Monday, December 17, 2012

Grilled Black Bear Steak

While visiting my mother recently, I had an opportunity to eat black bear steak. I've seen a number of  black bears in the wild, but I've never gotten a good picture of one. The one below was taken from Wikipedia.
The picture below is of the raw black bear steak. I was really quite excited to try it. 
black bear steak
I had heard mixed reports on the taste of bear meat.  I've heard that it can be sweet, but that the fat can be very nasty. I've also read that it tastes like pork. 
The meateater website  states that the taste of the flesh reflects what the bear has been eating, even more so than other animals. If the bear has been eating salmon or carrion, the flesh is not going to taste as good as if the bear has been eating blue berries or grass. Years ago bear meat was eaten regularly. It was so prevalent in New York that a market was given the name of Bear Market (distinguished from bear and bull markets on Wall Street today). The Joy of Cooking, by Erma S. Robauer and Marion Rombauer Becker, 1964 edition, gives recipes for cooking bear meat. It suggests that you "Remove all fat from bear meat at once, as it turns rancid very quickly." It also suggests marinating the bear meat for at least 24 hours in an oil based marinade before cooking it. I had just a few small steaks and wanted to get the full flavor of it. 
So I did nothing to prepare the meat other than to rub on a little olive oil and put it on a grill on high heat. I cooked it six or seven minutes on one side and about four minutes on the other. It came out looking very nice and was quite tender and flavorful. 
There were nine people present and everyone had at least one bite. All liked it. Some compared it to beef. The meat was a tad-bit sweet and reminded me of lamb more than any other meat, although it was darker, more tender and not as strong as lamb. 


  1. you people do know that bear meat cannot be eaten medium rare right?

    1. Well, it obviously can. There may be risks associated with it, as there is with pork or other meats, but it is quite good cooked medium rare.

  2. I like to eat bear, but it is especially foolhardy to eat it when it has been cooked to anything less than well done. Nearly all reported cases of trichinosis in the last 40 years are from undercooked wild game (especially bear):

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Hmm did not post correctly..

      Again Sorry but you are over reacting. The CDC is well known to the medical community (My wife is a Cardiologist surgeon) to be way outdated in nearly every aspect.

      Back on to game meat etc. No well done is NOT necessary. You are just going by the old wives tale to burn anything that has a risk but by doing that you will kill any decent taste of the meat etc.

      The correct thing to do is to use a cooking thermometer and cook it to a the optimal temp. I am also I am also a hunter and game meat fan. Again NO need to get so alarmed.