Are you feeling like trying some exotic meat? Then you should opt for moose meat – a rare protein-packed delicacy that few people tried. But do not worry, I am not suggesting that you should go hunting – luckily, moose meat is available all year round on the internet, or you can buy it from some local meat markets.
Moose, a.k.a. elk, belongs to the venison family. On average, a moose bull can weigh up to 800 kg and live up to 25 years, but only young (under 3 years) moose are suitable for eating because the meat of older moose is chewy, dry, and tough. However, when cooked properly, moose meat is sweet, soft, and juicy – it has a nice red color, grassy and floral flavor, and a milky aroma.
In this article, you will learn everything about moose meat, including its taste, health benefits, and price, as well as get super-delicious moose meat recipes. Let’s dive right in!
What Is Moose Meat?
If you do not live in Canada or Alaska, the chances are you have never tried moose meat. This high-protein red meat is rich in iron and amino acids and low in fat, so if you are trying to cut on calories, moose meat is a good choice.
You can eat the moose meat from brisket, flank, rib, sirloin, short loin, chuck, hip, and shank. Some people eat moose liver, heart, kidneys, and tongue, but it is not very common. The skin, legs, head, and hooves of the moose bull are considered inedible.
Since moose bulls are so big, one animal can produce enough meat for a whole family of four for the whole year! (of course, if you can find a freezer this big).
Moose meat is a rare delicacy, so if you want to try this storehouse of vitamins, expect to pay $65-$75 for one kg of a moose steak (inner thigh), $20 for 500 g of moose minced meat, or $80 for one kg of moose entrecote. I bet you are intrigued by the high prices, but trust me, it is well worth it.
What Does Moose Meat Taste Like?
Moose meat has a rich gamey, and milky taste with grassy and floral notes. Moose meat has a thick and slightly chewy texture because it is high in protein and low in fat. Moose meat taste is often compared to beef and bison, however, it is much stronger.
Some describe moose meat as musky and pungent, but it is only true if you are not used to eating wild meat. Also, when cooked properly, all rich pungent notes will disappear. Sometimes wild meat, including moose meat, can have slightly sour and even rancid notes.
Moose are herbivores, meaning they only eat plants, leaves, and bark, so this diet gives a moose bull rich grassy and floral notes. Moose meat taste is very close to that of young beef – only it is less tender as it contains almost no fat. Actually, the fat in moose is located between the skin and muscle, but since you do not eat moose’s skin, the meat turns out to be pretty dry and chewy, which is why it is crucial to cook it in the sauce.
Moose meat taste also depends on the age of the animal – usually, only the meat of young calves, preferably females, is consumed as it is much more delicate and has rich gamey and milky flavors (female moose meat has more fat and hence is more delicate and tasty). It is not recommended to consume the meat of older moose as it will be tough, chewy, and dry.
The taste of the moose meat is also affected by how the animal was killed. If the moose is scared for its life and is running in panic, it might affect the taste of the meat and make it more sour and rancid.
Overall, moose meat from young calves tastes great – it is rich, grassy, and can be compared to bison and beef. It sometimes has some sour and rancid notes, but they go away when cooked properly.
How to Cook Moose Meat?
Now that you know what moose meat tastes like, let’s talk about the best ways to cook moose.
Just like beef, moose meat can be boiled, grilled, fried, baked, or added to soups and pies. Moose meat can be served as a steak or added to salads. Moose mince meat is great for making meatballs or adding to dumplings.
Moose meat goes well with mashed potatoes, pasta, risotto, and vegetables. Moose meat tastes great in soups – the broth becomes rich and will keep you full for hours. Moose meat tastes especially great when baked with potatoes, mushrooms, and tomatoes – this way, moose meat becomes juicy and tender.
Moose meat can also be used to make homemade sausage and mince for meatballs and dumplings. Moose meat also tastes great in pies – try combining moose meat with rabbit meat and adding it to a meat pie. Add a moose patty to your burger if you are feeling adventurous.
Moose meat can also be used in a French dish Bourguignon (it usually uses beef, but moose will taste great, too!). Simply slow cook moose meat with red wine and add your favorite herbs. You can also cook moose ribs in sauce or broth.
Overall, moose meat can be used in many ways, from making a juicy steak and rich soups to adding it to dumplings or making homemade sausages and meatballs! Since moose meat is very lean, the best way to cook it is slow cooking.
How long should you cook moose meat? Moose meat is leaner and chewier than beef, so it needs to be cooked for longer. Moose meat is usually cooked for 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on the size of the piece and method of preparation.
Since moose meat is lean and tough, it is often marinated. Moose meat can be marinated in mayonnaise, red wine, or spices – moose meat goes especially well with garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, and oregano.
Moose meat contains a significant amount of natural salt, so you do not need to add salt when cooking it, however, if you like salty dishes, you can add just a little bit of salt.
Can You Eat Moose Meat Raw?
If we can eat raw salmon and beef, can we also eat moose raw? The answer is no. Since moose are wild game, they can contain bacteria, so moose meat is not safe to eat raw. Most often, moose meat contains toxoplasmosis and salmonellosis that may lead to food poisoning, fever, sore muscles, upset stomach, and headache.
We understand you can be tempted to make moose tartar, but it is extremely dangerous to eat raw moose. Wild game meat is highly likely to contain bacteria that will make you sick for days or even weeks.
Can you eat moose meat rare? Just like you should not eat moose meat raw, you should not eat moose meat rare due to the risk of getting food-borne illnesses. Wild game meat like moose should always be cooked thoroughly to kill all the bacteria.
Moose Meat Price – How Expensive Is Moose Meat?
Moose meat is a rare delicacy, so it cannot be cheap. Here are the average prices for moose meat (1 kg):
- Moose minced meat – $39,00
- Moose stew cuts – $45,00
- Cold-smoked moose sausage – $150,00
- Moose steak (inner thigh) – $73,00
- Hot-smoked hunter’s steak from moose roast beef – $100,00
- Moose fillet – $190,00
- Moose sirloin – $91,00
- Moose entrecote – $85,00
- Smoked moose heart – $100,00
How to Store Moose Meat?
Now that you know the price of moose meat, you definitely do not want to spoil it with improper storage. Here is how you need to store moose meat:
- You can store moose meat raw or cooked.
- For storing raw moose meat short-term, keep it in the fridge at a temperature of +5°C for up to 48 hours.
- For storing moose meta long-term, cut it into pieces and store it in the freezer at a temperature of -18°C for up to 6 months.
- Cooked moose meat can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days and up to 6 months in the freezer.
- Never store moose meat, whether cooked or raw, at room temperature, as it will promote the spread of bacteria.
How to Tell If Moose Meat Has Gone Bad?
Moose meat is highly perishable, so it is important to eat it fast or put it in the freezer. But how do you know if moose meat is safe to eat?
Here are the signs that your moose meat has gone bad:
- Moose meat smells rancid, pungent, and sour.
- Moose meat has a thick layer of sticky film.
- Moose meat is slimy or sticky.
- Moose meat has mold on it.
- Moose meat is discolored (dull brown, grey, black, purple). However, moose meat can turn from red to slightly brown due to oxidation, which is no big deal – it is still safe to eat.
Moose Meat Health Benefits
Moose meat is extremely healthy – it is high in protein and low in fat, and that is why it only has 101 calories per 100 grams, including 21.4 grams of protein, 1.7 grams of fat, and 0 grams of carbohydrates. Moose meat is rich in zinc, phosphorous, and iron.
Moose meat contains a high amount of vitamins E, PP, and B, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and micro and macro elements (iodine, iron, phosphorus, and calcium).
Since moose are wild game that lives in forests, their meat is not treated with growth hormones, antibiotics, and other chemicals, so if you manage to get moose meat, you can be sure you are eating environmentally-friendly and healthy meat packed with protein and iron.
Here are the health benefits of moose meat:
- Promotes digestion and speeds up metabolism
- Improves nail and hair health
- Reduces stress
- Strengthens bones
- Stimulates brain activity and enhances learning
- Stabilizes blood pressure
- Removes bad cholesterol
- Cleanses blood vessels and prevents heart diseases
Where to Buy Moose Meat?
Moose meat is not easy to find outside Canada and Alaska, but it can be ordered online from exotic meat shops. Sometimes, you can find moose meat on local exotic meat markets. When buying moose meat, make sure it has a deep red color, a mildly sweet or grassy aroma without pungent notes, and is not slimy or sticky.
So there you have it, moose meat is super healthy, lean, and simply delicious when cooked right. Even though it is hard to find (unless you live in Canada or Alaska) and is quite expensive, some call it the best meat in the world. Jam-packed with protein, niacin, iron, and riboflavin, moose meat is a must-try!
Soups, steaks, stews, sausages, burgers, meatballs, and even shepherd’s pie – moose meat tastes great in any dish! This red meat pairs well with mashed potatoes, rice, pasta, tomatoes, zucchini, garlic, onion, and pepper – the main thing is not to overcook moose meat as it can become too chewy and tough.
Moose have very thick skin, and the fat pad is located between the muscles and the skin, so moose meat tends to be significantly leaner than beef or even chicken. So, if you’ve never tasted moose before, the correct guess would be to imagine a piece of lean beef, just a little leaner and tougher.
Now that you know everything about moose meat, it is time to stock up on this rare delicacy and cook a nice and healthy dinner for your family.
Moose Meat FAQ
Does moose taste better than deer?
Moose meat is rather lean, tough, and meaty, while deer meat tastes gamey, spicy, slightly sour, and musky. Both types of meat are high in protein and low in fat, so they taste very similar.
Does moose cook like beef?
Moose meat is a lot leaner than beef, so it needs extra butter and sauce in recipes. However, moose meat can be cooked just like beef – boiled, fried, roasted, grilled, stewed, or sauteed.
What spices go with moose meat?
Moose meat goes especially well with garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, oregano, and thyme.
Is moose healthier than beef?
Moose meat is a lot healthier than beef as it contains a lot less fat and more protein, vitamin B 12, and iron.