How To Cook Farm Raised Alligator?

This might not be a topic you can easily find answers to in your local grocery store newsletter – how to cook farm-raised alligator. Alligator isn’t something you’ll be able to find on the shelves just about anywhere, but if you’re able to get your hands on some, you’re in luck. It’s delicious, nutritious, and incredibly versatile. Here’s how to cook farm raised alligator – the right way.

What is the Best Way to Cook a Gator?

What is the Best Way to Cook a Gator

There’s no single best way to cook a gator. Lots of people like “gator wings,” which is essentially just fried pieces of gator meat that are first baked in fat. Of course, gators don’t actually have wings, so the name is a bit of a misnomer!

You can stew it or even grill it up like chicken. Frying, however, is almost always the preferred method of cooking gator meat. 

The way you decide to cook your gator meat will largely be determined by what cuts of the alligator you wind up with.

The tail, for instance, consists of four cylindrical tubes of muscle. These lobes look like tuna. The tenderloin is long and skinny, easy to slice, and even easier to cook. Jowl meat is notoriously tender, too. 

There are some other parts of the alligator that can be tough to cook, since they’re tougher. The legs are an example. 

How Do You Prepare Alligator Meat?

If you’re buying alligator meat from a farm near you, chances are, it’s already been cut up for you. 

However, if you have to do it yourself, it can be quite time-consuming. Here is a video that will show you how to skin, de-bone, and flesh out an alligator as quickly as possible. Do note that it’s not for those with queasy stomachs!

When you’re getting ready to cook your alligator meat, it’s important to know that farm-raised alligators are different in several ways from their wild-caught counterparts. They tend to be smaller and less fatty, which can make them either easier or harder to cook, depending on the technique you select. 

Alligator meat can be stewed, grilled, or fried (one of the most popular ways, and the method we will detail later on in this article). 

How Do You Tenderize Alligator Meat? 

Alligator meat doesn’t always need to be tenderized before you cook it. In most cases, you can address any toughness in alligator meat just as you would beef, pork, or chicken.

However, there are certain cuts of alligator meat that tend to be tougher than others. Similarly, if you got a farm-raised gator that was on the older side, it might be a bit tougher than you’d normally prefer, too.

You can easily tenderize it by using a regular, good old-fashioned meat mallet. Add a dash of the meat tenderizer salt of your choosing and don’t worry – you don’t have to buy a special one for aquatic reptiles. Your favorite chicken, pork, or beef tenderizer mixture will do just fine!

If the alligator meat is too tough – so tough that even tenderizing it doesn’t make a difference – you can always make it into ground alligator meat. Alligator tacos (or meatballs!) anyone? 

Do You Soak Alligators Before Cooking?

Soaking alligator before cooking it is another way that you can tenderize it while also removing any “game-y” or “swampy” flavors that might still exist in the meat.

You can soak it in plain water, but soaking in milk is a common way to release any undesired flavors and to give your alligator meat a beautiful, delicious texture.

Simply put your cut-up alligator meat into a bowl filled with whole milk. Leave it there for about three hours before you plan to prepare and cook it. You can always soak for longer, too, depending on your schedule and desired outcomes. 

Fried Alligator Recipe

This fried alligator recipe is super easy and versatile. It can be used on wild-caught alligators, too, and may require less soaking for tenderization since there is more fat. 

Before you begin, cut the alligator fillets into bite-sized pieces. The smaller you cut them up, the faster they will cook. You’ll need about two pounds, in total, to yield eight servings. 

Start by placing the alligator meat in a bowl. Mix it with a tablespoon of white vinegar along with a dash of salt and pepper. Cover the bowl, then refrigerate for 15 minutes.

While you have the meat marinating, go ahead and pour some oil into a large skillet or frying pan. Make sure it’s filled to a depth of about one inch. Heat it to medium-high heat. 

In a large Ziploc bag, combine a quarter cup of flour, a cup of cornmeal, two tablespoons of garlic powder, and half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Shake the bag to fully combine the ingredients.

Next, strain the excess liquid from the alligator meat and add a handful to the bag. Shake the meat inside the bag to coat, then remove it, dust off the excess flour, and put it on a plate. Repeat this process until all the meat has been nicely coated.

As soon as the oil is hot, you can put the pieces of alligator into the pan. Make sure you don’t overcrowd them – each piece should have a bit of breathing room on the sides. Fry the pieces until they are crispy and golden brown, or for about three minutes.

Take them out of the pan and put them on a paper-towel covered plate. Serve them while still hot. 

Bonus tip – these alligator bites taste great with dipping sauce made with ingredients like tartar sauce, mayonnaise, horseradish, brown mustard, or even red wine vinegar – feel free to get creative until you find the mixture you love the most! 

Should I Eat Alligator Meat?

If you’ve never tried alligator meat and find yourself still on the fence about it, don’t be afraid to give it a try! Alligator meat is quite tender and has a surprisingly sweet flavor – you might find that you actually like it.

Not only that but it gets top marks for nutrition, too. It has 110 calories, 2 grams of fat and a whopping 24 grams of protein in just a single four-ounce serving. 

So what are you waiting for? Now that you know how to cook farm-raised alligator, you can add it to your dinner party lineup on the farm for a fun, unique take on Cajun cuisine. 

And if you have a bit more time, why don’t you check some of the other recipes on our site?

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