What Does Gamey Meat Taste Like

What Does Gamey Meat Taste Like? UPDATED (2021)

One of the repercussions of humans becoming civilized is our aversion to a gamey taste. If you’ve never tried this flavor, you might wonder, what does gamey meat taste like? If you have developed a taste for fine dining, you might even ask, what does gamey mean?

Gamey refers to the essence of the wild. To be more specific, a gamey flavor tastes very earthy and wild. Here, the smell sometimes overpowers the flavor. The store-bought meat rarely has this flavor.

Animals like rabbits, ducks, bears, deer, and many others are often described as tasting gamey. Read on if you are curious and want to know more about the gamey meat taste. We have also included some reasons for this taste and ways to reduce the gaminess.

What Is Gamey Meat?

Gamey meat has two inferences. One is a wild smell that overpowers the flavor in the meat, and it’s the taste of the game. The other refers to the smell of rotting or unhygienic meat. The latter can be avoided by using fresh meat. You must always clean and purify your meat before cooking and consumption.

The taste of the game, however, is a little difficult to remove. Some people even consume it for this specific reason. The flavor and smell of wild meat are very strong, and it smells like the forest, mushrooms, and the wild. It’s very earthy. Hunters are addicted to this different taste.

One of the most obvious reasons for the gaminess in the diet of the animal. Your store-bought meat comes from animals that are raised on the farm or in factories. These animals, however, eat grass and other animals from the forest. Sometimes even farm-raised animals like lamb and mature goats can taste gamey.

Since this meat is mostly obtained by hunting in the natural habitats of these animals, it’s bound to taste a certain way. Not all game tastes the same. Depending on the animal, its diet, and its environment, the taste differs. The common element in all kinds of game meat is the earthy flavor.

Reasons Behind The Gamey Taste

The most common reason is the nature of the meat and its derivation. However, there are plenty of other reasons that can make your meat taste gamey. The most common ones are as follows.

Overcooking The Game Meat

Cooking is meant to not only make the meat edible but also to enhance the flavor. If you overcook the meat, then you might end up with an even more gamey flavor than raw. When the wild meat is overcooked, the enzymes are released to make this flavor stronger.


The diet, as mentioned before, is a major factor behind the unusual taste. Domesticated animals taste gamey, too, if they are fed a similar diet. Hunted animals taste somewhat like their last meal.

Many of you might be grossed out by this fact, which is why the gamey meat taste is not for everyone. The taste can also be described as metallic. It has a significant metallic tinge to it, which is accorded by the high iron content in the meat.


You cannot put a common label over all types of unconventional meat. Mostly, meat that tastes ‘off’ or ‘different’ comes under gamey. Part of the reason for this is also the activity of the animals.

Wild animals are very athletic, especially when compared to farm-raised animals. Due to this, the fat content is lower, and the iron content is high. Animals like boar, deer, and others fend for themselves, and their diet is sporadic at best.

If you lay a wild buffalo beside a farm-raised one, you’ll notice many differences from the fat content to their structure. This difference translates into the wild and unfamiliar gamey meat taste.


Sometimes, when meat is matured or aged over time, it can develop that gamey meat taste.

The game meat should be cooked shortly after hunting. If they are hung or left to mature, the flavor of the game intensifies.

Older animals also have this taste. Wild animals, in general, are older as they are not raised by humans for a specified purpose. Even the young wild animals, to some extent, will always taste gamey as they are active since birth.

Be warned, and this taste is not for all taste buds. It’s an acquired taste, at best. Some of you might even describe it as stinky meat. This stink is revered and highly sought out by hunters and adventurous eaters.

The Most Revered Gamey Meat

Just like seafood tastes like the ocean, these animals are described as tasting gamey due to the aforementioned reasons.

  • Rabbit
  • Deer
  • Wild Boar
  • Elk
  • Moose
  • Buffalo
  • Venison
  • Duck
  • Squirrel

These animals taste very different from domesticated animals. Even if it’s your first time trying them, you can tell the difference. Even other animals, when they are hunted, taste gamey, but these are the most popular ones.

Ways To Reduce The Gamey Taste

If you are not a fan of this flavor, we have some tips. Cooking the meat helps to an extent, but it’s impossible to completely do away with the gaminess.

You can soak the meat in milk as it helps dilute the taste. Some people even soak it in vinegar and brine water. The problem here is that it can make the meat tougher and too salty, respectively.

Apart from soaking, you can always curb the gaminess in the field. Don’t just injure your game and leave it to die. This elevates the gamey meat taste. You must kill and take it away from the field.

Final Words

Gamey meat has numerous connotations. At the end of the day, you have to taste it to be able to tell the difference. Many adventurous eaters are crazy about gamey meat. On the other hand, some of you might be eternally put off due to this gamey meat taste.

Whether you plan on trying this or not, you are bound to be curious. We hope we could help you get acquainted with this weird yet slightly addictive taste.