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Cooking whole EMUs. Need ideas and flavor profiles.

JB BANNISTER Jan 31, 2013 06:41 AM

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. porker RE: JB BANNISTER Jan 31, 2013 07:00 AM

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

    1. JB BANNISTER RE: JB BANNISTER Jan 31, 2013 07:29 AM

      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
        Veggo RE: JB BANNISTER Jan 31, 2013 07:38 AM

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

        1. re: Veggo
          JB BANNISTER RE: Veggo Jan 31, 2013 07:49 AM

          FBO? Our big airport is GSP

          1. re: JB BANNISTER
            Puffin3 RE: JB BANNISTER Mar 31, 2013 11:33 AM

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

            1. re: Puffin3
              JB BANNISTER RE: Puffin3 Apr 2, 2013 05:39 PM

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

      2. k
        kseiverd RE: JB BANNISTER Jan 31, 2013 07:59 AM

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

        5 Replies
        1. re: kseiverd
          JB BANNISTER RE: kseiverd Jan 31, 2013 08:07 AM

          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
            Veggo RE: JB BANNISTER Jan 31, 2013 08:16 AM

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

            1. re: JB BANNISTER
              juliejulez RE: JB BANNISTER Jan 31, 2013 10:21 AM

              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
                JB BANNISTER RE: juliejulez Jan 31, 2013 01:37 PM

                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
                Cheez62 RE: JB BANNISTER Jan 31, 2013 08:24 PM

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

            2. p
              Puffin3 RE: JB BANNISTER Jan 31, 2013 08:29 AM

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

              1 Reply
              1. re: Puffin3
                JB BANNISTER RE: Puffin3 Jan 31, 2013 08:34 AM

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

              2. sunshine842 RE: JB BANNISTER Jan 31, 2013 08:36 AM

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

                4 Replies
                1. re: sunshine842
                  EWSflash RE: sunshine842 Feb 3, 2013 10:26 AM

                  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
                    sunshine842 RE: EWSflash Feb 3, 2013 10:32 AM

                    it's similar.

                    1. re: EWSflash
                      porker RE: EWSflash Feb 3, 2013 11:32 AM

                      Does emu taste like chicken?

                      1. re: porker
                        sunshine842 RE: porker Feb 3, 2013 12:34 PM

                        Nope. Doesn't look like it, either.

                  2. TheCarrieWatson RE: JB BANNISTER Jan 31, 2013 09:42 AM

                    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
                      JB BANNISTER RE: TheCarrieWatson Jan 31, 2013 01:32 PM

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

                      1. re: JB BANNISTER
                        TheCarrieWatson RE: JB BANNISTER Jan 31, 2013 01:46 PM

                        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. meatn3 RE: JB BANNISTER Jan 31, 2013 10:45 AM

                      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
                        JB BANNISTER RE: meatn3 Jan 31, 2013 01:42 PM

                        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. b
                        beachmouse RE: JB BANNISTER Jan 31, 2013 07:35 PM

                        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. Melanie Wong RE: JB BANNISTER Feb 1, 2013 05:34 PM

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

                          1. e
                            escondido123 RE: JB BANNISTER Feb 1, 2013 09:52 PM

                            My opinion would be that the idea is totally tasteless.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: escondido123
                              hill food RE: escondido123 Feb 1, 2013 10:37 PM

                              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: escondido123
                                carolinadawg RE: escondido123 Feb 2, 2013 04:23 AM

                                Why is that?

                                1. re: carolinadawg
                                  JB BANNISTER RE: carolinadawg Feb 2, 2013 06:24 AM

                                  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
                                    carolinadawg RE: JB BANNISTER Feb 2, 2013 08:36 AM

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

                                    1. re: carolinadawg
                                      JB BANNISTER RE: carolinadawg Feb 2, 2013 08:58 AM

                                      No offence taken. We be cool.

                              2. p
                                pine time RE: JB BANNISTER Feb 2, 2013 09:32 AM

                                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
                                  Jeanne RE: pine time Feb 2, 2013 07:22 PM

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

                                  1. re: pine time
                                    Puffin3 RE: pine time Mar 31, 2013 11:26 AM

                                    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. paulj RE: JB BANNISTER Feb 2, 2013 09:36 AM

                                    What does that acronym stand for?

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: paulj
                                      sunshine842 RE: paulj Feb 2, 2013 09:56 AM

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

                                      1. re: sunshine842
                                        JB BANNISTER RE: sunshine842 Feb 2, 2013 12:46 PM

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

                                        1. re: JB BANNISTER
                                          John E. RE: JB BANNISTER Feb 2, 2013 06:44 PM

                                          Here is a resource you might consider:


                                      2. re: paulj
                                        Puffin3 RE: paulj Mar 31, 2013 11:15 AM

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

                                      3. TheHuntress RE: JB BANNISTER Feb 2, 2013 09:42 PM

                                        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
                                          pippimac RE: TheHuntress Feb 3, 2013 01:56 AM

                                          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. JB BANNISTER RE: JB BANNISTER Feb 3, 2013 06:45 AM

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

                                          1. Midlife RE: JB BANNISTER Feb 4, 2013 05:08 PM

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

                                            1. JB BANNISTER RE: JB BANNISTER Mar 30, 2013 07:13 PM

                                              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
                                                hill food RE: JB BANNISTER Mar 30, 2013 08:33 PM

                                                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: hill food
                                                  paulj RE: hill food Mar 30, 2013 09:20 PM


                                                2. re: JB BANNISTER
                                                  John E. RE: JB BANNISTER Mar 30, 2013 08:56 PM

                                                  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.
                                                    JB BANNISTER RE: John E. Mar 31, 2013 06:41 AM

                                                    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
                                                      John E. RE: JB BANNISTER Mar 31, 2013 09:03 AM

                                                      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
                                                    TheHuntress RE: JB BANNISTER Mar 31, 2013 01:51 AM

                                                    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. JB BANNISTER RE: JB BANNISTER Apr 1, 2013 06:47 AM

                                                    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. JB BANNISTER RE: JB BANNISTER May 17, 2013 07:02 AM

                                                      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
                                                      1. re: JB BANNISTER
                                                        hill food RE: JB BANNISTER May 17, 2013 06:27 PM

                                                        well baby had back.

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