Boar as Food: What Does It Taste Like & How to Cook It to Perfection

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  May 28, 2022

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The wild boar (Sus scrofa), also known as the wild swine or Eurasian wild pig is a suid native to much of Eurasia, North Africa and the Greater Sunda Islands.

Boars are tough and feisty animals, but have you ever considered eating one? Boar meat is delicious and versatile, with a unique flavor and texture. It’s also low in fat and high in iron, making it a healthy alternative to pork.

In this article, I’ll explore the history of boar as food, its nutritional benefits, and share some tasty recipes to try.

What is boar

Wild Boar: More Than Just Another Pig

Wild boars are large, ground-dwelling animals that belong to the Suidae family. They are commonly known as boars and are found all over the world, typically in North America, Europe, and Asia. The Latin name for the wild boar is Sus scrofa.

Physical Characteristics and Abilities

Wild boars are physically similar to domestic pigs, but there are some differences worth noting. Here are some important physical characteristics and abilities of wild boars:

  • They are typically larger and heavier than domestic pigs.
  • Males grow tusks that can cause damage and are used for defense and fighting.
  • They have an ability to survive in numerous environments, making them a prolific and successful quarry for hunters.
  • They are known for their courage and are commonly hunted by humans for sport.

Diet and Habitat

Wild boars have a diet that consists of grasses, nuts, and forage. This diet gives their meat an intense, sweet, and nutty flavor. They are typically found in forested areas, but they have also been seen in urban areas in recent years.

Wild Boar Meat

Wild boar meat is considered a game meat and tends to be leaner and darker red than ordinary pork. It is a popular food in many cultures and is often used in traditional dishes. Here are some things to know about wild boar meat:

  • It has an intense, sweet, and nutty flavor due to their wild diet.
  • Despite being leaner, it tends to be more flavorful than domestic pork.
  • It is commonly ground and used in sausages and other processed meats.
  • The upper edges of the meat tend to be the best cuts.

Wild Boars in the Past and Present

Wild boars have been a part of human history for a long time. They were commonly hunted in the past for their meat and for sport. Today, they are still hunted for sport, but they are also seen as a nuisance in some areas due to their ability to cause damage to crops and property. Despite this, there are many who love the taste of wild boar meat and prefer it to domestic pork.

Boar: A Delicacy Worth Trying

Boar meat is a special dish that is becoming increasingly popular in different parts of the world. It is a leaner and darker meat than ordinary pork, with a nutty and gamey flavor that is extremely succulent and juicy. The taste of boar meat is similar to beef, but with a unique aspect that sets it apart from other meats.

The Differences Between Boar and Domestic Pigs

Boar meat contains higher levels of iron than pork, making it a healthier choice. It is also leaner and less fatty than pork, which makes it suitable for people who want to reduce their fat intake. Unlike domestic pigs, boars run wild and have an extended diet of grasses and nuts, which contributes to their unique taste.

Cooking Methods to Create a Flavorful Boar Dish

Cooking boar meat requires special attention to bring out its full flavor. Here are some tips to help you cook a delicious boar dish:

  • Massage the meat with ginger to reduce its gamey scent.
  • Salt the meat overnight to counter the taint.
  • Slowly smoke the meat to create a succulent combo of flavors.
  • Pair the meat with a red wine to complement its nutty taste.

Recipes to Try

Boar meat is a delicacy that is worth trying. Here are some recipes to get you started:

  • Boar Ribs: Slowly cook the ribs with a black pepper rub to create a succulent and flavorful dish.
  • Boar Stew: Cut the meat into small parts and add it to a stew with vegetables and herbs for a hearty meal.
  • Chinese Boar: Cook the meat with soy sauce, ginger, and garlic for a special dish that is known for its unique taste.

Mastering the Art of Cooking Wild Boar

  • When preparing wild boar meat, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s leaner than pork, so it requires a little extra care to avoid drying it out.
  • Cut the meat into small, even pieces to ensure that it cooks evenly.
  • If the meat is frozen, allow it to defrost naturally in the refrigerator to prevent it from drying out.
  • Before cooking, remove any excess fat or sinew from the meat, as this can create a tough texture.
  • If you’re using a section of the boar that contains a lot of fat, such as the belly or back, consider wrapping it in bacon to protect it during cooking.

Cooking Techniques

  • Wild boar is best cooked at a lower temperature than other meats, so keep it low and cook it slow.
  • Avoid overcooking the meat, as this will cause it to dry out quickly.
  • For optimum results, cook the meat to a medium-rare or rare temperature.
  • If you’re using a griddle or pan, add a little oil to prevent the meat from sticking.
  • When cooking, use a sharp knife to make cuts in the meat, which will allow the heat to penetrate more evenly.
  • To create a unique and rich flavor, consider adding a sauce or seasoning to the meat while it cooks.

Serving Suggestions

  • Wild boar is a versatile meat that can be served in a range of dishes, from simple stews to more complex main courses.
  • To create a thickening sauce, add a little flour or cornstarch to the cooking liquid.
  • For a sweet and savory flavor, try adding chopped onion to the meat while it cooks.
  • Wild boar is also suitable for use in rice dishes, where it can add a rich and hearty flavor.
  • When serving, pour any remaining cooking liquid over the meat to add extra flavor and moisture.

Cleaning Up

  • After cooking, allow the meat to rest for a few minutes to ensure that it retains its moisture.
  • Use a coarse scraper to remove any excess fat or sinew from the cooking surface.
  • Clean the cooking surface thoroughly with hot water and soap to remove any remaining fat or residue.
  • Wild boar is an incredible meat that can produce a wide range of unique and delicious dishes, and with a little care and attention, it’s easy to prepare and serve.

What’s on the Menu for Boars?

Boars are omnivorous animals, which means they eat both plants and animals. They are known to consume a variety of foods, depending on their availability and the season. Boars are opportunistic eaters, and they will eat whatever food is available to them. Here are some of the main types of food that boars consume:

  • Plants: Boars love to eat plants, and they consume a wide variety of them. They eat leaves, stems, roots, and fruits of different plants. Some of the plants that boars commonly eat include acorns, chestnuts, beech nuts, and pine nuts. They also eat grasses, herbs, and other vegetation that is available to them.
  • Animals: Boars are not picky eaters when it comes to animals. They consume a variety of animals, including insects, worms, snails, and other invertebrates. They also eat small mammals, such as rabbits, rodents, and birds. Boars have been known to eat other species of animals, including warthogs, which are a type of wild pig found in Africa.
  • Ground Foods: Boars are known to eat foods that are found on the ground. They will eat fallen fruits, nuts, and seeds that are available to them. They are also known to dig up roots and tubers from the ground and eat them.
  • Essential Foods: Boars need a balanced and complete diet to survive. They require foods that are rich in energy, such as nuts and fruits, as well as foods that are high in protein, such as insects and small animals. They also need foods that are rich in essential nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, to maintain their health.
  • Strong Foods: Boars are heavy animals, and they require foods that are strong enough to support their weight. They prefer foods that are lower to the ground, such as nuts and fruits that have fallen from trees. They also eat foods that are entirely on the ground, such as roots and tubers.
  • Availability of Foods: Boars are adaptable animals, and they can find food in a variety of environments. They are typically found in forests and woodlands, where they can find a variety of foods. They are also found in grasslands and savannas, where they can find grasses and other vegetation to eat. Boars are known to travel long distances in search of food, and they will eat whatever food they can find.

Examples of Boar’s Diet

Here are some examples of the foods that boars commonly eat:

  • Acorns: Boars love to eat acorns, which are a type of nut that is found on oak trees. Acorns are high in energy and are a good source of protein for boars.
  • Chestnuts: Boars also eat chestnuts, which are a type of nut that is found on chestnut trees. Chestnuts are high in energy and are a good source of protein for boars.
  • Pine Nuts: Boars eat pine nuts, which are a type of nut that is found on pine trees. Pine nuts are high in energy and are a good source of protein for boars.
  • Insects: Boars eat insects, such as beetles, worms, and snails. Insects are a good source of protein for boars.
  • Small Mammals: Boars eat small mammals, such as rabbits, rodents, and birds. Small mammals are a good source of protein for boars.
  • Roots and Tubers: Boars dig up roots and tubers from the ground and eat them. Roots and tubers are a good source of energy for boars.

Boar Meat: The Nutritional Benefits You Need to Know

Boar meat is a great alternative to pork and beef, especially if you want to maintain a healthy diet without sacrificing taste and quality. Unlike domestic hog, wild boar is lean and low in cholesterol, making it a healthier choice of meat. It contains a solid amount of protein, which is essential for building and repairing damaged tissues in our bodies.

High in Monounsaturated Fats

Wild boar meat is also an excellent source of monounsaturated fats, which are the good kind of fats that our bodies need. These fats can help reduce the risk of heart attack and improve heart function. They also help to lower bad cholesterol (LDL) levels in our bodies, making it a healthier option than other types of meat.

Plenty of Vitamins and Nutritional Value

Boar meat contains plenty of vitamins and nutritional value that our bodies require. It is high in amino acids, which are essential for producing proteins that our bodies need. It also contains zinc, which is required for a healthy immune system, and vitamins B6 and B12, which help to regulate our moods and improve our nervous system function.

Lower in Sodium and Saturated Fats

Compared to processed and farmed meats, wild boar meat is naturally obtained and contains lower levels of sodium and saturated fats. This makes it a healthier option for those who want to maintain a healthy diet and reduce their risk of heart disease.

Improves Brain Function and Reduces Stress

Boar meat is also known to improve brain function and reduce stress levels in our bodies. It contains lipoprotein, which is a complex protein that helps to regulate our moods and improve our nervous system function. It also contains amino acids that are required for producing proteins that our bodies need, such as cartilage.


So, boar isn’t for everyone, but if you’re looking for a new adventure, it might be just what you need. 

It’s a great meat with a unique flavor that you can’t find in domestic pigs, and it’s perfect for dishes like boar ribs or boar stew. So, don’t be afraid to try something new!

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Lakeside Smokers is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with BBQ Smoking (& Japanese food!) at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.