first on on a cheap picnic ham from the grocery store. If you wait 14 years for a Baldwin bear tag or travel to Alaska for a once in a lifetime hunt don't go jacking up the ham on your trophy with a recipe you never tried. Work the kinks out, pork is cheap, practice and see what you like.
Great advice!
 

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Sure. I use Waltons for about everything I do....Mostly because they sell everything you need and then dumb it down with easy directions for a guy like me.

https://meatgistics.waltonsinc.com/topic/203/how-to-make-homemade-smoked-ham-recipe

This recipe is what I use for hogs but works equally as well on bear. Two changes I do to their recipe; First I lower my injection rate to 10% vice 20% as my wife is salt sensitive. I also soak the ham for 24 hours in cold water after curing to further reduce the salt content. Not sure either of these make a difference but she feels better and I don't have to lie to her. Hams still comes out amazing. Pork I will smoke to 145, bear always to 160.

I used the below recipe for the bear hams pictured above just to experiment but to be honest I could not tell a difference in taste. I did learn during this that I'm personally not a fan of Tender quick but it does work. I felt the texture was off, (not the taste) but that could have been me.

https://www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/wild-chef/2012/12/meat-week-how-smoke-black-bear-ham/

The main difference between recipes is Walton's sells a prepackaged cure. It has the salt, nitrite and sugars in it already. Add some California Ham Spice, (best stuff ever) Cold Phosphate to keep things moist and Sodium Erythorbate to speed up the cure and you are good to go. I do not use the Sure Gel....your choice. The myriad of recipes on line have you buying everything individually then measuring it all out. Then come the spices...I have added all kind of stuff to the cure in the way of whole spices such as juniper berries, mustard seeds, pickling spice etc....to be honest I don't think they really do anything, but the cure sure looks cool and smells great. Taste? Doesn't do squat IHMO. I do not believe that simply by soaking a 15lb ham with juniper berries in the cure will get the flavor of that berry to the center of the ham.

I am in the middle of a large electric smokehouse build. Some say my hobby is out of control. For the time being though I use my Traeger and it works fine with the exception of holding a low temp within +/- 2 degrees for a long period of time. They tend to spike up and down...I hope this helps.

Last note. If you have never cured and smoked a turkey try Waltons Turkey cure, follow the directions and it will be the best bird you ever had....

Great post HTC. Thank you. Will definitely give this a try.
 
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