What Does Caribou Meat Taste Like? [How Gamey Is It?]

What Does Caribou Meat Taste Like
What Does Caribou Meat Taste Like

If you’re tired of eating pork, beef, and lamb regularly and these recipes no longer please you, it’s time to try something different. You can serve your taste buds with exotic caribou meat. It’s one of the best game meats and you must try it if you have never done it before.

Now you must be wondering what caribou tastes like? This article discusses caribou meat in detail and not only will it allow you to understand what caribou tastes like, but it’ll also help you compare its taste with other common meats. So, let’s get started.

What is Caribou Anyway?

Before getting into the details of caribou meat taste, let’s first discuss what caribou actually means. Caribou is a common name used for a deer Rangifer tarandus species. European people call this species reindeer and it’s called caribou in North America.

However, there is still a small difference between caribou and reindeer. Caribous are wild animals, and the rest of the domestic ones are reindeers. These animals are naturally found in many places of the world, including North America, Northern Europe, Norway, the Subarctic, and the Arctic.

There are also many different types of caribou including porcupine caribou, Peary caribou, barren-ground caribou, and North American caribou. Caribou belong to the deer family, and it’s one of the most common meat types that people like to eat. The other common meat options include elk, mule deer, and white-tailed deer.

What Does Caribou Taste Like?

What Does Caribou Taste Like

Caribou offers a very delicate and mild flavor and that’s why it’s more popular than many other game meats. It’s very tender meat and feels less gamey than deer meat. It comes with very little fat and is considered lightweight and remarkably healthy like bison.

Indigenous people living in cold places have been using reindeer meat for centuries. Overall, the taste of caribou is mild and gentle and you’ll find its texture pretty similar to a cut of beef with low fat.

Caribou Meat Nutrition Content

Caribou meat is considered to be an excellent source of some essential nutrients. Only a 4-ounce serving of this healthy game meat comes with the following nutritional value.

  • 7 percent recommended daily value of potassium
  • 29 percent recommended daily value of iron
  • 26 grams of protein
  • 94 milligrams of cholesterol
  • 1.5 grams of saturated fat
  • 3.8 grams of total fat
  • 144 calories

How to Cook Caribou Meat?

How To Cook Caribou Meat

You can cook caribou meat in a variety of different ways because of its remarkable nutritional content and mild flavor. While caribou is red meat, you’ll need to follow somewhat the same cooking techniques that you use to cook chicken breast because of its low-fat content.

You can marinate it for 4 to 6 hours to cook it on dry heat. However, if you don’t have time for marination, you’ll need to use wet heat cooking techniques such as braising. The texture and flavor of cooked caribou meat will be closer to bison, pork, moose, elk, deer, and antelope.

It’s also possible to use caribou meat to substitute beef in the recipes where you use lean cuts. The following are some of the common caribou meat recipes that you can enjoy.

Ground caribou meat burger: You’ll need to add a little bit of fat to keep the meat from drying out while it’s on the grill.

Soups and stews: Perfect for incredibly lean means including caribou meat because you’ll be cooking it with liquids.

Caribou jerky: low-fat content of tender caribou meat will keep the dried jerky fresh at room temperature and it won’t go rancid.

Marinated caribou meat: You can marinate and cook caribou meat in a lot of different ways. However, it doesn’t offer enough fat to make steaks.

Are There Any Health Risks Associated with Caribou Meat?

Just like any game meat, eating caribou meat can cause some health issues and the ADFG (Alaska Department of Fish and Game) recommends the following:

  • Wild game meat should never be eaten raw.
  • Don’t offer raw wild game meat to your pets including cats and dogs.
  • It’s not possible for a normal person to find out whether meat is safe or infected. That’s why cooking wild game meat is critically important.
  • Cook all wild game meat including caribou meat thoroughly to kill harmful parasites.
  • The internal temperature of the caribou meat must be at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit before removing it from the heat.
  • Freeze caribou meat before cooking because it’ll kill toxoplasmosis-causing viruses
  • Always defrost the frozen caribou meat in your refrigerator to keep bacteria from developing infections.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Caribou Meat Good Eating?

Caribou meat is considered game meat. However, as compared to other gamey meats, it offers a relatively lighter taste and milder flavor. It comes with less fat content and is known as a healthy source of food that provides you with high protein content which is approximately three times higher than beef.

It means, caribou meat is good eating but you need to follow the precautionary measures listed above to avoid the health issues it can cause. Overall, it’s a nutritious food supplement even for those people who are health-conscious dieters.  

What Is the Best Tasting Wild Meat?

Caribou, moose, elk, white-tailed deer, and wild turkey are some of the best tasting wild game meats. Caribou meat is somewhat similar to venison but it doesn’t offer a gamey flavor. You can use caribou and elk meat in the recipes that usually call for beef lean cuts.

What Meat Is Most Gamey?

Rabbit, deer, and duck are known to be some of the gamiest meats in North America. These meat types are obtained from wild animals which are leaner and richer because they need to forage or hunt for their food. They also offer less fat as compared to almost all domesticated animals including chickens, cows, and bulls.

Can You Survive on Caribou Meat?

Technically, you can survive on caribou meat. Studies show that some groups of people not only survived but also even thrived on caribou and fish meat and they rarely ate plant-based food. The reason why they could survive only on meat was that they had a tradition of eating each and every part of the animal they killed.

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