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What Does Pheasant Taste Like?(Quick & Interesting Facts)

If you’ve ever wondered what pheasant tastes like? Now’s your chance to find out.

A recent study revealed some interesting facts about this popular game bird.

What Does Pheasant Taste Like - Quick Facts

For starters, it turns out that pheasants are actually quite tasty. They contain high levels of protein and low amounts of fat.

In fact, pheasants rank among the leanest meat birds.

When it comes to flavor, the study showed that pheasants have a slightly sweet flavor, but it really depends on what region the pheasant comes from.

It’s also good to remember that the flavor is dependent on how it is cooked and what you add to it.

Let’s consider some facts about how to enjoy this bird as a culinary delight.

Pheasant Nutrition Value: Serving Size 1 Cup (140 gm)

Nutrient Pheasant
Calories 334.6
Total Fat 16.9g
Cholesterol 124.6mg
Sodium 60.2mg
Potassium 379.4mg
Carbohydrates 0g
Protein 45.4g
Vitamin A 79.8μg
Vitamin B6 1mg
Vitamin B12 1μg
Vitamin C 3.2mg
Vitamin D 0.3μg
Vitamin D IU 9.8IU
Vitamin D3 0.3μg
Vitamin E 0.4mg
Vitamin K 6.9μg
Calcium 22.4mg
Iron 2mg
Magnesium 30.8mg
Phosphorus 338.8mg
Zinc 1.9mg
Copper 0.1mg
Selenium 29μg
Retinol 79.8μg
Thiamine 0.1mg
Riboflavin 0.3mg
Niacin 10.5mg
Folate 7μg
Choline 120.1mg
Betaine 16.7mg
Water 75.9g

What Texture Does Pheasant Have?

Pheasant has a dry texture like turkey. However, it contains a tough texture that is suitable for braising. 

Pheasant is lean in size, which makes it mandatory to keep them moist throughout the cooking process.

It has a similar flavor and texture to a chicken, making it a superb choice for casserole.

Dangers Of Pheasant

It is not uncommon that almost every food comes with risks and multiple dangers to health, and Pheasant is no exception.

According to a study, 11 million tons of meat are used from the birds that hunters shot, and millions of people consume that every year without knowing that they are consuming lead with that meat.

You heard it right, the tiny particles of lead remain in meats and lead it, resulting in lower IQ and neurological development in infants. Also, it causes cardiovascular and kidney disease.

How Can I Store Pheasant?

Pheasants can be stored and refrigerated for a long duration. However, this duration and method depend on whether you keep them cooked or fresh.

Storing Cooked Pheasants

  • Let the cooked Pheasant cool down to room temperature.
  • You should refrigerate them within two hours of cooking.
  • Transfer the cooked pheasants to an air-tight container, or you may also wrap the cooked Pheasant in aluminum foil.
  • Now place it in the coldest part of your fridge.

Cooked pheasants can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two days. After this time, the Pheasant will become tougher, and the flavor will change. The best way to store Pheasant is in a vacuum-sealed bag in the freezer.

Storing Fresh Pheasants

To store fresh pheasants, the bird needs to be chilled and refrigerated. Then, the Pheasant needs to be placed in a container that has a tight-fitting lid.

  • Use freezer bags, aluminum foil, or plastic freezer storage bags for wrapping or storing them.
  • If you are using a freezer bag, then make sure to remove excess air from the bag before closing them.
  • Once they are ready, label the bag and put it in the freezer.
  • The meat will last for 6 – 12 months in the freezer.

How To Tell If Pheasant Has Gone Bad?

There are three different methods for determining whether the meat has gone bad. 

  • One method is cutting the meat and checking for any pink juices.
  • One way is to use the freezer test. This test is done by placing a pheasant in the freezer for about a day and then checking it to see if it has turned dark in color. 
  • Another way is to use a food thermometer. This thermometer should be inserted into the thickest part of the Pheasant and left in for about 20 minutes. One should take the temperature, and then if it is above 40 degrees, it is safe to eat.

Can We Eat Pheasant Raw?

Pheasant meat is lean meat that is low in fat and high in protein. In addition, pheasant meat has a great taste, making it a popular choice for people who want to eat healthily. 

However, the question is, can we eat Pheasant raw?

Almost everything that we do comes with potential danger so does Pheasant. So, yes, you may have it raw, but it is advised not to.

Out of many facts, Campylobacter is the most common cause of food poisoning. If you are eating raw or undercooked pheasant meat, you will have a higher chance of contamination.

Food poisoning may start its symptoms in 6 – 24 hours with diarrhea, fever, stomach cramps, etc.

Does Pheasant Have Worms?

That is not what you would expect to hear, but it is a fact. Pheasant does have worms. This fact is not revealed to many people because most people find it disgusting. 

It could be due to the diet of the bird. It is suggested that the worms may be in the bird’s flesh, but there is no evidence. 

The other option is that they are in the feathers. It is suggested because the bird’s feathers can get wet, and they could trap the worms, and the bird will eat them.

What Is The Best Way To Cook Pheasant?

Of various methods, cooking pheasants in the oven is the best and most appropriate way to cook.

You may fry the Pheasant in a pan for 5 minutes and slide it into the oven for the required time based on your desired recipe.

It helps keep your pheasant meat tender and keeps its juicy texture intact. 

How Do You Clean Pheasant For Cooking?

If you are hunting a pheasant for cooking, it becomes essential to clean them as soon as possible. Because in that case, you have to pluck their feathers, which will be a messy procedure if it gets delayed.

  • To clean the Pheasant, you can use a knife or your hands to remove the feathers and also clean the carcass. 
  • Afterward, you can remove the giblets, neck, and head and put them in a bowl. Then, you can rinse the bird with cold water and pat it dry with paper towels. 
  • The next step is to remove the wings and thighs. You can either cut them off or pull them off by hand. Afterward, you can remove the back, breast, and leg quarters by cutting off the wing and thigh. 
  • Finally, you can put the bird on a plate or in a casserole dish with a layer of bread crumbs and butter.

Are Pheasants Poisonous To Eat?

Yes, Pheasants are poisonous to eat for humans. However, this does not mean that you should not eat them. 

Pheasants are hunted by many people and have been hunted by people for many years.

However, there are still some risks. For instance, while hunting, tiny particles of gunshot remain in the pheasants that humans unknowingly eat, which may result in serious health issues.

Is It Really Like Chicken?

Pheasant is low in both fat and moisture — meaning it will taste dry when cooked.

Not like chicken or turkey, which take longer to tenderize and longer still to fully dry their meat.

So, what makes pheasant different in taste to chicken? Well, it’s actually a blend of how chicken tastes and how turkey tastes.

But it comes the closest in flavor to chicken than it does turkey, according to experts.

In addition it has also been said that pheasant is smoky with a discernable and aromatic scent.

To add to the smokey flavor experts suggest cooking pheasant in wood-fired ovens.

These cookers give off a distinctive smoky aroma that permeates throughout the entire dish.

Unlike chicken and turkey, pheasants don’t contain much salt. Instead, they rely heavily on spices to add flavor.

One of the best ways to achieve this is by adding aromatics such as garlic, ginger, star anise, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, and bay leaves to the stockpot.


As mentioned earlier, pheasants’ taste depends on many things such as what region they’re from, how they’ve been raised, and even the type of bird itself.

If you want to try some pheasant meat, here are some tips and tricks on how to do it properly.

  1. Make sure you buy high quality pheasant meat. You can tell if the meat is good quality because it’ll smell really nice and look like a dark brown color.
  2. Be careful about the way you prepare the meat. When preparing the pheasant meat, make sure that you don’t overcook it. Instead, you should just use a medium heat setting. Also, avoid frying the meat since it won’t yield great results as it will probably dry out.
  3. Try out different types of seasonings that you might find in your kitchen. Some people prefer to add salt while others opt for pepper. Experimenting around with different flavors will help you determine which one suits your palate best.
  4. Don’t forget to check out the way you serve the pheasant meat too. There are different ways to present the dish. Some people like to garnish the meat with vegetables while others go for a simple side salad.
  5. Finally, remember that pheasant tastes better when cooked with a sauce. A simple marinade works fine but you can always add some extra ingredients to spice things up.

So, next time you’re thinking about ordering one of these delicious birds at your favorite local restaurant, you’ll have a little idea what to expect.

Let’s look at some more facts about pheasants’ flavor.

What Can Affect Flavor?

When it comes to game birds, there are several factors that can influence how the meat tastes.

One of those factors is what type of animal the bird came from.

Wild pheasants are smaller than farm-raised birds, but they have a much stronger flavor.

What Does Pheasant Taste Like

This is because they eat a wider variety of foods and spend less time indoors.

Another factor is how long the bird hangs prior to being cooked.

A hanging period of 24 hours will make the meat slightly firmer, while a longer hang time of 48 hours will allow the meat to become even more flavorful.

The final component is cooking technique.

Some people prefer to cook the bird whole, while others like to cut up the carcass into individual pieces.

Both methods work well, although some people find cutting up the bird easier.

Let’s look a bit further into the hanging process.


The ancient Romans had a special technique for cooking pheasant.

They hung the birds upside down and let them dry out for several weeks. Then they roasted them over hot coals.

Medieval recipes call for putting the birds into a tub filled with water and salt. After 24 hours, the water level rose because of evaporation.

This process continued for three days. At the end of the third day, the meat was ready to eat.

Today, most people choose to roast the birds but if you want the best tasting meat we suggest you follow the example of our predecessors and hang the birds upside down before roasting them.

You can do this yourself or ask a friend to help you if it’s a particularly heavy bird.

Hang the birds upside down in a cool place for about three to nine days.

If you live in a cold climate, put the birds inside a refrigerator or freezer and make sure the temperature stays above freezing.

When the birds are done, you can either serve them immediately or store them in the fridge for later use.

When you reheat the cooked pheasant, make sure you don’t overcook it. Let the meat rest for 10 minutes before serving it.

What Is The Best Way To Cook Pheasant?

The best way to cook a pheasant is to start it off slowly.

This helps maintain moisture inside the breast while maintaining a crisp skin.

To do this, place the bird into a large pot filled with salted water and bring to a boil.

Once boiling, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 30 minutes per pound. Remove the bird from the pot and allow it to cool completely.

Once cooled, pat dry, pull away the wing tips and cut down the backbone.

Rinse the bird under cold running water and pat dry again. Season with salt and pepper. Sear over medium heat for 5–10 minutes per side.

When done, transfer to a roasting pan and roast at 350°F for 45–50 minutes. Let rest 10–15 minutes before carving.

Unlike chicken meat, which should usually be cooked completely, pheasant is a lean bird and benefits from being left a little red.

However, it should not necessarily be served rare.

The slow cooking process allows the fat to melt out and the skin to brown without overcooking the meat.

Once the meat is almost fully cooked, turn down the heat again and finish the cooking process.

Health Benefits

If you are looking for a protein meal you might want to consider pheasant meat.

This lean meat has slowly gained a fan base due to its high nutritional value.

It is loaded with vitamins and nutrients such as vitamin B6, vitamin E, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium and iron.

These essential elements improve overall health and help boost immunity.

According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, pheasants contain about 50% less fat than chicken, turkey, duck or even quail.

A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry showed that pheasant meat had the highest amount of iron among birds tested.

RELATED: What To Serve With Duck Breast (16 Easy Sides)

Quick Table: Delicious Pheasant Recipes

Recipes Calories Per Serving Preparation Time
Pheasant Nuggets 697 Per Serving 35 Minutes
Pheasant Pesto Pasta 1394 Per Serving 1 Hour 30 Minutes
Pheasant Pot Pie 699 Per Serving 1 Hour 30 Minutes

1. Pheasant Nuggets

Pheasant Nuggets are a new and innovative food product and a delicious meat-free alternative to traditional beef nuggets.

These nuggets are deeply fried and work as a starter and appetizer. These nuggets come out as crispy, juicy, and tender and would make you and your family happy.

The best thing is that they are low in fat and contain high protein values with a mouth-watering taste. These nuggets are one of the best ways to cook pheasants.

These nuggets will be ready in less than one hour, and you may serve them with your favorite dipping sauce.

Calories: 697 Per Serving

Preparation Time: 35 Minutes

2. Pheasant Pesto Pasta

A simple, quick, and healthy meal that’s perfect for lunch or dinner. Pheasant Pesto Pasta is a hearty dish that’s full of flavor. It’s also an excellent way to use up any extra pesto.

The creamy and thick consistency of the pasta will bring out an exquisite taste, and you will be surprised to see how easily Pheasant can replace chicken.

The savory flavor of the pheasant pesto with the grated cheese with mushroom is the perfect blend. It is light, flavorful, and a meal that is filling without being heavy.

Although it takes some time to get ready, the taste it brings out is worth all the effort.

Calories: 1394 Per Serving

Preparation Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

3. Pheasant Pot Pie

This tasty dish is made from ground, skinless pheasant meat mixed with cream of chicken broth, all-purpose flour, salt, and other ingredients. 

The mixture is poured into a pie crust with egg white and baked until it bubbles and the top is golden. 

The pheasant pot pie comes with a crunchy and flaky crust making it one of the most delicious recipes.

It takes one and a half hours to prepare the recipe for making a complete meal.

Calories: 699 Per Serving

Preparation Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes


Now that you have a fair idea of what pheasant tastes like you might want to take advantage of this tasty nutritious meat and enjoy cooking it yourself.

Pheasant meat tastes great roasted or grilled over medium heat. But there are many ways to prepare this tasty bird.

As we mentioned there are several recipes out there that show how you can use pheasant as a main dish.

For example, you can stuff it with vegetables, herbs, spices, and cheese.

Or, you can bake it whole. So, whether you decide to roast it, grill it, or just eat it plain, pheasant is a healthy choice.

It contains plenty of protein, minerals, and vitamins.

So if you are looking for something different to add to your dinner table, give the pheasant a try!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Does Pheasant Taste Compared To Chicken?

Pheasant is one of the most challenging meats due to its long cooking time. A nutty, earthy flavor distinguishes Pheasant from chicken, which has a much more bland taste. However, the flavor and texture of Pheasant are similar to those of chicken. Pheasants are low in fat and high in protein.

Is Pheasant Dark Or White Meat?

Pheasant meat is typically dark but can also be white, depending on the type of Pheasant. Dark meat is more flavorful and typically has a more pungent taste, but it is also a bit fattier. White meat generally is leaner and has a slightly milder flavor.

Why Do People Eat Pheasants?

If you enjoy chicken, then you will surely love pheasants too. Pheasants come with a distinct flavor and will be pretty delicious. Apart from it, pheasants are a great source of low-fat and high-protein.

Get The Best Pheasant Taste Recipes

We offer a variety of menu options, so there is something for everyone. If you are looking for a quick bite, Pheasant Taste is the perfect place for you.


  • Pick a recipe from the list above
  • Click the recipe name and visit the website
  • Collect the ingredients and cook the food
  • Enjoy – don’t forget to leave a review

Recipe Video

Jess Smith