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.
- 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.