What Does Ostrich Meat Taste Like? A Complete Guide

What Does Ostrich Meat Taste Like? A Complete Guide

Did you know ostrich meat is 97% fat-free? More than ever, Americans are diet-conscious. Atkins, Keto, and gluten-free are some of the latest diet trends.

These diets are high in protein and low in carbohydrates. How healthy can they be if you're consuming high-fat, high cholesterol protein? Ostrich meat could be a healthy alternative.

You have a very pertinent question. What does ostrich meat taste like?

Read on to learn all about it and what to expect when eating ostrich meat for the first time.

The Toll of Beef Consumption

Americans love beef. So much so we consumed an average of 55.6 pounds per person in 2016. That's a lot of hamburgers!

High-protein, low-carb diets implore you to consume more meat. Upping your beef consumption has drastic health, environmental, and labor implications.

  • Beef consumption increases cancer risk

  • Increases risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease

  • Production contributes to 18% of all greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere

  • Raising one pound of beef uses 2000 gallons of freshwater

  • Slaughterhouse workers are often underpaid and exploited

All of these facts may have you thinking twice before you order your next steak.

Is Ostrich Red Meat?

Because ostriches are birds, they're considered poultry. The meat is different from most store-bought poultry like chicken or turkey. It's red in color and cooks more like beef!

Why Is Ostrich Meat Red Colored?

Ostrich meat gets its red color from myoglobin. Myoglobin is a protein in muscles that turns red when exposed to oxygen. Beef cattle also have high myoglobin levels.

Is Ostrich Really Red Meat Like Beef?

Though ostrich meat is red, it's still classified as poultry by the USDA. Culinary classifications are much different. Ostrich's safe, under well-done preparation, plus its red color gives it red meat culinary classification.  

What Does Ostrich Meat Look Like?

Raw ostrich meat's shade of red is darker and brighter than its red meat counterparts.

When cut into steaks, it looks similar to filet mignon or other lean cuts of beef. Its low intramuscular fat content means a lack of marbling like you'd see on a ribeye or strip steak.

Popular Ostrich Cuts

Like all other meats, ostrich comes in different cuts. The most popular cuts you'll find online or in a specialty store are:

  • Fan Filets: Cut from the upper inner thigh and look similar to a London Broil or top-round steak

  • Tenderloins: Think of beef tenderloins that can cut into medallions

  • Top Striploin: Similar in appearance to New York Strip steaks but similar in texture to the ostrich tenderloin

  • Ground: Similar to ground beef and used for burgers

What It Looks Like Cooked

Ostrich's similarities to beef don't end with the red color. The cooked cuts look remarkably similar to the cooked beef.

Beef's elevated fat content causes shrinkage. A cooked cut of ostrich will hold its original size and shape. When you cut into a tenderloin, the red center and browned outside resembles a medium-rare steak. 

Ostrich Meat Taste

Does ostrich taste like chicken? Or is it similar to beef?

Some ostrich enthusiasts compare the taste to a leaner cut of grass-fed beef. Most beef you eat is grain-fed. The grain diet gives beef higher intramuscular fat content and more marbling.

This abundant marbling of grain-fed beef produces a rich flavor. Grass-fed beef has a richer, nuttier flavor. Ostrich tastes similar to grass-fed beef but resembles low-fat game meats like venison.

How to Cook Ostrich

One of the best things about ostrich meat is its versatility. It blends well with flavors typically paired with beef, like red wine, garlic, and rosemary. There are also many different marinades you can use to boost the flavor.

You can cook ostrich meat in a variety of ways.


Cut your ostrich tenderloin into medallions and fire up your grill. Grill these tenderloin steaks like you would any cut of beef.

Because ostrich is so lean, chefs recommend not to cook it over medium.


Whole fan filets, tenderloins, or top striploins roast the same as any cut of beef. Make sure to use plenty of salt, fresh herbs, and garlic to enhance the flavors.

Make sure to marinade the roast overnight and sear in the juices before placing it in the oven. This process adds moisture and also seals it in.

Cast-Iron Skillet

Chefs recommend cooking your ostrich steaks in a cast-iron skillet. A cast-iron pan gives you an even sear, and you can add flavor with butter and herbs.

Where to Eat Ostrich Meat?

Ostrich meat in restaurants is on the rise. As the dining public embraces the farm-to-table ethic, more chefs embrace this sustainable, lean meat.

There's No Place Like Home

Though more chefs embrace ostrich as a beef substitute, the best place to eat ostrich meat is at home. 

Buying ostrich meat online is as simple as ordering anything else. It arrives at your doorstep flash-frozen and safe.

What Does Ostrich Meat Taste Like and Where Can I Buy It?

Ostrich meat is a sustainable, health-conscious alternative to beef. What good is a high-protein diet if the protein you eat is unhealthy? Ostrich's low fat content makes it a fantastic one-to-one substitute for beef.

The best part? You don't lose flavor. What does ostrich meat taste like? It tastes similar to beef, but many say it tastes better.

Are you interested in how ostrich meat can transform your diet? American Ostrich Farms is the leader in producing sustainable, eco-friendly ostrich meat.


Hungry? Check out our line of premium ostrich meats.

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