View Full Version : Are squirrels good eatin ?

December 22, 2007, 09:55 PM
I've never bothered hunting them but now I have 3 of them living in the attick and they are becoming a pita . I'm going to borrow a pellet gun to get them so I don't shoot a hole through the roof or if I get a good shot at them outside , it has to be quiet and safe [ live in a thickly settled suburb ] .. I hate to waste good meat if they are worth eating . Maybe I'll just feed them to the dog .
If they are good to eat , whats the best way to cook them ?

Dave Haven
December 22, 2007, 10:18 PM
Squirrels are delicious.
They're a bit lean for grilling, but frying or stewing with your choice of seasoning works well.

December 22, 2007, 10:20 PM
If they are young you can fry them if you like it that way. Much of the time fried Squirrel is a little dry for most people.
Here is the way I like to cook them.
Place a small potatoe inside the body cavity. Let the legs "hug" the potatoe. A couple of pieces of carrots & then put a couple of large slices of onion on the upper side. Add 2 strips of bacon long ways on the top. Bake in the oven for 3.5hrs at 275 degrees. The bacon will keep it moist. Fat will run through the onion & soak into the meat. The potatoe & carrots finish the meal.

No doubt you will get others.

December 22, 2007, 10:29 PM
Big Brunswick stew fan here, simple fare and easy to cook

Be careful about shooting them with a pellet gun
Make sure you have enough gun and can make a one shot kill

I make a lot of money digging three day dead ones out of walls for people

December 22, 2007, 11:03 PM
I hear that. Squirrels are pretty resilient unless you hit em in the head.

Sure they're good. Stewed, chicken(squirrel)salad, deboned & lightly fried with cheese & mustard on a sandwich...mmm. If they're skinney I'll grill em for the dog, he loves em.

December 22, 2007, 11:13 PM
Sure they are edible and prepared right down to earth good fare. I cut mine into quarters and lightly saute them and bone out the meat. Then into the crock pot with small taters and cut carrots, pearl onions and various veggies. Thicken the stew and ladle over Bisquick biscuits. YUM. CB.

December 22, 2007, 11:19 PM
They taste pretty gamey and look like a rat when skinned. I tried one once but I don't care for it.

December 22, 2007, 11:20 PM
I like the legs fried up like chicken wings. Fantastic. Just had some the other night.

December 22, 2007, 11:30 PM
Tree rats, yum yum.....:barf:


December 22, 2007, 11:51 PM
The critters are very good eating. Not much meat other than the hind quarters and a bit on the front quarters, but fried or stewed they're delicious. Fix then just like you would rabbit.

December 23, 2007, 12:09 AM
Big Brunswick stew fan here

same here, gotta love the stew

December 23, 2007, 01:38 AM
Soup or stew.

December 23, 2007, 02:26 AM
I have been eating squirrels off and on for a couple years since a neighbor fed me some stew. I use a Gamo or Winchester 1000 fps rifle with PBA Raptor gold plated pellets to either head shoot them or zap them off trees by hitting them dead center, base of the head, top of the spine. A one shot kill is certain with shooting like that + the high velocity + (most important for me) a good scope.

The wife won't try them but I joke that she's gonna' love 'em come the Apocalypse!

December 23, 2007, 02:58 AM
love squirrel in rice and gravy or gumbo.

i dont care to eat-em like my uncle Jerry though he throws the heads in the gumbo too.

December 23, 2007, 04:18 AM
I like to toss them in a marinade of beer, garlic, salt & pepper, a little splash of apple cider vinegar, and something spicy (peppers / hot sauce / cayenne / ect...).

After they have soaked for a while I dust them with flour and pan-fry them in a combo of butter, bacon grease, and olive oil until they start to pick up some color, then pull them out, add some more flour, and make a roux in the pan.

When the roux starts to smell nutty and pick up a little color I toss in a bunch of onions and a little celery, carrot, and green pepper, all finely chopped except for some of the onions that I leave in rings, add some salt and pepper, and cook the mixture until the veggies start sweating and the roux hits the darker side of golden brown.

Then I pour in one or two bottles of fairly dark beer depending on how much squirrel is going to be cooked (anchor steam works great for this), stir it well, and put the squirrel pieces back in.

Toss in some potatos and whatever other veggies you have laying around (big chunks of carrots are great for this too), cover the pan, and toss it into a 250 degree oven for a long long time (minimum 5 hours, but 8+ is better).

When you dive into a big plate of this stuff you will not understand why so few people eat squirrel. It's damn tasty, and this method is one of the tastiest.

December 23, 2007, 06:09 AM
If you put squirrel in a frying pan, the key is to first BOIL them for 30-45 minutes. Then batter and drop -- great eating!

December 23, 2007, 08:33 AM
We were so poor we saved the rims off bologna to boil and make soup. Squirrel was a feast.

You parboil the squirrel. Then flour and fry in oil in a frying pan. Take a mixture of the water you boiled it in ,the grease in the pan, and sweet milk and flour to make some gravy.
The gravy and biscuits have a flavor that is just fantastic.The squirrel itself is so so.

December 23, 2007, 11:11 AM
love squirrel in rice and gravy or gumbo.

That's the way my wife fixes 'em. Good eating..

December 23, 2007, 12:07 PM
Zerojunk has it right. Boil with onions to make them tender then fry like chicken. Fine eatin'

December 23, 2007, 12:26 PM
1. It depends on how hungry you are.

B. Gravy improves the taste of most anything.

December 23, 2007, 12:36 PM
They taste pretty good (I wouldn't say great), when prepared properly, but the problem with squirrels is the meat-to-butchering/skinning-work ratio is rather low, since they're not real easy to butcher, esp. as compared to other animals yielding about the same amount of meat, such as quail or doves, which are easy to rip the flesh back and expose the breast.

December 23, 2007, 02:22 PM
ANY small game + crock pot = best easy eating EVER!!!

1 squirrel, cleaned, skinned, decapitated
5 chopped carrots (~8" each)
2 sliced onions
1 package mushrooms sliced - any kind, morels are best (~15 +/- mushrooms, I love stewed mushrooms)
4 sticks chopped celery
1 tspn garlic salt/pepper
1 clove garlic
shot of brandy

Let stew slowly for 4-5 hours :D

December 23, 2007, 02:31 PM
make sure you have enough gun. In my experience a .22 isn't enough unless you shoot them in the head. I have some wild stories about wounded one's. THey go farther than you expext.

December 23, 2007, 02:35 PM
Ate a lot of squirrel years back. Great in stew as others have noted. Not bad broiled on a spit but takes some time to get it done. I have added them to freeze dried foods when packing and that really helps the freeze dried! Have done the same with porcupine and more!

December 23, 2007, 03:07 PM
make sure you have enough gun. In my experience a .22 isn't enough unless you shoot them in the head. I have some wild stories about wounded one's. THey go farther than you expext.

In my experience a 22hp kills them DRT with a solid body hit. I've lost a few when using a shotgun and shot too small, but never with a 22. (No 5 shot works well out of shotgun.)

December 23, 2007, 03:21 PM
It depends on how hungry you are.

Very good answer to a very subjective question Arub. ;)

Then again, I'm much more likely to shoot a dog if I was that hungry. :D

December 23, 2007, 03:48 PM
the problem with squirrels is the meat-to-butchering/skinning-work ratio is rather low, since they're not real easy to butcher, esp.

squirrels are fairly easy to butcher out. Take a look here:


if you're not a member over there, you should be.

December 24, 2007, 12:36 AM
Squirrel and dumplings...yummmm! :)

Fried squirrel can give your jaws a real workout if you get an old one.

December 24, 2007, 01:05 AM
WOW! That recipe has my taste buds doing the mambo! That's something to try in the new year. Thanks!

December 24, 2007, 08:45 AM
usually i will clean them and then cook them, the best way i have found by simply microwaving them for 10 minutes on high with a little butter.
Just kidding. Imo the best way to eat them is in brunswick stew

December 24, 2007, 09:06 AM
check out a guy called mr. squaks or something like that, his method works great for skinning them, then just gut out like a fish basically. may i suggest a few things.

when skinning, first get the whole thing soaking wet then skin, it helps keep the hair off the meat which it sticks to very easily, having a bucket of water available..or a stream/lake...really helps.

2) just use the legs and back strap near the spine... i cut it out like you would a deer the backstrap on top of its back. then cut off the legs and chuck the rest. there isnt anything on the inside near the spine. the 'rib meat' (not that there is any really) is pretty nasty its very elastic like ect, so i just chuck that away.

plus when people see it cooked if its just legs and back strap its much easier to 'deal with' than seeing what looks like a rat floating in some gravey =)

easy and simple recipe. coat in flour, put in one of those oven bags they have... dump in a 1/2 cup of h20 and your fav BBQ sauce. cook on low for an hour and a 1/2. tastes really good.

the meat is kind of like a pork-ish type meat.

December 24, 2007, 09:07 AM
btw i love that all you other guys eat these things! i feel like the outcast around here when i mention it.

December 25, 2007, 08:54 AM

December 25, 2007, 03:06 PM
That's just the basic recipe, feel free to add whatever herbs and spices suit your taste. It can also be done at higher heat for less time or lower heat for more time, I do it a little different every time I cook up some squirrel.

If you cook the potatos for the full time, they can fall apart a little. If you like your spuds to maintain an oval shape, you can wait until the last few hours to put them in.

December 25, 2007, 03:47 PM
I like the legs fried up like chicken wings. Fantastic.

That's my favorite way, too. Discard the middle part with all of the rib bones -- they just get in the way. Also good anywhere you'd use chicken parts, like in a slow cooker for gumbo, etc. Don't let anyone discourage you from using a pellet gun. With the right pellets (.22, heavy, and pointed), it will take out a squirrel as well as anything out to ~30yds.

December 25, 2007, 06:20 PM
[QUOTE]make sure you have enough gun. In my experience a .22 isn't enough unless you shoot them in the head. I have some wild stories about wounded one's. THey go farther than you expext.

I would have to say a 12 gauge 3 1/2 in slug is pushing it.

December 25, 2007, 07:28 PM
Wow, I don't know what the squirrels are eating where you are at, but if a .22 has problems knocking them down I want a wack at them. :eek:

December 26, 2007, 03:51 AM
make sure you have enough gun. In my experience a .22 isn't enough unless you shoot them in the head. I have some wild stories about wounded one's. THey go farther than you expext.

Mabe ill start a thread on what caliber is best for killin squirrels but then again i dont want to stir up the 40 S&W fans.:D

seriously i like to use high velocity #6 in my 12 gauge with full choke

December 26, 2007, 05:09 AM
Low velocity .38 wadcutters do a durn fine job on those little suckers.

I love stew, I like pan fired, but I also like them broiled stuffed with blackberries and wrapped in bacon. MMMMMMMMmmmmmmm...tasty.

December 26, 2007, 08:03 AM
If you use a .22 use subsonic or short hollow points. Full speed hollow points tear them up and regular bullets may not kill them before they go in a hollow.

December 26, 2007, 08:59 AM
Saw some Asian folk, had one over an open fire, stick shoved up it's rear end, burnin' the hair off while it cooked!:eek:

Wild Bill Bucks
December 26, 2007, 12:45 PM
Stumbled onto this Idea a couple years ago, but it is the best way I have found to keep them VERY tender. Fix them in Shake n Bake just like the recipe for doing chicken. The meat stays very moist and tender, and doesn't seem to matter how old the fuzzy tails are.:)

December 26, 2007, 10:31 PM
You know, all this talk about squirrel got me hungry so I gathered up the family and went and got some yesterday morning. Got 8 of them, now I'm on the hunt for a good recipe. Time to try something new...

T. O'Heir
December 26, 2007, 10:39 PM
City slicker tree rats I wouldn't touch. You have no idea what they've been eating. They don't just eat nuts and such. You'll likely find shooting them in town is illegal too.

December 27, 2007, 12:47 AM
You also need to figure out where they are getting into the house and seal up the entrance. If you do this during the day there's a good chance they will all be outside and your problem is solved. If you do trap one inside I would use a Havahart trap to capture it and then release it outside. No risk of dead, rotten, unbelievable stench, in the house. The $30 for the trap is a much better deal than paying someone to cut into and then repair your walls. If you don't want to buy one some hardware stores rent them. If you have a local animal rescue organization, the type that takes in injured birds, rabbits, etc. they might rent or loan one too.


December 28, 2007, 01:36 AM
i agree with Arub. if your hungry you will eat anything, its human nature. if your not and the choice is a tree rat or steak i will be needing some A-1

January 5, 2008, 12:00 AM
we dont have squirells in NZ but from what you guys are saying im just gunna have to try it.

January 6, 2008, 12:09 AM
The squirrels here in MN can take any house cat in a fight anyday... and Iv'e seen some big/mean house cats. We shoot them off our feeders cuz that stuff's for the birds. BB's do not work so well unless you can put it through the brain and we don't get headshots on running/jumping squirrels too often. One squirrel we pulled three pellets and 6 bb's out of muscle and the guts. We soaked ours overnight in salt water then boiled it. Then put it in soup of chicken broth, carrots, celery, and egg noodles.

January 7, 2008, 03:40 PM
Squirrels are tasty especially if you cook 'em in a slow cooking crock pot. That's the way my wife does it. Yum yum.

January 14, 2008, 11:05 PM
Squirrels taste great. Every bit as good as a rabbit IMO, just less meat. I like them battered and fried, or in stew, or just about any other way you can cook them. You just have to take some measures to keep them from getting dry while cooking or they'll get tough and stringy. My mom makes squirrel and dumplings sometimes, that's one of my favorite ways to eat them. Oldbill's way sounds pretty good, too. It's actually very similar to the way I do beef rump roast, I'll have to try it on some squirrels.