What Does Goat Taste Like?

While Americans don’t seem to be fans of eating goats, it’s a common meat in many parts of the world. Easily found in those other parts of the world, goats are fairly hard to come by in America. Perhaps that’s why not many people in that county know what goat tastes like.

Goat meat has a slightly sweet, slightly gamy taste. It can also be somewhat grassy, earthy, and tangy in flavor. Depending on the age and part of the goat the texture may be more tender or tough. Kangaroo meat tastes less gamy and is more tender than goat meat.

Goats tend to be compared to lamb quite often. However, goat tends to be somewhat sweeter than lamb, less gamey and carries some tangy flavors as well.

The Age of the Goat

Like other game animals, the age of the goat tends to alter the way it tastes. Typically, the best age to eat a goat is between 8-10 months.

A younger goat will have a somewhat more mild flavor, but it will be much more tender and succulent. Once the goat begins to age, you’ll get a more intense flavor, but its muscles will be overworked. This produces a much tougher and fibrous texture to the goat meat.

It comes down to personal preference really. If you like more tender meat, eat a younger goat. However, if flavor is more important to your palate, you might like cooking an older goat for a longer period.

Cut of the Meat

Different parts of the goat have somewhat different flavors and textures. Let’s take a look at the most popular cuts of goat meat.

Legs

The legs tend to be the mildest cut of the goat. They hold very little fat, which tends to mean less flavor.

It’s easy to overcook the leg and end up with tough, tasteless meat. It’s best to use the legs in a stew or other method that involves a lot of liquid.

Ribs

Generally, there is a lot of fat on the ribs of most cattle animals. This makes the ribs much more flavorful than the legs. 

However, ribs often need to be cooked for a long time in order to break down the connective tissue. If you don’t cook the ribs for a long time, you may still end up with flavorful meat. But the meat will be tough and difficult to eat.

Shoulder

Similar to the legs, the shoulder is a bit more overworked than some of the other cuts. This means tougher meat that should be cooked for a long time.

Shoulders are often braised or used in soups or stews.

Breast

The breast of the goat is full of fat and has a wonderful flavor. When cooked, it tends to remain moist, so you end up with a nice tender, juicy piece of meat.

Loin

This is generally the best part of the goat. It’s the most flavorful, as well as the most tender. To make sure your loin is extra tasty, try to make sure it’s from a younger goat.

These are mostly eaten as chops and either grilled or made as a roast in the oven.

How to Cook Goat

There are two easy ways to cook goat. If you’ve never tried it before, it might be best to either grill it or use it in a stew.

Grilled Goat

Cooking goat burgers is a good way for someone to try goat meat for the first time. By processing them into patties, the goat loses some of its gaminess. What you’re left with is a mild, somewhat tangy flavor in a familiar form.

Stewed Goat

Another good option for first-time goat eaters is to put it in a stew.

By cooking the goat in a stew, you are ensured a nice tender piece of meat. In addition, you have the option to add whatever spices you like. This will help you control the gamey flavor of the goat if you desire.

Final Thoughts

Goats are much less gamy than other animals such as duck, goose, lamb, or rabbit. However, it does have a slight gaminess to go along with a nice sweet and somewhat tangy flavor.

The texture of a young goat is much more tender than that of older goats. However, older goats carry a much more intense flavor, so it might be a trade-off.