Alligator Meat

Florida Alligator Meat is not only delicious but is low in fat and cholesterol and a wonderful source of protein. 

It’s available in a variety of cuts including tail fillets, ribs, nuggets and wings.  Tail meat is a choice cut of white meat that is mild in flavor with a texture similar to veal.  The ribs, nuggets and wings are a darker meat with a stronger flavor and a texture similar to pork.  Florida alligator meat is extremely versatile and can be used as a substitute for chicken, pork, veal or fish.  It’s available fresh or frozen and can also be ground to make sausage, patties for burgers or taco filing.

Safe Handling Tips

  • Purchase meat last and keep it cold during the trip home.
  • Keep raw and cooked alligator meat separate to prevent bacterial cross-contamination.
  • After handling raw meat, thoroughly wash knives, cutting surfaces, sponges and hands with hot soapy water.
  • Always marinate meat in the refrigerator. 
    • Discard used marinade as it contains raw juices which may harbor bacteria.  
    • For basting, reserve a portion before adding raw meat.

Buying and Storing Tips

  • Alligator meat is usually purchased as frozen pieces or fillets.
  • Meat should be firm with a fresh aroma and no discoloration.
  • Store thawed alligator meat in the coldest part of the refrigerator at 32° F for up to two days.
  • To freeze, wrap meat tightly to prevent freezer burn; date the package and store at 0° F for up to 6 months. 
    • Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Cooking Tips

  • For extra tenderness, use a meat mallet to tenderize fillets and flatten meat to desired thickness.
  • Alligator meat can be chopped fine or ground to make patties, sausage or taco filling.
  • Cook using either a short cooking time with high heat, i.e. searing, pan frying and deep frying or a long, slow method such as simmering in a sauce, stewing or braising.
  • Alligator can be used in jambalayas, soups and stews.
  • Alligator meat’s mild flavor is easily enhanced with seasonings, sauces and marinades.
  • Chicken, pork, veal and fish recipes can be successfully prepared with alligator meat.