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How To Cook Beaver

Updated on February 2, 2011


For centuries Native Americans trapped beaver in baskets for food and pelts. The beavers rich, fatty tail was highly prized. Later, in the mid sixteenth century, beaver pelts drew French, Russian and British trappers into the Northern Territories and over hunting greatly diminished the number of beavers in the wild.

Beaver meat is dark red with a strong flavor. Only young beavers, under the age of 2 should be cooked, as old beaver is said to taste like the underside of a Mexican saddle.

Fresh or Frozen?

Beaver is available dressed and frozen from small game farms, where the animals are raised for their meat and hides. Check the regulations in your state, before trapping beaver.

Frozen farm-raised beaver weigh 5 to 8 pounds and are sold whole or as legs and saddles.

If you trap a beaver, after skinning and dressing it, be sure to remove the scent glands or "kernels" in the small of the back and under the forelegs immediately after the skin has been removed, taking great care not to cut into them.

Beaver fat has a strong flavor and odor, it should be cut away completely before cooking.


Beaver meat is rich, fine textured, soft dark red meat.

The liver of a beaver is very similar in flavor to that of a goose. In fact, due to its simularities to goose, beaver can be substituted in goose recipes.

Beaver meat will dry out quickly, compared to most lean cuts of beef.


Serving Suggestions

Make a gravy with the meat drippings, by adding a bit of flour to thicken.

Serve with other strong flavors:

  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Onions
  • Wild Rice
  • Green Beans
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Baked Beans

Side Dish Recipes

Mushrooms in Wine on Wild Rice

  • 1 1/2 lb fresh button mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup butter, divided
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup wild rice
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice

Combine rices, and simmer with lid in 4 cups water.

Sauté mushrooms in 2 tablespoons butter until tender (5 min). In saucepan, cook wine and onions for 10 minutes, add remaining butter. When butter is melted, add mushrooms and seasoning.

Serve over hot rice.

Brussel Sprouts and Green Bean Casserole

  • 1 lb each fresh or frozen brussel sprouts and green beans, cooked and drained.
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 strips bacon, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh grated Parmesan cheese.

Sauté onion and bacon until onion is translucent. Combine with green beans and brussel spouts in 9" x 13" casserole dish, sprinkle with salt and pepper, top with parmesan cheese.

Cover and bake at 350* F, for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 minutes or until cheese is slightly browned.


I am calling around and making inquiries, but have yet to find a source for farm raised beaver. It has been suggested to call my butcher, and have them order or locate a butcher in the yellow pages, under "meats."

Ivorwen, 2009.

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