How to Cook Ostrich Meat

raw American Ostrich Farms ostrich fan filet

If you are new to ostrich meat or curious about how to cook it, it’s quite simple! Cook ostrich meat the way you would cook any other red meat - adjusting the cooking time to account for the fact that ostrich cooks more quickly than fattier proteins. Ostrich is super lean (our ground ostrich is 97% fat-free) and can be substituted into any recipe that calls for beef, bison, or elk.  


It is!  While ostriches are poultry in the Ratite family, the composition and pH of their meat is close to that of beef, resulting in a similar color, taste and texture.  These characteristics are also the reason you don’t have to cook ostrich to 165F like chicken or turkey (in fact, doing so is almost guaranteed to result in a dry, tough steak). 

The USDA classifies ostrich as a true red meat and recommends that you prepare it as you would beef.  In fact, you can even eat it raw, as in tartare or carpaccio.  Ostrich is delicious as medium rare steak and burgers are best prepared no more than medium. 


You may have heard “the flavor is in the fat” when talking about beef and pork. Although ostrich meat is almost uniformly lean (97%), that does not mean it’s less flavorful. Quite the contrary, ostrich meat holds all of its flavor in the meat itself, not the fat. It’s similar to grass-fed beef or elk in terms of taste and texture.  Ostrich does not have a gamey flavor.


There's only one rule when cooking ostrich meat: do not overcook.

Due to its exceptionally low fat content, ostrich cooks more quickly than beef, especially when grilled or pan-seared.  This is why you'll want to be sure to adjust cooking times and check the internal temperature of your steak before the time is up

For larger cuts -- like the whole fan, tip roast, and round -- cooking at a low temp for a longer time is the key to achieving perfectly cooked, juicy ostrich meat. 

Ostrich is also perfectly suited for the sous vide, if you have one.  This preparation method ensures your steak will be tender, juicy, flavorful, and cooked to your exact temperature preference.  All of our packaging is sous vide ready (watertight & made from a thick, non-toxic plastic).  Simply immerse the unopened package, cook according to your machine's instructions, remove, and then season and quickly sear to get that delicious crust we love to see on a beautiful cut of premium red meat. 

As always, you can cook your meat to your own desired doneness, however we recommend not cooking ostrich past medium rare (125-130 F).


Marinades work well with ostrich cuts to enhance flavor and preserve moisture when cooking.  Here are a couple of our favorite, simple marinades for ostrich steak:  

Herb & Balsamic Marinade

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup olive or avocado oil
3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt

Easy Paleo Marinade

1/4 cup coconut aminos
1/4 apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive or avocado oil
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt

Fajita Marinade

1 cup olive oil
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp kosher salt
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tbsp minced garlic

You can also keep things easy and let the delicious ostrich flavor shine with a quick steak preparation.


Rub steaks with oil and spices then sear for a few minutes on high heat in an oven-safe skillet until both sides are nicely browned. Then bake at 350 F for 4-6 minutes, depending on thickness, to an internal temperature of 125-130 F for medium rare.


Ground ostrich is delicious on its own, or when blended with other, fattier meats. To prevent burgers from drying out, brush patties with butter, cooking oil, or bacon grease.  We suggest adding dry spices such as our Classic Burger Seasoning, rather than an abundance of liquids to keep burgers better intact. 

Cooking on a flat top griddle as opposed to a grill is suggested but not necessary. 

You’ll notice our ostrich doesn’t shrink down like beef when cooked. Its purity and low fat content means our ¼ lb ostrich burger will eat like a ⅓ lb beef patty without the slow, groggy feeling afterwards! 


The benefits of switching out beef for ostrich meat is not only the nutritional advantages, but the simplicity! Ground ostrich is a 1:1 substitute for ground beef, which means you can use it in all of your favorite recipes.

If you’d like even more ostrich cooking tips, check out our full recipe section and check back often because we are ALWAYS adding more!


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