What Does Rabbit Meat Taste Like?

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Probably you have been curious for a long time waiting to know what rabbit tastes like. If you speculated chicken, then you are right. Chicken it is. Almost everybody who has had a bite of rabbit meat relates its taste to that of chicken. Besides, it’s not possible to describe the taste of something without drawing some sort of comparison.

Assuming you have not taken chicken before, you might not get to comprehend since you cannot relate to it. Rabbit taste is like a unique and distinguished kind of chicken.  The only notable difference is that rabbits can be a bit meatier or gamier. When compared to red meat, rabbit meat is lighter.

What is Rabbit Meat Called?

In ancient days, “cony” also spelled as “Coney” was used when referring to rabbits in French. Well, mutton, beef, pork, and venison are unique names referring to goat, cow, pig, and deer meat, respectively, but to date rabbit meat seems to have no such particular name.

What Determines the Taste of Rabbit Meat?

Wild Rabbit Meat vs Domesticated

Some people have gone further to contrast wild and domestic rabbit meat. A majority say that wild rabbit meat has a stronger meat flavor compared to the domestic rabbit. Also, a wild rabbit has leaner and drier meat. 

Does the Age of the Rabbit Determine the Taste of its Meat?

Rabbit meat lovers also correlate rabbit age with its taste. Meat from older rabbits tends to be chewier, thus requiring more cooking. On the other hand, younger rabbits, say 2-3 months old, have very soft and tender meat.

Comparing Rabbit Meat to Hare and Chicken

Is Rabbit Meat Better than Chicken?

This is a complicated question with no concrete answer since literature reports that both rabbit and chicken meat have almost the same levels of proteins and fat percentage. However, rabbit meat has low levels of cholesterol compared to chicken. The difference is not very significant, though considering factors such as age, breed, and what both feed on contributes to nutrient variations within and among the two. 

Does Hare Taste Like Rabbit?

Although rabbits and hare come from the same family, the Leporidae, their tastes are somewhat different. Rabbit meat is almost all white and has a fine texture, with its appearance and taste similar to chicken.  On the other hand, hare meat is dark in color. It has a stronger flavor that tastes like other dark wild game meat.

Why Eat Rabbit Meat

Apart from its fantastic flavor, rabbit meat is a good source of nutritional value. Proteins are rabbit meat’s most remarkable nutritional elements. It provides proteins with all essential amino acids required by the body.

Rabbit meat is tender and easily digestible because of its low collagen content. Owing to this reason, the meat is highly recommended for people prone to gout or hyperuricemia.

Rabbit meat is very lean hence low in fats and cholesterol. In fact, it contains less than 5% of fats. Compared to other types of meat, its lipid profile is more balanced. This is the reason why the meat prevents cardiovascular diseases and obesity. However, rabbit fat content depends on age, species, gender, breed, and diet.

The healthy white meat is also rich in calcium, phosphorus, and has low sodium. This makes it perfect for those aiming at losing weight.

What Happens if You Eat too Much Rabbit Meat?

Although rabbit meat is a rich source of proteins, too much of it leads to rabbit starvation or protein poisoning. This is a condition where one suffers acute malnutrition due to a lack of adequate fats/calories in the body. Apart from rabbit meat, the state may also result from much dependence on very lean wild game meat.

Rabbit starvation is characterized by symptoms such as diarrhea, headache, low blood pressure, fatigue, and low heart rate.

However, this condition is not just as of too much rabbit consumption only. It occurs when one solely depends on rabbit meat exclusively. Otherwise, eating much of it alongside other fats and carbohydrates will cause you no problems.

Rabbit Meat Preservation and Preparation 

How Long Should I Store Rabbit Meat?

Store your clean meat at 40°F, then leave it to rest for about 24 hours. This allows rigamortis to set in for the carcass to relax.

In case you are not planning to cook the meat after 24 hours, freeze it. If stored properly in the freezer, it can go for months. Also, just like any other meat, do not defrost rabbit meat on top of the counter.

How to Thaw Rabbit Meat Safely

Never defrost meat on the counter since it allows bacteria growth to cause illness. The best thing to do is to defrost it in the refrigerator. Once done, you can use the meat in the next 24-48 hours. Also, as per the USDA, you can still refreeze the meat if still not cooked within the same timeframe.

A speedier way to defrost your rabbit meat is by use of cold water. Put the meat in a leak-proof/airtight package and completely deep it into the water. Keep changing the water in 30 minutes spans to ensure the water remains clean and cold. For a large-sized rabbit, this process can take you up to 2 hours. You should then cook the thawed meat immediately.

Another option is to defrost the meat in a microwave. However, this is not recommended since it thaws meat unevenly, which causes the meat to be tough.

How to Cook Rabbit Meat

It is worth mentioning that there might be no specific way to describe what rabbit meat tastes like. At the end of the day, the taste will depend on how the meat is cooked, and the flavorings added.

How people cook rabbit meat varies with locations and also preferences. However, roasting is one of the most popular ways to cook your rabbit steak. To enhance the flavor, marinate the meat with olive oil, Dijon mustard, and black pepper. After that, leave it to stay in the fridge overnight before roasting.

If you are used to roasting meat, how about trying a rabbit meat stew. It is also an excellent idea. On choosing the stew option, its strong taste will depend on the base used. Often, people use white vinegar or chicken broth. However, this should not limit your recipe creativity. You can also opt for beer and cider, among others.

Rabbit meat can also be prepared dry and crispy. This calls for a good fry. To improve its taste, the meat can be marinated in spiced buttermilk. To optimize crunchiness, make sure you cover it with flour before deep-frying it. This will make it mouthwatering from the inside while crunchy on the outside.

Tips for Cooking Rabbit Meat

Since your objective is to find out how rabbit meat tastes like, knowing how to prepare and cook is essential. Remember, you are after optimizing flavor regardless of the manner you want to prepare your rabbit dish. Therefore, learn to prepare and cook rabbit meat the right way.

This begins from cutting the meat to ensure that it is neither overcooked or undercooked. Being careful guarantees you a slice of flavorful meat.

When cooking the rabbit meat, retain internal organs such as the liver. This is because the organs make the meat even tastier. However, if you want a gamey taste, remove all the organs and cook the meat only.

Besides, ensure you are cooking at the right heat levels and at the right time. It helps in extracting most of the flavor and preventing the meat from becoming too saggy. Another major tip concerning heat levels is that heat should not fall below 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, make sure you cook the meat for at least one hour.

Rabbit meat can also be slow cooked or fast cooked. Slow cooking is best if you are after the real flavor of rabbit meat. The process requires long hours of cooking, in a submerged liquid at low temperatures. It makes meat succulent. Rabbit has high connective tissues, which become tough when cooked quickly. This makes slow cooking the best way to prepare rabbit meat.

On the other hand, fast cooking involves high temperatures. It takes less time compared to slow cooking. However, cooking durations will depend on individual joints. To keep the meat moist and enhance flavor when fast cooking, roasting on the bone is preferred.

Conclusion

Those who grew up in localities where rabbits were uncommon, welcome to a new world where their meat is a delicacy. Enjoying rabbit meat is not as crazy as you would have imagined. In regions where rabbits were popular, it is common to eat meat both from the wild and domesticated ones.

In summary, the rabbit meat has a light flavor close to that of chicken. When comparing wild rabbits against domesticated ones, the former has a stronger and gamier taste than the latter. Although rabbit tastes like chicken, the flavor would also depend on how the meat is prepared and the flavorings added.

By now, the question of what does rabbit taste like is already answered. Probably you may even already have made a decision to try it soon and have an idea of what to expect. Go for it.

Check out these articles of game meat taste: What Does a Pheasant Taste Like?, What Does Moose Meat Taste Like Compared to Deer and Elk?

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