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What Does Bear Taste Like? Let’s Find Out!

There is now a growing trend among meat lovers to eat bear meat. Before the 1900s, it was fairly common in the USA to eat bear meat, but different movements against it made people quit it. Now, more and more people have started to eat it again and different companies have started farming bears for their meat as well.

So, What does Bear taste like? 

Describing what bear meat tastes like is a bit complicated. It is because the taste of bear meat changes throughout the year. Yep, it is true. In the spring, bear meat will taste mild while in the fall/ autumn, the bear meat taste will be strong, much like venison. In addition to this, the bear meat will taste similar to the last meal the animal had. 

Want us to explain in more detail? Then continue reading!

Table of Content

What Does Bear Taste like? A Complete Taste Profile

When it comes to flavor, bear meat gives off gamey sensations. Some people may even mistake it with venison meat at the first glance. Venison is the meat of deer that is a bit less sweet than the bear meat. You might be wondering- “what is bear meat called?” Well, Bear Meat is darker red in color that is why it is also called red meat.


Here’s the detail of factors that influence bear meat taste:


The bear meat may taste from mild to strong depending upon the season. You must be wondering, why does bear meat change in taste?

Bears cannot tolerate a much colder environment and go into hibernation mode after the fall season. But before this, they eat a lot and get bulkier to protect themselves from the chilly winds. So, if you hunt a bear in this season, it will taste strong and much like the last things the animal ate.

Let us give you a few examples so that you can have a better idea:

  • Those bears who eat blueberries have the most delicious taste (which is mildly sweet and flavorsome). 
  • If the bears eat dead meat or fish, their meat will not be flavorful.
  • Bears that eat grasses have a mild taste with less fat content. 

When the bear steps out in the spring after the hibernation period, they have no fat on them and their meat taste is mild. Since there is more green vegetation in the spring, bears mostly eat them. As bears eat fresh grass, their meat stays softer and tender. In the fall, there is no fresh grass- so the meat is rough.

Age of Bear

The age of the bear is also another deciding factor in the taste of meat. Younger bears taste milder and are softer than old bears.

Types of Bear

Generally, four types of bears are hunted or farmed for meat, which is:

  • Black Bear
  • Grizzly Bear
  • Coastal Brown Bear
  • Polar Bear

Black Bear

Want to know what does black bear tastes like? The black bear is the most commonly found wild boar which tastes like the last things it ate. It. As the black bear loves to eat berries, plants, insects, and other meat, it generally tastes a little sweet and tender.

Grizzly Bear

Those who are about to try bear meat often search online, What does grizzly bear meat taste like? Grizzly bears love to eat meat and do not shy away from eating even dead animal flesh and fish. The texture of the meat is grainy and stringy. In taste, it is a little similar to the black bear but less delicious.

Coastal Brown Bear

Coastal brown bears’ favorite meal is fish and the grass around any shore. Thus, its meat has a fish-like aroma and taste and is also a little tougher to cook.

Polar Bear

Have you ever thought- What does a Polar bear taste like? Cooked Polar bear meat tastes very similar to pork that is roasted in cod oil. But again, it depends on which meal the polar bear ate the last time. If it ate too many fish, it would also taste a little fish-like.

Similarly, you might also be wondering, What does bear milk taste like? The bear milk has a hint of fish taste and smell. So, most people will not like the beverage made out of bear milk.

How To Properly Process and Then Store Bear Meat? 

If you don’t handle the bear meat well, it will go bad faster than you think. You have around 12 to 14 hours after hunting the bear to finish the processing and store it properly.

When you hunt a bear or buy it directly from a hunter, start the processing as soon as possible. First, get rid of the fat layers on top of the meat. These layers spoil the first and turn rancid. If the fat layers do turn rancid, the bear meat will give a foul smell and turn sour. In the processing, Bear meat should be field-dressed after careful trimming of fat.

Then, you can store it in the freezer for about three months. Moreover, whenever you decide to eat, take the meat out of the freezer and defrost it. Defrosting brings back the flavor and texture the meat had when it was fresh.

So, you must now be wondering, how can you cook bear meat? We are describing it too!


How To Cook Bear Meat?

The best way you can cook bear meat is by “not rushing.” Let us explain. You have to be patient and cook the meat slowly for it to retain all of its flavors and destroy any harmful worms in it. This goes for every cooking method- whether grilling, stewing, or frying.

But why do experts recommend you cook bear meat longer? Bear meat contains trichinella (a type of roundworm) which can only get killed by heating at 160 degrees for a longer time. If it doesn’t, you may get infected with trichinosis disease. In this disease, a person may suffer from diarrhea, vomiting, stomach ache, muscle cramps, headache, and rashes.

Now, let us tell you which foods you can cook with bear meat.

Which Cuisines Can You Make From Bear Meat?

Although the bear meat is tasty, you have to be smart and picky in deciding which part is best for which type of food. Don’t worry; we are here to suggest to you which cuisines you can make with different bear parts.

  • Meat from the neck area of the bear is ideal for grinding.
  • The grilling of the boneless parts (especially the chest) is ideal. Moreover, if you want to make the bear meat soft before grilling, marinate it a day before with milk or butter.
  • Some people only love the ribs of the bear and it is justified. The ribs perhaps taste the most delicious among other parts. We suggest you slow roast the bear ribs and then grill them to make the experience memorable. You can roast meat of any bear part, however, it must be free from fat. You can also add flavorful ingredients like garlic, vinegar, thyme, saffron, and basil to make a delish roast.
  • If you want to have vegetables with bear meat, go for the stew. You can add carrots, garlic, mushrooms, and other vegetables to it.
  • Bear sausage is another popular delight. In this, you can also combine other meats like beef or pork. Add three parts of the mild flavored bear meat and one part of pork and beef.
  • How about making a burger with bear meat? Well, if done right, it sure can give tough competition to the Big Mac. To enhance the taste, you can also add beef to it. Here’s how you can do it. First, grind the bear meat to make it softer and tender. Then, mix the ground beef meat or tuna in it and then make a patty before frying it. Add lettuce, tomato, and sauces you like to give a final touch.
  • While we are on the subject of grinding bear meat, how about making a burrito with it? You can use this ground bear meat, add a little lemon juice on top and then season with some taco flavors.

People also ask, Does bear meat taste like beef? Well, some hunters did say that both taste the same, however, the majority agree that bear meat is much stronger than beef. In addition, a bite of cooked bear meat tastes mildly sweeter than beef. Also, bear meat requires more chewing than any other meat.

Now, let us tell you why eating Bear is healthy for your body.  

Health Benefits of Bear Meat

Health Benefits of Bear Meat

An average bear meat meal (100 grams) provides the following nutrients

Calories128 cal
Cholesterol 98mg

Bear meat is rich in proteins and essential calories that does the following to your body: 

  • Builds muscles
  • Speeds up injury recovery process
  • Improves immunity
  • Reduce appetite
  • Weight loss

Where Can You Purchase Bear Meat?

It is nearly impossible that your nearby store will have bear meat. Fortunately, online stores like ElkUSA and Tilman’s meat and county store have bear meat on their list. They don’t hunt the bear, instead, they farm them.


Question: Is Bear Meat Greasy?

Answer: Bear meat does feel greasy if you don’t remove the fat from it. Moreover, the fat on the bear meat gets spoiled quickly and turns rancid.

Question: Is Bear Meat Poisonous? 

Answer: No, bear meat is not poisonous at all. It is eaten by thousands of people around the world and they love to make different cuisines with it.

Question: Is Bear Meat Smelly?

Answer: Bear meat can be smelly due to two reasons. If the bear ate fish and dead animals before you hunt it or buy it, it will give a fish-like smell which is unpleasant. Moreover, if the processing is not done properly, the bear meat turns rancid and gives a foul smell as well.

Final Thoughts

Many People wonder, What does Bear taste like? and we answered this in this article.  Bear meat tastes different in different seasons. In the spring, the bear meat is mild while in the fall, it is intense. 

The real factor that decides the meat taste is what the bear was eating before it was hunted down. If the bear was feasting on vegetables, berries, and other small animals, it would taste a little sweet, rich and delicious. 

However, if the bear was devouring dead flesh and fish, the taste will be extremely bad and smelly. So, you have to be careful regarding that before deciding to eat it.

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