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Author Notes: If you've ever purchased pig's ear treats for your dog, you know that they can be surprisingly expensive—not to mention be packed with preservatives and other ingredients that your dog doesn't need. Making them at home is easy and cheap (and unknown ingredient free).
Please remember that treats should make up a small portion of your dog's diet, give them to your dog in moderation, and talk to your veterinarian if you have any questions about whether or not pig's ear dog treats are appropriate for your dog. —Lindsay-Jean Hard
Serves: your dog(s)
Pig's ears (and/or skin)
Vegetable oil (or olive oil)
- The pig's ears I got from my butcher were clean and almost entirely hair-free. If yours aren't, wash them with water, scrub away any dirt, and remove any hair.
- Using (sharp!) kitchen scissors or a knife, cut the ears into pieces sized appropriately for your dog(s), keeping in mind that they'll shrink after cooking. Lightly coat each pig's ear with vegetable oil, using your hands or a brush.
- Choose your own (cooking) adventure:
- If using your oven: Heat oven to its lowest temperature. (This will likely be between 175° and 225° F.) Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, spread out the pig's ears, and bake until thoroughly dried out—anywhere between 6 to 10 hours, depending on your oven temperature and how crispy you want the ears to be—flip them once roughly around the cooking mid-point.
- If using your smoker: Heat to 250° F. Spread out the pig's ears and smoke until thoroughly dried out—about 3 1/2 to 4 hours—and flip the ears once roughly around the cooking mid-point.
- Use paper towels to remove excess oil. Store the treats in a paper bag in a cool, dry place, or in a zip-top plastic bag in the freezer for long-term storage.