Camel Burgers Exist And They're Tastier Than You Might Think

If you just stick to plain ground beef for your backyard burgers, then you may be missing out on some complex flavor offerings. Take venison burgers for instance, which are popular in many places, especially among deer hunters. Meanwhile, the camel burger may not quite have had its moment in the sun just yet (although camel milk is becoming the new go-to), but its fans are quietly growing in the United States.

A camel burger is just like its name describes — a burger fastened out of ground camel meat. In comparison to ground beef, camel is both leaner and can also be a bit gamey (especially if it's an older camel). For that reason, it's important to serve the right portion of the camel if you want a pleasant dining experience. In particular, a slice from the camel's shoulder would make for a bad burger because the meat is tough and rubbery. As for the best part of the camel, many diners seek out the camel's hump as it's described as both tender and flavorful. Tougher pieces of camel meat can be better served if slow-cooked, but more tender parts of the camel make for an excellent substitution for ground beef.

In order to cook ground camel meat, just form a patty and toss it into a skillet as you would a burger on medium-high heat. If you find the meat a bit too dry to your liking, you can always combine it with ground beef to get some of that fat and juices back.

Where to find camel meat

If you're interested in trying camel meat, you may be wondering where you can buy it. The meat is extremely popular in the Middle East as well as Africa, but you're unlikely to find it down at your local Walmart or Costco. Instead, your best bet for finding camel meat is to order it online. Since it has to be imported, the price is a bit on the expensive side. Three patties can cost around $20 before shipping.

Surprisingly, a large portion of camel meat that's exported comes from Australia. The country has a bit of an overpopulation of camels (which have no natural predators there). As a result, many Australians see them as a nuisance and invasive species, leading to the large-scale sale of camel meat in an attempt to quell the growing population (via Foodtank). While it will probably be some time (if ever) you find camel burgers on the menu somewhere like In-and-Out (though you may see a camel in the drive-thru), interest in the dish has increased in the past few years.

In Minneapolis, camel burgers have earned new fans, thanks to Somalian immigrants in the area. A restaurant, Safari Express, has created new converts who stand by the meat. However, if you're not in Minneapolis or another city that sells camel burgers, consider starting up the grill and cooking one yourself.