How to Tenderize Squirrel & Rabbit Meat

Updated June 18, 2018

People have been eating squirrels and rabbits for centuries. As with all types of meat, the older the animal, the tougher the meat. This is true with both squirrel and rabbit meat. It is sometimes hard to know the animal's age, unless it is raised domestically. Older squirrels and rabbits require tenderising so the meat is not tough. The meat falls off the bone once tenderised. The tenderised squirrel or rabbit meat is then suitable for stews, or it can be fried like chicken.

Cut up the squirrel as you would a chicken. Slice off the legs and thighs and cut the back into two portions. Wash the squirrel meat off after cutting it into sections.

Fill a pot large enough to hold the squirrel parts with water. Use a pot large enough to hold all the stew ingredients, if making squirrel stew.

Place the squirrel parts into the pot. Make sure there is enough water in the pot to cover the meat.

Place 2 tsp of salt, one whole onion and four cloves of garlic into the pot. The salt, onion and garlic help to remove any gamy taste from the squirrel meat.

Turn the stove to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Turn the heat down to simmer. Allow the squirrel meat to simmer for approximately two hours, or until fork-tender.

Remove the squirrel meat from the pot. Use a fork and knife and remove the meat from the bones. Discard the bones and place the meat back into the pot.

Add two chopped carrots, two chopped potatoes, two diced tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste and any other ingredient suiting your taste to make a stew. Simmer the ingredients for one hour.

Cut the rabbit into pieces as you would a chicken. Slice off the legs and thighs and cut the back section into two portions. Wash the rabbit meat off with water after slicing.

Place ¼ cup of oil into a cast-iron Dutch oven. Turn the heat to medium-high and allow the pan to heat up.

Sprinkle the rabbit meat with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Place the pieces of rabbit into the pan. Brown the rabbit meat on both sides and turn the heat down to simmer.

Add enough water to the pot to cover the rabbit meat by 3 to 4 inches. Add one whole onion, salt and pepper to taste, two chopped carrots and two chopped potatoes. Simmer for approximately two hours, or until tender.


Simmering makes meat more tender than boiling. To make fried rabbit, roll the rabbit pieces in seasoned flour and brown in a frying pan filled with ¼ cup of oil. Add 1 cup of water, place the lid on the pan and simmer for approximately one hour, or until fork-tender.

Things You'll Need

  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Pot
  • Salt
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Pepper
  • Oil
  • Dutch oven
  • Garlic powder
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

For over 25 years, Joyce Starr has owned businesses dealing with landscape & design, lawn maintenance, specialty herbs and a garden center. She holds certificates in landscape design and xeriscaping. Starr shares her passion for nature in her writing, publishing articles on horticulture, outdoor recreation, travel as well as business.