Smoked Bear Ham Recipe

smoked bear ham

There are so many tasty ways to prepare bear meat but, smoking a large bone-in bear ham takes the meat to the next level for taste. Plus, it is a terrific way to prepare large amounts of meat. Making homemade ham is a lengthy marinating and tenderizing process and this delicious smoked bear ham recipe is worth the wait.

Smoked Bear Ham Recipe Ingredients:

  • 10 lb. bone-in bear ham
  • 1 gallon ice cold water
  • 1 cup Morton Tender Quick fast-cure mix(or about 1 1/2 tablespoons per pound of meat)
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup pickling spice(s) we used McCormick Pickling Spice but you can make your own

Directions to Prepare Smoked Bear Ham

Digital Electric Smoker
Masterbuilt Adventure
MES 130S Electric Smoker

1. Prepare the bear ham by removing the fat cap and much of the other surface fat. Keep the fat for rendering. Bear fat is great for frying potatoes, making biscuits and even waterproofing your boots.

2. In a food-safe tub large enough to submerge your bear ham, mix water with these three ingredients, Morton Tender Quick fast-cure, brown sugar, pickling spice. Whisk thoroughly until the Tender Quick and brown sugar are fully dissolved.

Tip: Whisking the ingredients into warm or hot water will help the dissolving process, but then you will have to refrigerate the brine for several hours before adding the bear ham meat. Mixed brine needs to be ice cold.

Tip: Make your own pickling spice and easily find the ingredients of pickling spice by searching on google. Here is a great pickling spice recipe from

3. Using a syringe or marinade injector, pump the brine into the bear ham at several locations. Be sure to get the needle down to the bone while pumping.

4. Add the bear ham to the remaining brine, ensuring it is completely submerged in the cold brine liquid. Place a weighted plate or pan on top of the meat to keep it under the surface of the brine.

5. Refrigerate the brine and the bear meat for 10 days (or one day per pound).

6. After 10 days, remove the bear meat from the brine and rinse with cold water. Be sure to discard the liquid. Place on a rack set over a sheet pan and let drain for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Pat the ham dry.

Steps for Smoking the Bear Ham:

Hang the bear ham in a smoker that has been preheated to 120F. Open smoker vents and hold at this temperature without smoke for 1 to 2 hours.

Add wood chips to the pan and raise the temperature of the smoker to 180F. Close vents halfway and smoke until the ham's internal temperature reaches 155F. Time will vary depending on a number of factors, including outdoor temperature. This ham took us about 10 hours.

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