People in recent years have been more and more open to eating wild game. This leads to many people looking into what wild game they can eat.
A common question is can you eat possum? You can eat possum as long as it is field dressed properly and cooked in the right manner.
Do people eat all types of exotic foods such as Possum? I can’t speak for the whole world but there are many areas of the United States where Possum is a common wild game that people will in fact eat.
Possum consumption isn’t as common as people eating other types of wild animals such as rabbit or venison but there are still many areas where it’s a normal part of the diet.
One of the main reasons people often wrinkle their nose at eating possum is due to how possums look. With a deer or rabbit they are cute looking and we don’t consider them strange looking. The possum on the other hand is kind of squinty eyed with a long pointy snout and most people don’t find that attractive.
What Are The Dangers Of Eating Possum?
Eating possum or any wild game can be dangerous if proper precautions aren’t followed. Lets look into some of the proper precautions we should take when procuring or cooking possum to ensure we remain safe.
If the meat is not cooked properly or prepared in a certain way, then there are many dangers that could come from consuming possums.
Issues with food are usually caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances that contaminate the food. When the food is not properly cooked or processed, these organisms can contaminate our food and if eaten cause us to become ill.
As we can see, it’s advised to be careful when cooking possum. As long as you follow proper precautions and cook the meat properly, then your risks of becoming ill should decrease significantly.
How To Make Sure You Don’t Make Yourself Sick
Possums and other wild game could have a number of things that could make you sick wild game is likely to carry bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella, as well as a slew of parasites, thankfully proper handling and following the proper cooking method to the right temperature can go a long way to make sure you and your loved ones do not get sick.
1) Keep The Meat Clean
Possums can carry bacteria that contaminates the meat. If you are procuring the possum yourself when it is obtained you should carefully gut and skin the animal, removing these items will go a long way to minimizing contamination.
Next, the meat should also be washed with cold water to remove any dirt or hair that may have adhered to the meat while it was being processed.
2) Cook The Meat Properly
All meat has an appropriate cooking temperature to make sure the meat is safe to eat. Cooking possum to eat is no different. According to the USDA, wild game meat should be cooked to at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit to make sure there is no bacteria.
Also, be mindful of how much grease and fat drips from your cooked possum. If
A possum should be cooked until the meat reaches a temperature of 165, do not just guess at the internal temperature, we recommend you use a properly calibrated food grade internal instant read thermometer.
3) Serve The Meat Right Away
While this is true with most food, do not let the meat sit out at room temperature for long periods of time. Meat should be consumed within a reasonable amount of time or refrigerated or frozen to ensure bacteria doesn’t have time to grow.
What Does Possum Taste Like?
Possum tastes like dark game meat, some have compared the flavor of possum to that of lamb, or even duck.
It is important to understand that much of how possum will taste is determined by how you cook it and how you season it. If you first try it a certain way and do not care for it try cooking it and or seasoning it a different way to see if you find something you prefer over other methods.
My 3 Best Ways To Cook Possum
The best way in my opinion to cook possum is to grill it, while you can use a propane grill if that is all you have, I recommend using a charcoal grill. Charcoal produces a more natural flavor and can add a slight smoked flavor to the meat. Marinading ahead of time in italian salad dressing can add a lot of flavor and tends to make the meat more tender when cooked.
Use a slow cooker, slow cooking game meat can bring out a lot of flavor and also ensure you do not dry it out. The slow cooker will keep the moisture within the cooker and generally make the meat fall off the bone tender.
Lastly, roasting in a conventional oven. Conventional ovens are the old stand by, while I don’t feel possum tastes as good when cooked in the oven it is easier to do when you may not have access to a grill or a slow cooker.
Benefits of Eating Possum
Wild game meat can have many benefits, the same holds true for possum. Assuming the possum has been obtained from the country and hasn’t been foraging trash in the city or suburbs possum can be higher in omega three fats that traditional store bought meats.
Outside of the nutritional aspects possum meat can be an easily sourced, fairly lean protein so it can be great for those people looking to supplement the families meat budget with wild game.
Hopefully this article has been helpful for you and you are more comfortable now in eating possum, it is a staple in many folks diet so give it a try!