What Does Raccoon Taste Like? A Comprehensive Guide

Raccoon meat is dark, greasy, and can taste like buttery lamb, but its flavor varies based on the animal’s diet. It’s tough and not for everyone, but can be delicious if cooked properly.

what does raccoon taste like

If you’re curious about eating wild meats and you enjoy experimenting with different dishes, from moose stew to ground bear-meat burgers, and much more, then you are definitely among many others who enjoy consuming wild game.

One type of wild game that isn’t as popular as rabbit, squirrel, or elk, is raccoon. Here is a complete overview of what does raccoon taste like & how it’s prepared, which will hopefully help you to decide if you want to try it or not. 

Price of Meat does remind readers that purchasing & consuming meat in violation of the Lacey Act or Endangered Species Act is not only super-illegal, but also super-uncool. Raccoons are game animals regulated by State wildlife authorities. Please be cool and go above and beyond in support of conservation and ethical hunting (seriously).

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What Does Raccoon Taste Like?

The meat is dark and kind of greasy, but very tasty in most cases. Many people state that raccoon meat tastes like buttery lamb meat. However, the taste of raccoon can vary depending on what the animal eats.

If the raccoon eats a diet full of scavenged food from the garage, then the taste of it will likely be less appealing than if its diet consists of vegetables, fruits, reptiles, fish, small birds, nuts, insects, and amphibians, which is its preferred diet. 

Not everyone will like the taste of raccoon, and while it typically doesn’t have a gamey taste, it does have quite a strong taste. Some people compare the taste of this animal to dog meat, yet they say raccoon is much tougher.

However, the average person has never eaten dog meat, so there’s no way to compare the two. The taste of raccoon meat will vary, also, depending on the way it’s cooked.

Only if it’s cooked properly will it taste delicious and buttery like some people describe. 

Are Raccoons Hunted?

Yes, raccoons are hunted, but not as often as they once were. Hundreds of years ago, Native Americans hunted raccoons mainly as a source of food.

However, even though there are people that still eat raccoon meat, raccoons are hunted for their fur and for sport. Raccoon fur is used in the production of hats, clothing, as well as outerwear, though has little commercial value in modern times.

Another reason that raccoons are hunted is strictly to diminish the population, as this animal can be a nuisance by raiding the garbage in many neighborhoods.

Is Raccoon Meat Healthy to Eat?

Under the right conditions, raccoon meat can be considered healthy. Raccoon meat is high in calcium, iron, protein, as well as potassium.

However, it’s not always safe to eat raccoons, because their meat can be riddled with toxins, parasites, rabies, as well as other diseases. 

What Happens if You Eat a Raccoon?

If the raccoon was healthy, carefully cleaned, and cooked properly, then nothing will happen if you eat it, other than the fact that you will likely enjoy a good meal.

On the other hand, you could end up getting very sick from eating raccoon meat if the animal was infested with rabies, parasites, or some other disease.

Every time someone kills and eats a raccoon, they take a chance on getting sick, because you can’t always tell if the animal was well or not. 

How Should I Prepare My Raccoon Meat?

The sky is the limit when it comes to cooking your raccoon meat, and some people say that raccoon meat tastes like beef or skunk, so you can cook it in the same manner that you would cook beef.

Is Raccoon Meat Tough or Tender?

Even if raccoon meat is simmered, it remains tough and hard to chew. This is one reason why eating raccoon meat isn’t recommended, because who wants to eat meat that is hard to chew and rubbery? However, many people love raccoon meat and don’t mind the toughness of it. 

Is it Legal to Have a Raccoon as a Pet?

Not every state allows its residents to keep raccoons as pets, because they’re considered to be wild animals. If you live in the following states, you can legally keep a raccoon as a pet. North and South Carolina, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Texas, Rhode Island, Nebraska, Michigan, Oklahoma, Delaware, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana and Pennsylvania.

Be sure that if you plan on acquiring a raccoon as a pet, it’s important to find out the specific law regarding having a raccoon as a pet. Even if your state allows pet raccoons, some only allow them if a veterinarian has examined the animal and officially approved it.

While some states require that the raccoon undergo an examination, other states don’t require examinations, but they might limit the number of pet raccoons you can have.

What’s the Best Way to Cook Raccoon Meat?

You can cook raccoon meat any way that you desire, in the crockpot with plenty of vegetables in herbs, in the oven as a roast, etc. If you check the internet, you can find numerous recipes for raccoon meat, and many of them are wonderful ways to cook it.

Be sure to cook your raccoon meat until it’s 165 degrees Fahrenheit, as this will minimize your chances of becoming sick in case your dinner is infested with parasites or some type of disease.

Where Can I Purchase Raccoon Meat?

Unfortunately, you can’t go to your local Piggly Wiggly or other grocery store and purchase raccoon meat. You will simply have to obtain this meat in the manner that most people do: by going out and hunting one yourself.

There are numerous tips online for successfully hunting raccoons, as well as tips for dressing and cooking them once you catch one.

Again, you need to be very careful, since you can’t tell by looking at a raccoon whether it’s infected with parasites or diseases. 

More FAQs

Is racoon meat good to eat?

Raccoon meat is good to eat when cleaned and cooked properly, contrary to popular belief. It has a taste similar to dark-meat chicken or turkey, but with a greasier and more tender texture. If you live in a rural area, you may have the opportunity to purchase a raccoon from a friend or neighbor.

Can you grill raccoon?

Grilling raccoon is possible and can result in a delicious meal. The flavor and texture of grilled raccoon are quite similar to pulled pork, making it a great choice for those who enjoy wild game. It is recommended to use a young raccoon, weighing around 5 to 7 pounds, that is about 3/4 of the way to full grown for the best grilling results.

Is racoon meat greasy?

Yes, raccoon meat is slightly greasy.

What does cooked raccoon taste like?

Cooked raccoon has been described as having a taste similar to chicken or turkey, although it tends to be greasier. Some individuals argue that it resembles beef, but this is a matter of personal preference. It is important to note that taste can vary among individuals due to differing taste buds. However, it can be generally agreed upon that raccoon meat is tender and has a buttery texture.

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