Thursday, September 10, 2015

Sometimes You Eat the Bear ...

and sometimes the bear eats you. There were several comments on this post where I mentioned that one of the things I did was eat bear for the first time. Some of the commenters had already tried bear, and others were curious about how to cook it. Still others may have wondered about me but were too polite to say, "You sound like a crazy person!" So, to anyone who's curious and/or has a bear in their backyard or freezer, here's what I found and what worked for me.

We were the lucky recipients of 30-40 pounds of bear meat. We do eat a lot of game, but I had never tried or cooked bear before. I used some of it to make barbecue (good, but almost indistinguishable from beef when the flavor is masked in barbecue sauce) and cooked a roast in the crock pot (for a long time; trichinosis and toxoplasmosis are issues with bear). The meat has an interesting reddish color, long fibers, and a pleasant taste (not gamey, but with lots of “depth”). This black bear probably had a diet high in berries, grass, and roots, which may have contributed to its flavor. I think I would choose it over beef and would highly recommend it if you get a chance to try it some day.

Here are links to the most useful article/recipes that I found:
Bear: A Meat Worth Trying
Bear Recipes  I made the one entitled “Bear Recipe” from Jeff Brunenn, a little more than halfway down the page.
Black Bear Recipe Guide  I haven’t made any of these, but think I may try the Grilled Spiced Tenderloin next.

I’d be really interested in hearing about your experience if you try bear (or really any other game). I still have about 25 lbs. in the freezer and my husband wants to use some of it to make sausage. I’m not anxious to try that; because of the possible trichinosis and toxoplasmosis I want to make sure that whatever we eat is cooked properly. See, I'm not really so crazy!


  1. It's been a while since I've had bear but I recall doing a lot in the crockpot with it. We have venison regularly and my preference for that is stew. We also have a lot of the meat ground up and it's great as a leaner option to ground beef.

  2. We once had moose a friend brought from Alaska. I made chili which had a distinct flavor all its own, but was surprisingly delicious. Bear sounds like something I would like, given a chance.

  3. Thanks! (And thanks for the Rav message too)--we can get 'exotic' meat here in Oregon fairly easily but I must say I have never seen bear!

  4. Thanks! (And thanks for the Rav message too)--we can get 'exotic' meat here in Oregon fairly easily but I must say I have never seen bear!

  5. I can honestly say that I've never really thought about eating bear . . . but I'll give it a try if I ever get the chance! :-)

  6. I'm not sure I'll ever eat bear. Pigs and cows are about as adventurous as I get!


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