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Cooking whole EMUs. Need ideas and flavor profiles.

who has had it? what does it taste like? What parts did you eat?

I need as many details as possible?

Thanks in advance.

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  1. I have no clue... but I see ole JB is at it again!

    1. I would like to cook them WHOLE but I think the legs would be a problem. Also I am concerned about the fat content of the animal. If it has fat how does it taste? If it has not fat will I have to "lard" it? Do I skin it or pluck it?

      They are relativity cheap about $200 so I can practice before cooking them for the public.

      I like a challenge. The Llama was much easier to make tasty.

      4 Replies
      1. re: JB BANNISTER

        JB, I like your style and you do cool stuff. What is the airfield nearest to you with an FBO?

          1. re: JB BANNISTER

            Have you put up any photos here your 'big-dead-meat' events? I'd like to see some.

            1. re: Puffin3

              You can search for them. They are all over yourtube. The name to search for is on my profile email

      2. Trying to picture the size of the roasting pan in my head?!?

        5 Replies
        1. re: kseiverd

          Spatchcock one or two on the grill and maybe one on a Rotisserie. Spitjack.com has some great heavy duty ones that can handle it. I may have to put two on the spitjack. It is up in the air right now as to how but 3 will die and be cooked over two days.

          1. re: JB BANNISTER

            You're the man, JB. Very emusing. We will meet.

            1. re: JB BANNISTER

              What about spatchcocking and using one of those open trailer type charcoal/wood grills? Like this: http://i208.photobucket.com/albums/bb...

              1. re: juliejulez

                That is pretty much what we have planned but on a open grill unless it rains. We will probably have 3 or 4 of theses trailer there to cook the lambs and goats on.

              2. re: JB BANNISTER

                I have to say, the thought of an Emu (or two) on a rotisserie is just great! I wanna see that...

            2. Couldn't you contact someone with an emu farm? Someone there must know how they taste.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Puffin3

                Great idea!!!!! Duh! I should have thought about that.

              2. I've had emu steaks -- much like very lean beef in appearance, and VERY tasty.

                4 Replies
                1. re: sunshine842

                  Does emu taste like ostrich? Because ostrich is just wonderful, but there's practically no fat in it, at least the ostrich I've had from around here.
                  However, the owner of Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch here between Tucson and Phoenix told me once that ostrich and emu oil comes from Canadian birds, because if you feed ostrich enough to get fat they suffer and die from the heat here. In that case, I guess whether you wanted to lard it or add fat would depend on where the emu was raised.

                    1. re: EWSflash

                      Does emu taste like chicken?

                      1. re: porker

                        Nope. Doesn't look like it, either.

                  1. I have an episode of the Inn Chef where M. Smith visits an Emu farm and makes an Emu dish. Happy to email it to you if you're at all interested. I know there aren't a lot of Michael Smith fans but there might be something of interest in it for you.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: TheCarrieWatson

                      I would love to see that. I think you can find me by clicking on my profile.

                      1. re: JB BANNISTER

                        Hi there - i wasn't smart enough to figure out your email but you can email me at zbarnhar at fhcrc dot org and I'll try sending it!

                    2. Is there a non- Facebook way to keep up with event dates, etc.?

                      Feel free to e-mail me (on profile)


                      1 Reply
                      1. re: meatn3

                        Please don't mention any event or name it. I really need to research this and the mods are very strict with me. Chowhound is the best place to get the information I need.

                      2. The only time I've had it was years ago when a local independent grocery store was trying to show support for a local emu farm. We bought it ground and served it as burgers, and I don't really remember much other than it wasn't too different from a beef burger.

                        1. Some brief notes from a long ago (2003!) ostrich/emu cooking demo and tasting,

                          1. My opinion would be that the idea is totally tasteless.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: escondido123

                              if one is an omnivore, it may be seen as graphic, preposterous, even Caligulian, but tasteless?

                              one might dress the frenched bones of a lamb crown roast in little toques, but it doesn't change the item. my only criticism would be: is this the best way to prepare and deal with it? given how lean it is, I'm sort of guessing no, but that's not the question.

                                1. re: carolinadawg

                                  I think the Breast will taste like beef and be tender at Med Temp. I suspect the thighs and legs will tough and need to be injected with a fat and wine mixture and also cook longer.

                                  I made a LLama taste great last year. (didn't need much help as the sweet beef flavor was awesome)

                                  If I'm going to serve it to people I have to make it taste the best I possibly can.

                                  1. re: JB BANNISTER

                                    JB - my post was in response to escondido's statement regarding tasteless. Good luck with your endeavor!

                              1. I have absolutely no idea, but every time I see JB's name & questions on cooking crazy stuff, I MUST click! And end up smiling every single time.

                                Can't wait for the day "how do I cook a(n) unicorn?" shows up. And I believe it will. And JB will source one.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: pine time

                                  Me too pine time - once a year but it is always very different and exotic.

                                  1. re: pine time

                                    Someone just stole the one Obama has been riding. The word's out it's on 'JB's spit. http://wildammo.com/2009/07/27/unusua...

                                  2. What does that acronym stand for?

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: paulj

                                      in this case, it's not an acronym - it's the large flightless bird.

                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                        Wait until I finish my research on my MOUCLADE. I think the Fire Dept may need to stand by.

                                      2. re: paulj

                                        YOU OWE ME A KEYBOARD! The Pepsi came out my nose and everywhere!

                                      3. I'm Australian and have lived in a place where emu was traditionally hunted and eaten. I have not eaten it myself but here is what I know:

                                        Like most Australian game, emu is very lean and high in protein. Take care when cooking not to dry it out - cook rare to medium rare and a good marinade would probably help. If you want to keep it Australian, Herbies Spices ( http://www.herbies.com.au/ ) has a wide variety of native Australian spices that should marry well with emu. Bush tomato, wattleseed, lemon myrtle or pepperberries are all wonderful. They will ship internationally. Emu also benefits from Asian flavours

                                        Indigenous Australians traditionally cook emu in a fire pit. They just throw the whole emu into the hot ash, cover it up with sand (or whatever works for you) and unbury it when it's done. If you're interested in a traditional Indigenous method I do have Aboriginal friends with experience I can get information from. Let me know if you are.

                                        Treat the emu like any other bird. Thighs would probably be a prized part, but potentially tough as they do run (and can run FAST!) alot. They would likely benefit from low and slow cooking. Breast and fillet would likely be more tender. You could always mince some of the meat and fashion into burgers. Very delicious when mixed up with kangaroo (I'm a huge fan of roo).

                                        I think the most important things are to not dry it out, either cook it in a traditional manner or stick to curries, burgers, braises or slowcooking methods. If you do want to cook it whole I can easily speak to my Aboriginal friends who traditionally hunt and cook whole emu's - just sing out and I'll get the info for you

                                        Love the project! ('Cause I love the promotion of Australian stuff) May I suggest you get hold of a roo at the same time - it would be amazing. Good luck!

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: TheHuntress

                                          I cooked a lot of emu in Australia.
                                          Very good meat. Extremely lean, dark and dense. Way more like kangaroo or venison than any poultry I've ever had.
                                          We always cooked it medium-rare at most; it's pretty 'livery' if overdone.
                                          But as TheHuntress says, the Aborigines have techniques...
                                          Are you definitely planning to rotisserie? I assume part of the fun is having a giant bird cook where you can see it. Maybe not much excitement in a pit.
                                          A confit emu leg would be something!
                                          As for the skin, they make emu skin leather, so..
                                          But a skinned bird would dry out really easily.

                                        2. Thanks everyone! This is a great foundation to start with. If I do a "test run" I will post pictures.

                                          1. Sorry! I don't have a pot that big. If I had one I'd give it a try though. ;o[]

                                            1. I have the EMUs secured. I just found out there is little to no breast meat and it is really really lean. I may have to inject bacon into the legs.

                                              6 Replies
                                              1. re: JB BANNISTER

                                                there's always 'barding' I do that when roasting pheasant - lacing bacon over the bird. but that wouldn't work in a rotissierie operation. continual slathering of olive oil with a mop brush is an idea.

                                                1. re: JB BANNISTER

                                                  I don't know if you meant to literally inject bacon (barding) but you could inject the bird much as turkeys are injected with marinade.

                                                  1. re: John E.

                                                    I got some larding needles from amazon. We are going to have 20-30 young aspiring chefs helping so I think this will be a good task for them at the event.

                                                    I am going to cook at least 1/2 a bird as a test. One I will inject with oil based marinade the other we will use the larding needle.

                                                    I should have said Larding needle in my comment but Few people know about them so I said inject bacon. I forget me chowhounds know their stuff.

                                                    1. re: JB BANNISTER

                                                      If your event wasn't more than 1,100 miles from me (Minnesota) I would have been there last year. This year your event is the same weekend as the Minnesota walleye fishing opener so even if you were closer, well you know.

                                                      (Do you know how many lawyer jokes there are? Only three, the rest are true.)

                                                  2. re: JB BANNISTER

                                                    All Australian game is really lean. Most marinades for Australian game contain a high oil content and is usually best cooked quickly over high heat or braised/slow cooked.

                                                  3. I have THREE emus sourced. I am excited because since I get to kill them I will be able to use hearts and livers and whatever else looks good. I like to cook this for the volunteers for breakfast on the big day.

                                                    3 birds for $500. I am going to pay him $650 if he will hold them until 2 week before Bovinova. The extra was so he could feed them so high protein feed to add some weight on the. The farmer tells me that it is little to no breast meat. The meat is on the legs and neck.

                                                    I have an aversion to cooking stuff with the neck on do I will probably fill one if my larger dutch ovens up with them a let them cook through the night.

                                                    Thanks for the help and ideas every one. I will post some pictures when I get them cooked.

                                                    1. Well we lard the EMUs and they came out pretty good. Here is a pic. They have no breast meat so these are the thighs,

                                                      1 Reply