What's The Best Way To Cook Moose Meat For Beginners?

sliced cooked moose meat
sliced cooked moose meat - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

For those who have the opportunity to try, cooking moose meat may be a bit challenging. Certain cuts of this ruminant mammal are a delicacy in some Canadian indigenous communities. But since you don't come across this protein at your local grocery store, you may feel overwhelmed about how to start. Fortunately, cooking moose meat isn't too different from preparing beef, but there are a few differences to keep in mind.

For one, moose meat is generally tougher than beef, which affects how you cook it. Moose are strong enough to outrun bears, which contributes to their leanness. Moose meat lacks that same marbling of fat that makes beef tender because, as wild game, moose are more active and have a different diet from farm animals.

All that to say, the best way for beginners to cook moose is probably to slow-cook it. Consider chopping the meat into smaller cubes and mixing it with vegetables to make a moose stew. You'll get a good approximation of the taste of the animal while keeping the meat moist and tender. The moose meat will benefit from a longer cooking time. However, there are other ways to cook moose.

Read more: The 13 Best Steaks For Grilling

Other Ways To Cook The Meat

cooked moose meat steak on chopping board
cooked moose meat steak on chopping board - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

Generally, the best way to cook your moose meat depends on what cut you're working with. There's a reason that people coined the phrase "big as a moose." An adult moose can weigh up to 1,400 pounds, meaning there is potentially a lot of meat to chew on. If you want to try moose steaks, consider the thickness. The best size for a steak is 1 inch to 1½ inches. If you're looking for the most tender part of the moose, consider the tenderloins and backstrap for your steaks.

When cooking moose steaks, don't cook them in oils that, while they can give a crispiness, may also negatively affect the texture of the meat. Instead, consider cooking them in a butter baste. To get a good crust, first sear them on a high heat, then cook them on a lower heat to tenderize the meat. Additionally, consider cooking moose steaks at medium rare. Otherwise, you may be dealing with a chewier steak that's difficult to swallow. If you're cooking steaks from the thigh of the moose, consider cooking them in the oven as they may become tough otherwise. If you don't want to worry about all the nuances of making your meat tender, consider grinding the moose meat. You can make lean burger patties.

Moose Meat Is Hard To Come By

raw chunks of moose meat on parchment
raw chunks of moose meat on parchment - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

If you've never had moose meat, you're probably wondering where to find it. It's not like you can visit Costco or Aldi and they have a ready supply. That's because, unlike cattle, moose are considered wild game. That means the best way to acquire moose meat is to hunt it. Moose are generally found in the states furthest north and up through Canada and Alaska. However, the practice of moose hunting has garnered some controversy and criticism from those opposed to it. Those who travel to hunt the animal also face the difficult process of getting the meat home -- especially if they flew to Alaska or Canada to hunt.

Given the size of a moose, you may be wondering which cuts to keep. In particular, the meat near the spine, loin, and hind legs are the most tender. Meanwhile, you may want to grind the meat found near the ribs. When seasoning your cuts, consider a combination of salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic. You can also buy preblended seasons like Canadian Moose seasoning.

You can't buy moose meat from hunters, either. It's illegal to sell wild game meat, according to the Alaskan Department of Fish and Game. Instead, wild game meat like moose may be given away provided it's in good condition. But there are certain importers online that sell moose meat from animals overseas. However you acquire your moose, these tips will help you avoid the challenges of cooking this unconventional meat.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.