Bear Bones

Discussion in 'Wild Game' started by lcruzen, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. lcruzen

    lcruzen Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Buddy of mine got a bear up nort in da UP a couple of weeks ago. He wants me to smoke the ribs for him so I thought I'd ask for some suggestion on it. Bear from my recollection is pretty fatty so I'm thinking doing the ribs as I would porkers would do the trick. Any other thoughts or advice?
  2. wutang

    wutang Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    You definately gotta do some qview of the smoked bear ribs. Treating them like pork ribs makes sense.
  3. placebo

    placebo Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Would you call those, "Smokey Bear Ribs"?[​IMG]
  4. 1894

    1894 Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Not much help , but , from my limited experience with only 2 bears here are some opinions.
    Yes , cook like pork , they are related ( to some extent ) and can carry that trickywhateveritscalled bug that needs a high temp to kill it.

    The meat itself is very lean.

    The bear fat, when cooked with the meat will cover your toung with a slimey paste [​IMG]

    Bear fat is good for pastries ( pie crusts and such ) from what I've read.

    Pork fat or bacon grease works very well with bear meat for frying , sausage , hamburg , or whatever .

    No clue on the ribs though , but mayby smear them with bacon grease , rub and smoke ?

    Bear fat is created different than most other animal fat. Reason being it's designed to get used up easily by the bear during it's long winter nap. That's why it doesn't seam to cook the same as other animal fats. Render some down for your leather boots and gloves though [​IMG]
  5. Bear meat is far more likely to contain trichinae than pork is. You need to kill off the Trichinosis-causing little critters by either cooking it hot enough or freezing it for a while. Kutas' book details killing off trichinae on page 39. (It's referenced so damn many times in the book that it's been ingrained into my mind... page 39!)

    Rytek sayeth "All parts of the pork muscle tissue shall be heated to a temp not less than 138°F"

    Rytek also sayeth that pieces not exceeding 6" in thickness may be frozen to -10°F for not less than 10 days or -20°F for 6 days. For pieces thicker than 6" but not thicker than 27", double the time in the freezer.

    Obviously, you're going to be cooking it beyond 138° when making up the ribs. I figure it aint a bad thing to have a little more info available.

    Good luck on the ribs. I'm hoping to take a bruin this year so's I can make a couple hams...

  6. 1894

    1894 Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Cap'n Mark , thanks for the added info and the cooking temps [​IMG]

    Wish my freezer would get that cold but zero F is about it. Good luck on a bruin this year. [​IMG]
  7. You can kill trichinae at +5°F but it takes 20 days for small 6" or less thick. 6-27" pieces take 30 days. So yes you can kill off trichinae. Of course, cooking to a proper temperature does the job just as well.

    One might also try a styrofoam cooler with dry ice in the freezer. If you kept the lid off the cooler, you may be able to drop the freezer's temp considerably. That would take some serious experimentation. You'd have to use a remote thermometer to monitor the temp over a period of time. Wouldn't work on a stand up freezer, but a small chest freezer would do nicely. Bigger chest freezers would require more dry ice.

    Here's some interesting material:

  8. gnubee

    gnubee Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Bear meat does not taste like pork like most people think. In my opinion it is more like beef in taste. It makes the best tasting hamburgers. It is just associated with pork because of the trichinae. You do have to cook it well to kill the little devils. A bear that is not to old, and not to near hibernation does not have an excess of fat on it. A bear shot late in the season can be a pile of blubber. You will easily be able to tell if the ribs your friend gives you are too fatty.

    I have the luxury of being able to harvest bears that have been raiding vineyards. They are the best tasting of all with the possible exception of bears that have been raiding peach orchards early in the season. Where and when your bear was harvested and even how it was harvested makes a huge difference. I once tried bear meat from a young bear that should have been really good meat. But the hunters had used their dogs to run it down. The bear had covered several miles at a dead run. The Meat was unfit for the oven.

    Good luck with the smoking and be sure to post Qview of the finished product.

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