Every type of meat comes with its own considerations when it comes to grilling. Ostrich meat is no exception to this rule. Ostrich meat is a delicious alternative to other meats. It is naturally low fat, and the animals themselves rarely see antibiotics and hormones. Here is what you need to know about ostrich meat, and how to grill ostrich meat for everybody to enjoy.
Characteristics of Ostrich Meat
Unlike most other birds, ostrich meat is actually red. That means it has a taste closer to beef than to chicken. A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of ostrich meat contains about 20-grams of protein, 165 calories, roughly 9-grams of fat, and very little cholesterol.
Vitamins and minerals
In addition, ostrich meat represents a good source of various vitamins and minerals.
- Pantothenic acid
This all means ostrich meat offers a good middle ground between poultry and beef. You get a lot of the taste and many of the benefits of beef. You get the lighter, healthier profile that comes with poultry.
In this way, ostrich meat works great for those that have some trepidation about red meat. It is a healthier option that also serves to add something different to your cuisine. Also, it tastes and feels like high quality, premium beef.
Grilling Ostrich Meat the Right Way
Ostrich meat cuts typically adhere to the types of cuts you would get from beef. So you can order it as steaks, burgers, patties, medallions, roasts, and ground. You can find a million and one ways to cook ostrich meat, but grilling is probably the most enjoyable method, as it is with any meat.
Just like with beef, there is an almost infinite amount of things you can do with your ostrich meat. Because of that, many of the ways you can grill ostrich meat has to do with the type of cut, the thickness, and all the other factors that come into play when grilling meat in general.
Some general rules for grilling ostrich meat
- You should never attempt to thaw your ostrich meat in a microwave.
- Medium to medium rare typically requires about 4 minutes on each side.
- Use tongs, rather than a fork for turning your meat.
- When the juices stop bubbling to the top, the meat is done.
It is best to start by searing the meat on both sides at a hot temperature. However, the actual cooking should happen at a lower temperature. Keep in mind that ostrich meat, despite the look, is still poultry. You should not overcook it, or it will dry out.
Don’t overcook ostrich meat
There is not as much fat in it as there is in red meat, so show care with just how long you keep it on the grill. You want to keep the meat somewhere between rare and medium for the best results. You want an internal temperature between 125F – 150F.
Don’t overseason ostrich meat
Since there is less meat juice to work with, it is best to use absorbent seasoning, such as salt, after grilling. This will depend on the type of cut you have, and what you plan to make.
So feel free to rub the salt in there beforehand if you know what you are doing. There is no shrinkage with ostrich meat, and no fat to drain.
What You Can Do With Ostrich Meat
Since ostrich meat sits somewhere between red meat and poultry, it is very versatile. You can do just about anything with it. You can use ostrich meat as a substitute in virtually any meal that requires beef. Ostrich meat on its own works just as well. You can have a nice steak, a burger, or a few kebabs.
Since ostrich meat cooks fairly quickly, it is ideal for fast meal prep, which can make it work well with things like stir-fry. It is also great when served over something else. For example, a grilled ostrich steak served over rice makes for delicious, filling, yet light fare.
Feel free to smother your ostrich meat. Use whatever marinade you like, or go with something heavier like herb or gorgonzola butter. There is really no end to what you can do with ostrich meat.
If you never thought about it before, you should definitely give ostrich meat a try. It can please even the pickiest of eaters. Since it grills quickly, you can try out a few different ways of grilling it without spending an entire day on it.
Ostrich meat may sound exotic to the uninitiated, but it is not. It is readily available and you can cook it on any type of grill.