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Emu, THE Natural Alternative™ for the Backyard Grill

A hot new food for the outdoor cooking season


Fifty years ago you might see the backyard grill in action three times in a year:  Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day.  Dad would wrestle it out of the garage, knock off the dust and hand Mom the rack to clean, usually at her insistence since the blackened grime “added flavor” and “the fire would burn off any germs.”  She would carry it at arms length into the house where she would scrub it.  Dad would get the charcoal just right and flip burgers or grill hot dogs with a radio playing in the background.  Potato salad, coleslaw, potato chips, tomato slices, pickles and any condiments were Mom’s domain.   According to the Barbeque Industry Association, things have changed.  Three out of four American homeowners own a grill and over half of those owners cook out all year round, sometimes as often as 5 times a month during the traditional cookout season.


While hot dogs and hamburgers are still mainstays for the occasional out-door chef, true aficionados have expanded their grilling expertise to include many other dishes.  Chicken, pork and beef still dominate the scene; but emu joins salmon and shrimp as being one of the new ‘hot foods’ for the out-door cooking season. 


A red meat recognized as Heart Healthy™ by the American Heart Association, emu ranked best in 15 out of 20 essential nutrients in a USDA funded study at the University of Wisconsin.   “Emu came out lower in fat, including saturated fats, but higher in protein,” reports American Emu Association president Gerald Edwards.  “It was also higher in iron and several other essential vitamins than the other six meats tested.” 


The best way to grill this lean red meat?  According to Louisiana Chef Dale Bourgeois there is very little shrinkage, so you can use 3/4 the amount of emu vs. other meats. Bourgeois points out that emu requires a shorter cooking time and lower temperature than traditional meats.  “When grilling emu steaks, cook to a medium rare to light medium (150 to 160 degrees), says Bourgeois. “Fully cooked emu will retain a deep red color so care should be taken to avoid over cooking.  If you want well done, use a moist cooking method.”  According to Bourgeois, marinade time is reduced as emu retains flavors better than most conventional meats.  “Emu is mild flavored and responds especially well to sweet marinades," says Bourgeois. 


Emu is available in a variety of cuts suitable for the back yard grill, including fillet, flat and fan steaks, medallions, roast, ground and more.  For additional information about emu meat, its overall health benefits, recipes or location of retail emu meat outlets, visit the industry website at www.aea-emu.org.


The following recipes come from Emu, Life Just Got Healthier




Grilled Sesame Ginger Steak


4 (4 oz.) emu steaks

1 Tbsp. sesame seeds, toasted

2 Tbsp. ginger, grated (or ½ tsp. powdered ginger)

2 Tbsp. honey

1 Tbsp. soy sauce, low sodium


Combine the first 4 ingredients in a small bowl.  Set aside.  Grill steak over hot coals, basting frequently with soy sauce mixture.  Steaks can also be browned in a non-stick skillet, then add the soy sauce mixture and simmer 15 to 20 minutes.  Serves 4.



Barbecued Flat Filet Steak with Chutney-Bourbon Glaze


1 lb. emu flat filet

1/3 c. peach or mango chutney

1/3 c. pineapple juice

3 Tbsp. bourbon or apple juice

1 ½ Tbsp. rice wine vinegar

1 ½ tsp. hot pepper sauce

¼ tsp. salt

2 garlic cloves, crushed


Prepare grill or broiler.  Combine the filet and remaining ingredients in a large zip-loc bag.  Seal and refrigerate for 2 hours.  Remove filet from bag, reserving marinade.  Place filet on grill or broiler, cook 8 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness is reached.  Cut filet diagonally against the grain in very thin slices and keep warm.  In a saucepan add marinade, bring to a boil.  Stir occasionally, and cook for approximately 2 minutes.  Serve with filet slices.  Serves 4.



Cajun Steak


4 (4 oz.) emu steaks

¼ tsp. paprika

¼ tsp. garlic powder

¼ tsp. dry mustard

¼ tsp. ground sage

¼ tsp. ground cumin

1/8 tsp. pepper

¼ tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. low fat margarine, melted

1 tsp. parsley flakes

1/8 tsp. garlic powder

2 or 3 drops of hot pepper sauce


Combine the first 8 spices on waxed paper.  Coat both sides of steaks.  Grill on outdoor grill or broil in oven 4 inches from broiler.  Turn once.  Prepare sauce of margarine, flakes, garlic powder and hot sauce.  Spoon over steaks before serving.  Serves 4.



Grilled Emu Steaks


4 emu fillet

½ can frozen lemonade

¼ can water

2 tsp. minced onion

1 clove garlic, minced (or to taste)


Mix together the lemonade, water, minced onion and garlic.  Marinate the steaks for 2 to 3 hours.  Cook on grill to desired doneness.  Serves 4.



Teriyaki Emu Steaks


1 (16 oz.) emu pan fillet

2/3 c. soy sauce

¼ c. salad oil

2 Tbsp. Grandma’s unsulfured molasses

2 tsp. ginger

2 tsp. dry mustard

6 cloves garlic, minced


Mix all ingredients together except for fillet.  Add fillet and marinate overnight, turning at least once.  Grill to desired doneness.  Slice and serve.  Serves 4.





Emu Steak Kabobs


12 ox. Emu steak cut into 1 inch cubes

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 Tbsp. Honey

1 tsp. ground ginger

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 tsp. grated lemon peel

¼ tsp. crushed hot red pepper flakes

8 cherry tomatoes

4 large mushrooms,  cut in half

1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into 8 squares


In a shallow glass dish, combine soy sauce, honey, ginger, garlic, lemon peel and red pepper flakes.  Mix well.  Add emu; stir to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally.  Using four 10-inch metal skewers, alternately thread emu, tomatoes, mushrooms and bell pepper.  Grill 2 inches from heat turning 2 or 3 times until meat is medium-rare (or cooked to taste) and vegetables are lightly browned, about 10 minutes.  Serve immediately.  Serves 4.




Waller Kabobs


2 lb. emu fan filets

2 1040 Onions

3 green bell peppers

2 red bell peppers

2 Italian zucchini

1 pint Italian dressing

1 Tbsp. coarse ground pepper


Cut the filets into approximately 1 ¾ to 1 ½ inch cubes, place cubes in a bowl and add Italian dressing covering the cubes.  Marinate in refrigerator for about 2 hours.  Cut the onion and bell peppers into slices to match the cubed filet.  Slice the zucchini into about 3/8 to ½ inch thick slices.  Remove the cubed filets and sprinkle with the coarse ground pepper.  Slide the filets and vegetable onto skewers alternating the pieces into slices for color variation.  Place over grill, marinating with fresh Italian dressing to keep the meat moist.  Rotate the kabobs until the vegetables are done.  Remove from grill and serve.  Serves 8 to 10.





You can use ground emu the same way you use very lean ground beef.


Emu Burgers


1 ½ lb. ground emu

½ c. non-fat dried milk

2 Tbsp. water

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 Tbsp. soy sauce

1 tsp. onion powder

½ tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. liquid smoke, optional


Combine all ingredients with the ground emu and mix well.  Shape into patties and grill.  Serves 6.



Deviled Emu Burgers


2 lb. Ground Emu

¾ c. Italian Salad Dressing

3 Tbsp. Dijon-style mustard

½ c. finely chopped green onions

½ c. emu egg or 2 chicken eggs

1 c. plain dry bread crumbs


In a small bowl, combine the dressing and mustard.  In a large bowl, combine the ground emu, onions, eggs, breadcrumbs and ½ cup of the dressing/mustard mixture.  Shape the meat into 8 patties.  Grill or broil burgers, turning once and brushing occasionally with reserved dressing mixture, until desired doneness is reached.

Serves 8.



Emu Cheeseburgers


2 lb. ground emu

2 c. Cheddar cheese, finely grated

1 package Ranch Dressing Mix


Place the meat into a bowl and pour the Ranch Dressing Mix on top.  Use two forks to cut the dressing mix into the meat.  Add the cheese and blend with the forks. Do not over mix.  Use ½ cup of mix per patty.  Form 8 patties.  Grill over medium heat until the juice runs clear.  Serve with your favorite garnishments.  Serves 8. 



        Emu's Zine does not diagnose, prescribe or dispense medical advice.  We report and attempt to educate the public about the possible health benefits derived through the use of emu oil based products and consumption of low cholesterol, low fat emu meat.   This site contains personal testimonies and professional observations.   We encourage people to contact their family physicians regarding any health problems they may have for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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