What Does Gamey Taste Like? Is It Any Good?


Are you one of those people who enjoy the taste of beef in their food? If you are, you will undoubtedly develop a taste for gamey meat. Many people who have tried gamey meat have developed an addiction to it. But if you haven’t had the chance to try these exotic meats, you’re probably wondering what all the fuss is about and what gamey tastes like.

Gamey Meat

The taste of gamey meat has an overabundance of meaty flavor distinct from regular meat. Gamey meat has a more wild flavor than regular meat. Some people despise the gamey flavor, while others become hooked to it. However, your personal preferences will affect your perception of gamey meat.

You can use gamey meat in various dishes if cooked properly, from slow-cooked steak to burgers and pasta dishes. It has a very exciting flavor and is also very beneficial for your health. So we can say that gamey meat is, all in all, an exciting thing to try out.

Now that you’ve read a little about gamey meat, you must be eager to know more about it. In this article, we will go a little deeper into knowing what gamey meat is.

We will be discussing what exactly gamey meat is, what gamey tastes like its health benefits, and much more. So without further ado, let’s get right into it!

What Does The Term Gamey Means?

Gamey is a word you must’ve heard at least once in your life. People often say this word to express delight or distress, while eating a piece of cooked meat. Have you ever wondered what exactly they are referring to? Well, I have, so you don’t have to!

Gamey is a word used to express a strong meaty taste. It particularly refers to the wild smell the meat has when it is slightly spoiled. Mostly wild animals’ meat has a gamey taste. However, if spoiled slightly, some farm-fed animal meat can produce a similar gamey taste.

So, the next time you hear the word “gamey”, don’t restrict your thoughts to wild meat alone. It could mean any meat that has produced the taste of wild meat. Any meat can have a gamey taste, but not all meat is gamey meat. Then what exactly is Gamey meat?

What Is Gamey Meat?

Gamey meat is a term that refers to all those meats that taste very different from the standard farm-bought meats. Gamey meat is not tastier than normal meat, but neither is it bad.

But considering its exotic, wild taste, gamey meat is a must-try for you if you love to experience new flavors. There’s a high chance that you also will become a gamey meat addict! You might never know!

If you love watching cookery shows, you might have heard judges say that a particular dish has a very gamey taste. Gamey is a fascinating word for expressing flavors. Gamey meat refers to the meat of those animals that are not farm-bred. It usually refers to the meat of wild animals like deer, rabbits, elk, moose, bison, and more, which are inhabitants of the forest.

Gammy meat often has an intense smell and a different earthy flavor than normal meat. Gamey meat has a slightly tangy, sour taste and a lean texture. The flavor and texture of gamey meat have a lot to do with the wild animal’s diet.

What Does Gamey Meat Taste Like?

Next time you have a chance to grab that piece of gamey meat steak, don’t think twice! Why? Because when you are done reading this article, you will have a fair idea of what gamey tastes like and whether you will like it or not!

The taste and scent of gamey flesh are very strong. The gamey meat is slightly acidic and metallic in taste. Gamey meat has a taste almost identical to that of a cow or lamb’s liver or heart. The taste of flesh differs from one animal to the next.

This flavor is derived from the wild grass that these animals eat in the forest. It has a nutty, burned aroma that some people may dislike.

The texture of gamey meat is soft and juicy. Gamey meat tastes like a rotting mass of beef. It has a very lean texture and a strong flavor. With its taste and flavor, Gamey meat is something you may try on your menu to break up the monotony of chicken and lamb meals.

Gamey meat, however, is not for everyone due to its peculiar flavor and pungent odor. However, there’s no going back to regular meat once you’ve tried it!

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7 Types of Gamey Meats And Their Taste

As Will says in Friends, “You can eat and eat and eat..and nothing can fill in that vacuum”! So next time, make some space for gamey meat on your menu. When we say gamey meat, it includes a variety of meats.

Whatever you like, be it tender and juicy meat or rough and chewy, gamey meat has something for you. Here are some popular gamey meat types you should give a try!

The 7 different types of gamey meats are:

  1. Deer
  2. Elk
  3. Antelope
  4. Wild Duck
  5. Rabbit
  6. Turkey
  7. Wild Duck

1. Deer

Deer is a popular and delicious gamey meat. There are plenty of reasons for the popularity of deer meat. One of them is its availability. Whether it’s spring or winter, hunters are too keen to hunt this animal.

Deer has very lean meat, and hence it is very important to be cautious about not overcooking it. To get the perfect gamey taste, it would be best to serve deer steak medium-rare.

Deer meat has a lot of health benefits as well. Deer meat is way too low in fat content compared to store-bought beef. Deer meat is also rich in zinc and iron.

2. Elk

Elk is another popular gamey meat. If you’re wondering what elk gamey tastes like, I’d say it has a very similar flavor profile to beef.

Elk meat is much cleaner than deer meat. However, it is more on the sweet side. So if you want to delve a little into an adventurous side, try having elk next time. Like deer, elk meat is lower in fat and high in protein when compared to beef.

3. Antelope

An antelope is one of the healthiest of all meats. It is tender in texture and sweet in taste. If you want to know what the most delicious gamey taste is, try antelope meat.

Antelope is also known as “speed goat.” It is usually found in the mountain regions of the United States.Antelope meat is extremely popular for its taste and nutritional value.

While cooking antelope, one thing to keep in mind is that it is tougher than most gamey meats. So you have to be very cautious about cooking it to perfection before serving it.

Like most gamey meat, antelope’s flesh is also lean. It is low in fat and high in protein. While cooking antelope, take extra care to debone the meat as soon as possible to avoid spoiling the meat.

4. Wild Duck

Wild duck’s gamey meat tastes like chicken, with a bit more blandness to it. Even though the wild duck is a lovely animal, its taste isn’t very likable. If you ever come across a gamey meat expert and ask them what their least favorite gamey flavor is, you’re probably going to get duck as your answer.

This underappreciated gamey meat is high in a variety of vitamins and nutrients. While cooking duck, one has to cook it until it is medium-rare. Anything less or more will make it bland and rubbery.

5. Rabbit

Rabbit has very soft and juicy meat. Rabbit meat almost tastes like chicken but with a sweet gamey taste.

The rabbit is certainly adorable! There’s no doubt about it. However, after tasting rabbit gamey, you’re likely to think it’s more delectable than cute. Like other gamey meats, Rabbit meat is low in fat (the lowest of all, to be exact) and high in nutrients.

Rabbit meat is quite lean. Rabbits are used in a variety of cuisines. Rabbit meat, on the other hand, is the finest roasted.

Now that you know what its meat tastes like, it’s entirely up to you whether to pet or cook a rabbit the next time you see one!

6. Turkey

Wild turkey gamey tastes very similar to normal store-bought turkey meat. But it has more flavor and is rougher in texture than normal turkey meat. Turkey has very lean meat and less fat than most gamey meats.

When compared to store-bought turkey, it is low in sodium content. Low sodium means better kidney functioning and a low risk of heart disease.

While cooking a turkey, make sure to marinate it with water, sugar, salt, onion, and lemon juice at least a day before cooking. The marination will make your turkey juicier and tender. So, try a wild turkey for Thanksgiving this time around!

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7. Wild Pig

Wild pig gamey tastes like normal pork but with more nutrients and less fat. Who doesn’t like slow-cooked pork? If you love pork, you must try wild pork. Also, in the United States, wild pigs have been considered an invasive species, so it won’t be hard to get one of these.

While cooking wild pig, be sure to clean it thoroughly. Marinating the meat a day ahead makes it tastier and juicier. Pineapple juice is an excellent choice if you want some new flavors for marination. It will give a distinct flavor and break down the enzymes present in the meat to make it more tender and juicy.

How To Store And Cook Gamey Meat

As we have talked enough about what gamey tastes like, now we can talk about storing and cooking it. Since gamey meat is different from normal meat, before cooking it for your favorite dish, there are many things to consider.

1. Cleaning

The first thing we have to address after getting gamey meat is cleaning it. It is advisable to dress your meat immediately after hunting to prevent it from getting any bacterial infections. Take extra care in removing the skin completely as wild animals have so much fur.

After proper cleaning, refrigerate gamey meat for the next three to seven days. Refrigeration after cleaning the meat will make it softer and easier to cook. Since gamey meat is sold in a large quantity, it is usually frozen for use in the future.

2. Soaking

Once you have decided to cook the gamey meat, the first step should be soaking it. Cut the meat into equal parts and put it into a bowl. Use buttermilk or any other traditional marinade to soak the meat overnight.

Whatever gamey meat you are cooking, you must marinate it for at least 3-4 hours to get the perfect flavor. The meat is rougher than normal meat, so the more time you give for marination, the better it tastes.

Things to remember before cooking gamey meat

  1. Bring your meat to room temperature before cooking.
  2. Use a meat thermometer while cooking the gamey meat. Checking the temperature while cooking will help you to prevent it from overcooking. If the gamey meat gets overcooked, it will become extremely dry and chewy to eat.
  3. Cook over medium heat. If you cook the meat at low heat, it will lose its juiciness and make it taste bland.
  4. After cooking, let the gamey meat rest for a few minutes. Resting the meat will help with settling the flavor and help you get the best gamey meat taste.
  5. Remove the fat as much as possible. Fat plays an important part in giving an earthy flavor to the meat. So, if you don’t want the gamey taste to be overpowering, you can remove the fat before or after cooking. However, it is advisable to keep a little fat with the meat as it carries a lot of flavors.

Health Advantages of Gamey Meat

Now that you have a bit of knowledge about what gamey tastes like, I will be moving ahead to explain to you the health benefits gamey meat has to offer. If you are a meat lover like me, you need to read this section because gamey meat is delicious and nutritious!

People are highly concerned about their health in the present era. The market has capitalized on this worry by adding extra labels for animal foods such as “antibiotic-free,” “hormone-free,” “grass-fed,” and so on.

Before purchasing a chicken, beef, or pork product, we must carefully examine several labels. Even if we sift everything thoroughly, there’s a good chance we won’t find the proper one.

You don’t have to worry about all these things with gamey meat. Gamey meat is the healthiest type of meat you can eat because it comes from the wild.

1. Less fat and more protein.

In the above section, we discussed how gamey meat has more protein, nutrients, and less fat when compared to other animal meat. Therefore, if you are concerned about calorie count and nutrients, you could replace normal meat with gamey meat.

In this way, you could increase your protein intake without compromising on its taste.

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2. Leaner Meats

People in some nations enjoy the meat of animals or fish that have been in motion. Such animals are said to be the healthiest and tastiest. If this is the case, gamey meat is the best meat available.

Since the animals were constantly in motion, their flesh would be thinner than farm-fed animals. For example, making bacon from a wild pig is tough since it has considerably less fat than farm-fed pigs. If you prefer a more flavorful dish, try wild pig steak instead.

3. No Hormones, No Antibiotics

Hormones and antibiotic intake are currently one of the most concerning topics. For a long time, meat has been an important element of our diet. However, meat intake has begun to cause a wide range of ailments due to increased hormone injections and antibiotic use. PCOD in girls, hormonal instability, and reduced immunity are all examples of the same.

So, what are your options? I recommend incorporating gamey meats at least once in your diet per week. Gamey meat comes from wild animals who have lived their lives on a solely wild diet. Their meat is 100% organic and pure, even though it tastes different.

4. No risk of illness.

Most animals that are farm-fed live in extremely unhygienic conditions. They have restricted movement and have a high chance of illness. Even though wild animals could also have diseases, they will most likely be healthier than farm-fed animals.

If not cooked properly, there is a high chance that these bacteria could get into us. Therefore, it is important to clean and cook meat properly.

How To Reduce The Gamey Taste?

Now that we have talked about gamey meat, what it tastes like, and its health benefits, there is an increased chance you might want to have it. But what if you don’t like the gamey taste? In that case, you should read our tips and tricks to remove the gamey taste of your favorite meat!

1. Begin Proper Cleaning

As soon as you receive your gamey meat, begin cleaning it.Remove its skin and the gut portion. This will slow down the rotting enzymes. Next, start deboning the meat as soon as you can. Dissociating the meat from bone and fat will make your meat taste less gamey.

Also, if possible, freeze the gamey meat for at least three hours of hunting. Gamey flavor heavily depends on the rotting state of the meat and its fat content. If you can decrease these two reasons, we can fairly decrease the gamey taste of the meat.

2. Soak The Meat

Once you clean it, then soak it before freezing. Soaking is one way to remove the blood taste from the meat. If you ask a regular hunter, they’ll have many suggestions for you. Saltwater, lemon water, buttermilk, etc., are some of our suggestions.

3. Freeze It

When it comes to freezing, we need to put a little effort into packing meat separately rather than putting a bunch of it into the same container. Perfectly soaked and frozen gamey meat stays for a very long period of time.

4. Perfect Cooking

When it comes to cooking gamey meat, one should cook it to perfection. Gamey meat is lean and should be cooked medium-rare. If over-cooked, gamey meat will have a leathery texture and an unpleasant taste.

5. Use Marinades

The marinade is the magic wand to vanish the gamey taste from your food. Even if you have done all the above steps, the chances are high that the gamey taste remains. In such a situation, you should rely on good marinades.

The more time you put into your meat for marination, the better it will be. However, it is advisable to marinate the gamey meat at least three to four hours before cooking.


Gamey meat has a tart-like taste and an overall meaty flavor. It has an exclusive flavor and aroma of its own, making it different from normal meat. It also has a multitude of health benefits. Gamey meat is exciting meat to try if you are someone who loves to try things out of the box. So, the next time you think about trying something new, try gamey meat! Whether you like it or not, you’ll never regret trying it.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>