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Honey Baked Bear Ham

honey baked ham cooking instructions

Technically, the hind leg of the bear is what we’ll use for this recipe but if you’re not a fan of bear meat, use pork ham instead using these honey baked ham cooking instructions. When cooking bear, you must cook it thoroughly. Do not undercook or you risk the possibility of transmitting trichinosis. However, when cooked properly, this meat is very delicious.

I recommend brining the bear meat in advance of cooking. This will help remove any unpleasant flavor from the meat.

Brine Ingredients:

  • 1 gallon of water
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 1 onion, sliced

Brine Instructions:

  1. In a large pot, bring the water to a boil.
  2. Add the kosher salt, brown sugar, black peppercorns, mustard seeds, bay leaves, garlic, and onion. Stir to dissolve the salt and sugar.
  3. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the brine to cool completely.
  4. Place the bear meat in a large container or a sealable plastic bag, and pour the cooled brine over the meat, making sure it is fully submerged.
  5. Refrigerate the bear meat in the brine for 12-24 hours, depending on the size and thickness of the meat.
  6. After brining, rinse the bear meat thoroughly with cold water to remove excess salt and pat it dry with paper towels.
  7. Cook the bear meat according to your preferred method, ensuring that it is cooked to an internal temperature of at least 160°F to eliminate the risk of trichinosis.

Please keep in mind that this is a basic recipe, and you can adjust the ingredients to suit your personal taste.

Honey Baked Ham recipe:


  • 1 fully cooked bone-in bear ham, about 7-8 lbs
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves


  1. Preheat your cast iron dutch oven to 325°F.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the honey, brown sugar, dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, and ground cloves.
  3. Using a sharp knife, score the surface of the bear ham in a diamond pattern. Be sure to cut only about 1/4 inch deep.
  4. Place the ham in a cast iron dutch oven, cut side down. Brush the glaze all over the ham, making sure to get it in between the scored lines.
  5. Cover the bear ham with foil and bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  6. After 1 hour and 30 minutes, remove the foil and brush the ham with the remaining glaze.
  7. Increase the temperature to 425°F and bake uncovered for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the ham is browned and caramelized on top.
  8. Remove the bear ham from the dutch oven and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.

NOTE: If using charcoal:

325°F = 16 lump coals on lid and 7 under,

425°F = 18 lump coals on lid and 9 under.