Alligator meat is a delicacy to some and not so much for others. Those who enjoy eating alligators say that it’s lower in fat, cholesterol, and calories than chicken; but because there are few breeders available of this animal (alligators must be caught from the wild), they can be found in dishes very rarely.
Alligators are fascinating creatures found in only two countries – the United States and China. In the United States, they call Florida or Louisiana their home and mostly they live in freshwater environments such as ponds, lakes, swamps etcetera.
The average alligator can weigh up to 800 pounds with some being 13-15 feet long. Most of the meat comes from its tail, known as white meat, which is said to have a texture like veal but taste similar to chicken, rabbit, or fish.
Alligator meat is a delicacy that can be grilled, fried, or prepared in other ways. It has many uses and can even find its way into Cajun dishes such as gumbo and jambalaya.
How much does alligator meat cost per pound?
Usually, you should expect alligator meat to cost anywhere from $7 to $25 or more per pound. This meat is harder to find and will cost more than other types of meat, which is why it will also cost more.
The price will usually depend on several factors, the most important being where you live, where you’re purchasing the meat from, how much you actually buy, and the type of alligator you go for. As an example, a 1 lb pack of alligator nuggets can be priced at about $15 to $25 per pound.
Alligator sausages cost about $13 to $17 per one-pound package. It’s usually mixed with a blend of herbs and spices which make the flavor more unique and flavorful than your everyday pork sausage. The retailer may choose to add some pork in there, which would change the taste a little and decrease the costs to about $4 less.
You can find alligator patties, like hamburger patties, at your local grocery store for about $11 to $15 per pound. But if you want to try a package of frozen alligator legs – they’ll cost around $15 to $20 and will usually offer more flavorful meat. If it’s alligator jerky that you’re looking for, then you should know that some packages are going for $20 per lb if not more.
Pistolettes are a type of French bread-like food that is usually stuffed with an alligator filling and can be found in stores where alligator meat is sold. Four to six rolls of pistolettes typically cost $15-$20 each.
The Louisiana Crawfish Company is famous for selling filtered, processed, and marinated gator meat for around $19 per pound.
LA Best Seafood, LLC is one of the largest suppliers of alligator meat. They list their prices on their official website and according to them, this type of meat can cost anywhere from $10 to $22 per pound with a minimum purchase weight of five pounds.
Alligator tenderloin meat, which comes from the tail, is available in a 5 lbs pack for $33, at Chicago Game & Gourmet.
Just Good Meat offers alligator ribs for $19.99 per pound.
Exotic Meat Market offers alligator cheek meat for $99.99 1 pound and alligator sirloin for $99.99 per pound.
A whole alligator for meat is a pricey endeavor but can be worthwhile for restaurants/retailers given the high value of alligator tail and body meat. Expect to pay $300 to $500 for a commercially viable medium-large gator.
Prices for alligator meat can range from $8 to as much as $25 per pound, according to one article from the Daily Mail.
Alligator meat details
Alligator meat has been described as having a milder flavor than chicken or pork, but some chefs still say it should taste like seafood or chicken. The usual cuts of meat are taken out of in tail, jaw, and ribs. Alligator meat can be made into ground meat, burgers, soup mixes, and meatballs with its body parts being used for recipes of both baked and fried dishes.
Alligators from reputable sources are raised in climate-controlled buildings, nourished by top-quality custom-blended feed, and do not receive growth hormones, steroids, preservatives or additives such as Sodium Tripolyphosphate. This ensures outstanding results in the quality of the alligator meat.
Alligators are known to take on flavors easily when cooked because their meat is low in fat. 3 ½ ounces of alligator will only contain 112 calories but no carbohydrates, no sodium, 70.5 milligrams of cholesterol, 1.8 grams of fat, and around 25% protein.
Fresh alligator meat is described as a healthy meat source for humans due to its low cholesterol and saturated fat, but also because is a good source of protein.
Alligator meat is a common ingredient in some regional cuisines, particularly in the Southern United States, where it is featured in dishes like alligator po’boys, alligator gumbo, and alligator nuggets.
The cost of gator tail meat can vary depending on the source and quantity purchased.
Farm-raised alligator tail meat generally ranges from $12 to $16 per pound retail. This is the most commonly found type.
Wild-caught alligator tails are more expensive, selling for $14 to $20 per pound or higher. To buy alligator meat that is wild-caught is limited.
Online specialty retailers charge in the range of $16 to $25 per pound for fresh or frozen alligator tail meat packs.
At high-end restaurants, dishes with meat from alligator tails may cost $25 to $40 for around 5-8 ounces of meat, whether is grilled or stir-fried.
Any additional expenses to consider?
If you’re looking to buy alligator meat online, many stores will want to ship your order overnight. Some may charge for shipping depending on their policy while others might waive the fee if a minimum requirement is met. The most common fees for shipping will range from $25-$35.
Is there any way to spend less?
As with any meat purchase, the more you buy at once, the better deal it is. For instance, buying a five-pound package of alligator meat could be 20% cheaper than purchasing individually.
If you’re looking to find some alligator meat for sale in stores, take the time and shop around. Search online for a retailer that sells it near your location so there are no shipping costs or long wait times involved with ordering.
When comparing prices on different websites, be sure to pay attention to which retailers offer more flavorful meat. Remember that price is not everything when talking about food. Go for quality, and not for the price.