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Are Squirrels Edible? How To Cook & Eat Squirrels

Yes, squirrels are edible. Squirrels have been consumed as a food source for centuries in various cultures around the world. While some people may find the idea of eating squirrels unusual, they can provide a sustainable and nutritious protein source. Many people wonder what squirrels eat, others wonder how to eat them!

Why Eat Squirrels?

There are several reasons why people choose to eat squirrels:

  • Nutritional Value: Squirrels are a lean source of protein, low in fat, and rich in essential nutrients such as vitamins B12, B6, and niacin.
  • Sustainability: Squirrels are abundant in many regions and can be hunted or trapped without causing harm to the environment.
  • Traditional and Cultural Significance: In some cultures, squirrels have been a part of traditional diets for generations, and their consumption is deeply rooted in local customs.

Preparing Squirrels for Consumption

When considering eating squirrels, it is important to properly prepare them to ensure food safety and enhance the taste. Here are some steps to follow:

1. Sourcing Squirrels

If you are interested in trying squirrel meat, you can either hunt them yourself (following local hunting regulations) or purchase them from specialty markets that offer game meat.

2. Dressing and Cleaning

Once you have obtained a squirrel, you need to dress and clean it. Follow these steps:

Steps Description
Step 1 Remove the fur by making a small incision along the belly and carefully peeling it back.
Step 2 Remove the internal organs, being cautious not to puncture them.
Step 3 Rinse the squirrel thoroughly with cold water to remove any remaining debris.

3. Cooking Methods

There are various ways to cook squirrel meat, including:

  • Roasting: Season the squirrel with herbs and spices, then roast it in the oven until cooked through.
  • Stewing: Cut the squirrel into pieces and simmer it in a flavorful broth until tender.
  • Frying: Coat the squirrel meat with a batter or breadcrumbs and fry until golden brown.

Considerations and Precautions

Before consuming squirrel meat, it is essential to keep the following points in mind:

1. Safety and Hygiene

Ensure that the squirrel meat is fresh and properly cooked to avoid any risk of foodborne illnesses. It is recommended to use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature, which should reach at least 165°F (74°C) to ensure safety.

2. Local Regulations

If you plan to hunt squirrels for consumption, familiarize yourself with local hunting regulations and obtain the necessary permits. Respect hunting seasons and bag limits to maintain a sustainable ecosystem.

3. Allergies and Dietary Restrictions

As with any new food, individuals with allergies or dietary restrictions should exercise caution when trying squirrel meat for the first time. It is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns.


In summary, squirrels are indeed edible and have been consumed by various cultures throughout history. They offer a sustainable protein source and are rich in essential nutrients. If you decide to try squirrel meat, ensure proper sourcing, dressing, cleaning, and cooking methods. Always prioritize safety, follow local regulations, and consider individual dietary needs. So, if you’re feeling adventurous and want to explore new culinary experiences, give squirrel meat a try!

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