Looking to change up your meat diet? Are you trying to eat healthier but still want to eat meat? Then moose meat might just be the answer for you. That’s why we created this guide about everything you need to know about moose meat.
If you’ve grown sick of the types of red meat available at the grocery store, you’re not alone. The availability of information about the production of farm-raised meat and the treatment of animals has persuaded many people to think differently about what they put in their bodies. Recent investigations, scandals, and documentaries have highlighted many of the issues with meat production, especially in the United States.
Red meat makes up a large part of the North American diet, so it’s not easy for many people to give it up entirely. The good news is there are many options we can use to replace beef or pork. Moose meat is definitely at the top of that list. Here are five things you should know when considering to include moose meat in your diet.
#1 Moose Meat is Healthier Than Red Meat
Moose are wild animals native to northern lands of North America. Wild meat will always have fewer chemicals and hormones than meat that is raised on a farm or in a factory. It will also carry fewer parasites commonly found in American meat processing plants.
Moose meat is very lean and very dense. Take one look at a moose up close and you can see why! They are big, tough animals with very little fat.
When compared to beef or pork, moose meat is healthier for you in almost every way. It has more protein, lower saturated fats, more vitamins, more minerals, and healthier overall nutrition than both beef and pork. What fat it does have is also healthier than the fats in beef or pork.
Additionally, moose meat has more iron, far less cholesterol, and more B vitamins than beef. These vitamins, like niacin and riboflavin, are essential for healthy skin, hair growth, nerve regeneration, muscle growth, and more.
Moose meat meets all the requirements of the American Heart Association for reducing your risk of heart disease. You don’t hear that very often about red meat!
#2 Moose Meat is Tastier Than Red Meat
You can probably guess the taste of moose meat just by looking at its size and profile. Moose are bigger than cows but are related to deer and elk. This means they will have a tasty, red meat that will have more sharp and gamey taste.
If you love the taste of veal, or have tried elk steaks before, then moose meat is right up your alley. Many places actually use elk meat instead of moose meat because it is easier to get and tastes almost exactly the same.
Like other red meats, moose meat will taste like the diet of the moose. They love to munch on willow and other tall plants, so it will have a unique willow taste that some describe as the taste of spring.
Common reviews of moose meat describe the meat as being a more tender beef with a stronger flavor. Others have likened it to veal.
#3 Moose Meat is Safer and More Ethical Than Farm-Raised Meat
Moose meat is wild meat. There are no farm-raised moose, so all the meat you eat will be from animals that lived long, happy lives. All moose meat that you can buy or eat at a restaurant has been hunted and was brought straight to the table. It wasn’t processed, packaged, injected with hormones or chemicals, and didn’t live in cramped conditions with diseases and pests and bacteria.
Eating wild meat is better for the environment since cattle farms pollute the water and crops around them. The fact it isn’t available in stores shouldn’t scare you from trying moose meat.
#4 Moose Meat is more Expensive and Harder to Get Than Other Red Meat
All the things that make moose meat more ethical and safer also make it very expensive. Because it is harder to get and serve than other red meats, the price rises to match. Moose meat comes exclusively from wild moose shot on hunts. There are no exceptions. Moose meat is then harvested according to the local licensing laws and regulations. These laws make it illegal to sell wild meat, like moose meat to the general public. You won’t be finding moose meat in the grocery store any time soon, no matter how tasty and healthy it is.
That being said, you have a few options if you want to regularly consume moose meat: hunts, specialized restaurants, or direct sellers. No matter which option you choose, you’re going to be paying a premium for this delicious meat.
Many people choose to hunt the moose they want to eat. Hunting trips, whether guided or alone, regularly cost a few thousand dollars. This includes travel, equipment, and supplies. Not to mention that hunting is not an easy chore! Once you successfully tag your moose, you then have to pay for processing and transportation of the dead moose. This can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars as well, depending on where you are and the local prices. You can expect to bring around 300–500 pounds of meat back with you from a successful hunt. That’s no carry-on luggage!
You might be able to find restaurants that prepare and serve the meat that hunters bring in closer to the natural environment of moose. If you don’t live near the northern latitudes of North America, then this most definitely won’t be an option for you. And you should be wary of any place that says they offer moose meat! It either isn’t moose meat at all, or something more sinister is afoot!
Finally, direct sellers and markets will be your other option. Markets hosted by native tribes usually offer local and native foods you can try and purchase. You can purchase moose meat from a friend or someone you know who went hunting themselves. In the end, if you really want to try moose meat to see if you like it, we recommend you purchase some elk meat first. The taste and feel are similar to moose meat and is legal to buy online and in stores.
#5 Preparing Moose Meat Takes More Work Than Other Meat
Once you have your hands on moose meat, the work still isn’t done. Because of its low fat content, moose meat requires careful and patient preparation in order to bring out its intense flavor properly. That’s after you get it home from the hunt, of course.
As with any wild animal, how you kill it, dress it, butcher it, and transport it all play a big part in how your moose meat tastes in the end. One mistake along the way can ruin your meat forever. If it gets too dirty after the hunt or gets too warm during transportation, it will spoil. If it is contaminated in some way between the hunt and your freezer then you can’t eat it. Keeping your moose meat clean and cold from the moment you kill it until you cook it is absolutely essential.
When you do begin to cook, there are a few things to keep in mind.
You should always cook wild mead more thoroughly than store-bought meat. Because it is a wild animal, the moose can carry a parasite known as toxoplasmosis. You cannot see it, and you can only kill it by cooking properly.
You should also avoid eating moose in typical cuts like steak. Cooking moose meat like a steak will make it much too gamey and tough to eat. Also, the quick cooking process will ruin the subtle flavor! Instead, we recommend you opt for slow cooking options or long cooking times. Look into overnight marinades or shredded meat meals. These will make the meat easier to eat and make it much tastier. You should expect to tenderize your moose meat for longer periods than regular beef.
In the end, moose meat is harder to get, more expensive, and requires a bit more work, but it’s definitely worth it! Not only can you enjoy one of the tastiest meats available, but it is also one of the healthiest options you can eat. Your body will thank you!
The photo featured at the top of this post is © mariannehoy/iStock via Getty Images
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