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Bear Recipes

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The last time I ate Bear left a bad taste in my mouth.


Does anyone have any good recipes for bear, or am I resigned to feeding it to the dogs if I should be so lucky as to tag out in the Fall?



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We deep pit our Bear meat... I built an "earth oven" out of cinder blocks and concrete. this is how I make bear meat the you can eat cold on a sandwich... or any other way you can think of.


We build the fire the night before, which takes about 5-6 hours, a case (or so) of Barley pops, and a bunch of oak. I shut the fire down about 11pm-12am and let the coals rest... at 6am we drop a steel grate in over the coals (and add some wet mesquite wood to the coals), add the meat, and 6 hours later it is ready to pull out, slice and serve.


How to Prep the meat: Trim all the "fat rind" off the outside of the bone in meat, make sure all hair and dirt is trimmed as well. pick you favorite maranade and inject some if you like... I have use rosemary garlic and liked it. Then dry rub lemon pepper and garlic salt on the outside. (Note: if meat has some blood shot on it make cuts in those areas and shove slices of onion or potatoes in to draw blood out, throw the onion & taters away after cooking they will be beet red). The hind hams should cooked individually, both front shoulders & backstraps can be done in one package...then be wrapped in parchment paper and 4 soaking wet burlap sacks (soaked over night with the mesquite wood ), wrap the burlap 'packages' in bailing wire with a loop on top so they are easy to put in and pull out of the very hot bed of coals.... The marbleing of the meat will keep it pleanty moist but the greasyness will be gone... it makes awesome roast when you pull it out... but you can allso chunk it up and make grean chile, or sandwhich meat or whatever out of it at this point. Most people you feed it to would never know thet were eating bear..... it is Awesome.

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I grind most of the bear meat from my bears into burger. I cut the cheap "30% fat ground beef" into it a ratio of 1 pound beef burger to to 4 pounds lean ground bear meat. The end result is aproximately a 10 to 12 % fat content grind.


My wife and I use the grind as grilled burgers, Bear tacos, Bearritos, Bearghetti, and as a quick meal Bear helper. It also makes great breakfast sausage patties with a little saugsage spice mixed in. The sausage patties can be pan fried but it is best off the grill ! B)


Hunks of bear make good stews and chili and "Bear Verdi" with flour tortillas is hard to beat.


We did a nice orange glazed bear roast accompanied by some stuffed wild mushrooms for Thanksgiving many moons ago. It was a big hit with our guests !


Bear Jerky is very good out of the dehydrator ! Cut into lean 1/4" or less in thickess strips, Marinade in teriaki and and alittle liquid smoke. Lay on racks , season with garlic salt, coarse ground pepper and optional red pepper flakes if you want some heat. Dry in the oven or dehydrator until desired doneness. I like mine to break when bent but you can take it out when it's still slightly pliable. Since there is no cure added , left over jerky can be frozen or stored in thye refridgerator in tightly sealed freezer bags. This jerky will keep a week or so without refridgeration since the salt and drying acts ast a cure to some extent. I like to throw some in my pack on those backpack hunts. The only problem is that it disappears to quick cause I can't stop eating it ! :rolleyes:


With the exception of the grind and jerky, it has been my experience that bear meat is generally better if you cook it down until it's pratically falling apart. Deep pitting or slow cooking in the oven, works good as well as crock potting or slow simmering in a covered pan on the stove.


Pulled bear with barbque sauce on a grilled frenchroll makes for a really good sandwhich !! B)



Here are some guidelines for handling and cooking the meat including internal temperatures and maintained time periods required to be sure of safe results.



Food preparationLarvae may be inactivated by the heating, freezing (caution), or irradiation of raw meat. Freezing may only be effective for T. spiralis, since some other species, such as T. nativa, are freeze resistant and can survive long-term freezing.[11]


Cooking meat products to an internal temperature of 165 °F (74 °C) for a minimum of 15 seconds.

Cooking pork to a minimum uniform internal temperature per USDA Title 9 section 318.10 Table below. It is prudent to use a margin of error to allow for variation in internal temperature and error in the thermometer.

°F °C Minimum Time

120 49 21 hours

122 50.0 9.5 hours

124 51.1 4.5hours

126 52.2 2 hours

128 53.4 1 hours

130 54.5 30 minutes

132 55.6 15 minutes

134 56.7 6 minutes

136 57.8 3 minutes

138 58.9 2 minutes

140 60.0 1 minute

142 61.1 1 minute

144 62.2 Instant


Freezing pork less than 6 inches thick for 20 days at 5 °F (−15 °C) or three days at −4 °F (−20 °C) kills larval worms.

Cooking wild game meat thoroughly. Freezing wild game meats, unlike freezing pork products, even for long periods of time, may not effectively kill all worms. This is because the species that typically infects wild game is more resistant to freezing than the species that infects pigs.

Unsafe and unreliable methods of cooking meat include the use of microwave ovens, curing, drying, and smoking, as these methods are difficult to standardize and control.[11]

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I've only cooked bear once and it wasn't bad.

Granted, they were the back-straps and I just grilled them.


Gino's method sounds very appealing and I can see how it can make even an old goat taste wonderful.

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Angie just cooked up some of my bear the other night. Backstraps with some garlic salt and some garlic pepper, mmmmmmm mmmmmm! Was AMAZING! She also made some bear chili. I'd have to say that bear is one of the best wild game meats, 2nd to only coues. ;)

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Bear shot in August in the acorns.




Chef brings up another important point on bear meat.

Diet has a lot to do with how a bear tastes.


If the animal has been eating cactus, berries, grasses and acorns ect. it most likely will be a tasty critter.


I shot one 2 years ago that had been eating big green sappy "sugar pine" cones as the bulk of it's diet. The meat was ok but a little darker and nutty tasting. It wasn't as good as the bears I have taken that have been hitting the berries steadily.


Bears that have been eating a lot of carion or garbage may have a stronger less agreeable flavor.


I can usually tell by the smell of the meat if it's going be good or not. Luckily 9 out of 10 that I've killed have been good to excellent. The 1 exception still made a lot of decent sausage, spaghetti & chili! :)

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I have eaten 4 diferent bears and they have all been excellent!! The last bear we took a roast cooked it and made green chilli burritos the took the leftover the next nicht and made green enchiladas they were the best I had ever had!! The of course we made bear tamales!!

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