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How Do I Choose the Best Ostrich Meat?

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  • Written By: Jeremy Laukkonen
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 29 June 2014
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In order to select the best ostrich meat, you may first want to understand the different cuts and grades. Each type of ostrich meat can be well suited to certain purposes, so it is important to consider how you intend to prepare it. Cuts such as the fan fillet, tenderloin, and top loin tend to be excellent choices for cooking methods that involve dry heat, since these muscles are all quite tender. If you want a good meat for use in grilling, or a stir fry, then you may want to consider cuts like the oyster, strip, and round. There are also some varieties that are high in omega-3 fatty acid content, so you may want to look for birds that were fed a diet containing flax seeds.

Ostriches provide a type of red meat that is very low in fat. It can be prepared in a number of different ways, and it tends to pick up flavors from spices very easily. This meat is typically considered to be quite healthy, and some varieties even contain omega-3 fatty acids. Different cuts are typically graded based on what part of the bird they come from, as each muscle has different qualities. That makes it important to consider your intended cooking method when looking for the best ostrich meat.

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If you want to use a dry heat cooking method, such as roasting or broiling, then you should look for the highest quality cuts of ostrich meat. The outside strip, fan fillet, top loin, and tenderloin are typically considered to be the best cuts. Medium quality cuts, such as the round, tip, and oyster can also be roasted, though they are particularly well suited to grilling, kebabs, and stir fry dishes. Lower quality cuts, such as the outside drum and inside drum, should be tenderized and cooked with moist heat, cured, or smoked. You should also select lower quality cuts for use in ground meat, since it is typically necessary to use binders and fillers anyway.

The best cuts of ostrich meat come from birds that are in good physical condition and under 16 months old. Birds that are up to two years old can also be used to obtain primary cuts of meat, though they are often less tender. If you are interested in ground meat, then older birds that are healthy and disease free can provide cuts of meat that are well suited to that purpose. Regardless of the age of the bird, the meat should be red, and free of any white or pink coloration.

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