What Does Ostrich Taste Like?

Ostrich meat is growing in popularity as a healthy, sustainable red meat alternative. But for those who haven’t tried it, the question remains – what does ostrich taste like? This article will explore the flavor, texture, nutrition and preparation of ostrich meat in depth.

An Introduction to Ostrich Meat

While not as common as beef or chicken, ostrich meat comes from farmed ostriches and offers some unique benefits:

  • Ostrich is the healthiest red meat – lower in fat, cholesterol and calories than beef or lamb.
  • It is also sustainable and environmentally friendly to raise ostriches.
  • Ostrich leather, feathers and other byproducts create less waste.
  • Ostrich is the ideal red meat for the health conscious. It provides an excellent source of protein.

Now let’s look at the taste and texture that makes ostrich stand out.

What Does Ostrich Taste Like? Flavor and Texture Explained

Ostrich has a taste profile described as savory, sweet, and similar to lean beef or bison. More specifically, the flavor notes are:

  • Sweet, mild gamey flavor reminiscent of lean beef
  • Subtle dark chicken meat taste
  • Hints of venison or bison earthiness
  • Very little fat or greasiness

Texturally, ostrich meat is:

  • Lean and finely grained
  • Extremely low in fat and connective tissue
  • Tender when cooked properly
  • Succulent and juicy but still firm
  • Dark red to cherry-colored meat
See also  What Does Spirulina Taste Like

Ostrich can vary from mild to slightly gamey depending on the cut. The steaks and tenderloins have the mildest taste and tenderness.

How Ostrich Compares to Other Types of Meat

To understand the unique properties of ostrich meat, it helps to compare it directly to other proteins:


  • Taste: Similar sweet, beefy flavor but much lower fat content.
  • Texture: Finely grained like beef but with almost no marbling or fat.
  • Fat content: Much lower than even lean beef cuts.


  • Taste: Very close to bison with subtle gamey notes.
  • Texture: As lean and tender as bison with a fine grain.
  • Fat content: Slightly lower fat than bison.


  • Taste: Resembles dark chicken meat but more savory.
  • Texture: Leaner and more tender than chicken.
  • Fat content: Much lower fat than either chicken breast or thigh.


  • Taste: Milder than venison with less gamey flavor.
  • Texture: More tender and succulent than venison.
  • Fat content: Lower in fat than venison.


  • Taste: Subtly sweet like lamb but much less gamey.
  • Texture: Fine-grained and tender like lamb.
  • Fat content: Much lower fat content than lamb.

How to Cook Ostrich Meat

Ostrich suits many cooking methods. It’s important not to overcook as it can become tough:

  • Grilling – Quick grill ostrich steaks or fillets to medium rare. Benefits from marinades.
  • Pan searing – Cook over high heat and baste in butter. Avoid overcooking.
  • Roasting – Roast tenderloin and thicker cuts to an internal temperature of 140°F.
  • Braising – Gently braise or stew tougher cuts like leg. Keep moist.
  • Ground – Use in ostrich burgers, meatballs, etc. Be careful not to dry out.
  • Smoking – Smoked ostrich has rich flavor. Keep cooks short to prevent drying.
  • Carpaccio – Sliced raw ostrich pairs well with arugula and shaved parmesan.
See also  What Do Red Beans Taste Like?

Cooking ostrich medium-rare maintains moisture and tenderness. Well-done ostrich meat will be tough and dry.

Where to Buy Ostrich Meat

Ostrich can be sourced online or locally:

  • Specialty butchers and meat markets, especially in areas where it’s produced
  • Directly from ostrich ranches
  • Online sites like Firefly Farms, Pan African Meats, and Authentic Eats
  • Ostrich meat at higher-end restaurants may indicate a local supplier
  • Local farmers markets may have ostrich vendors

Prices range widely from $18-30/lb for ground to $55/lb for fillets and tenderloins. It is more expensive than beef but lower cost than other exotic meats.

Nutrition Facts: Is Ostrich Meat Healthy?

Ostrich is one of the healthiest red meats:

  • Calories: Around 145 calories in a 5oz serving.
  • Protein: Over 27g of complete protein per serving.
  • Fat: Less than 5g of fat per serving, lower than most red meats.
  • Cholesterol: Around 80mg, much less than beef or lamb.
  • Iron: High levels of iron needed for energy and oxygen use.

Along with vitamins, zinc, potassium and other minerals, ostrich makes an excellent high-protein, low-fat choice.

Key Takeaways on Ostrich Meat’s Flavor and Benefits

To recap the highlights of understanding ostrich meat:

  • Ostrich has a mild gamey taste similar to beef or bison, with sweet undertones. It’s lean with little fat or greasiness.
  • The texture is tender and juicy when cooked properly. It is finely grained and virtually fat-free.
  • Ostrich compares favorably to beef or bison, with similar taste but much lower fat. It also contrasts chicken as a savory red meat.
  • Grilling, searing, roasting and smoking are great preparations to try. Carpaccio displays its tenderness. Avoid overcooking.
  • Nutritionally ostrich has less than half the fat of beef or lamb, with high protein. This makes it appealing for health.
  • For those seeking a palatable, lean red meat, ostrich is a tasty and healthy choice worth experiencing.
See also  What Does Zebra Taste Like?