By Christie Vanover | Published January 29, 2017 | Last Updated July 18, 2022
Alligator is very mild and takes on the flavors of the rubs and sauces you use to marinate it. The fattier portions of the meat have a texture similar to lobster. The leaner portions have a texture similar to juicy pork chops.
Grilled Alligator Ingredients
My favorite section of the gator, is the tail meat. Like chicken and pork, it cooks up fast over direct heat.
How to Prepare Grilled Alligator
Again, this recipe is not for a whole alligator. Instead, we’re using tail meat. If you buy it frozen, let it thaw and pat it dry.
Start by slicing the tail into 1-2-inch pieces and dust with Cajun seasoning and some garlic powder. The pieces should be kind of the size of chicken nuggets, maybe a bit bigger.
Slide the pieces onto a few skewers and let them rest on the counter for about 30 minutes while you light the grill. This will allow the spices to absorb into the meat.
How to Grill Alligator
You can cook these on any type of grill. Personally, I like using a gas grill, because they cook up in about 10 minutes.
Heat your grill to high. If you’re using a pellet grill, set it for around 400F degrees.
Add the skewers to the grill and cook them for about 5 minutes per side. It’s really that simple.
Surprisingly (or maybe not), the USDA doesn’t have a doneness guide for alligator and neither does my meat buyer’s guide. Through my research, I found that the Food and Drug Administration labels alligator into the fish category, because it’s “aquatic life.” Go figure.
Finally, I found an official government source with the answer. According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, alligator needs to be cooked to 145F degrees.
And I guess, since the FDA considers it a fish, that makes sense, because the USDA minimum internal cooking temperature for fish is 145F degrees.
Whip up a batch of Mississippi Comeback Sauce
Mississippi Comeback Sauce is a condiment I fell in love with when I lived near Jackson, Mississippi. It’s similar to Thousand Island, but it has more punch because it’s accented with onion, garlic and Cajun seasoning. A few dashes of hot sauce make it even better.
It makes the perfect accompaniment to grilled alligator because the creamy sauce tames the Cajun heat.
Some day, I’d love to experiment and grill up a whole alligator, but until that day, this grilled alligator recipe cures my Louisiana cravings.
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Frequently Asked Questions
I source my alligator from The Butcher Block in Las Vegas. It comes frozen, so if you can’t find it at your local butcher, my butcher can probably mail you some.
The tail meat is very tender. It tastes mild like chicken but has the consistency of a pork chop.
You’ve got to check out “The Alligator Cookbook.” It’s published by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. You can download the whole book for free online. It has recipes for everything from alligator balls to alligator dip to gator étouffée.
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Cajun Grilled Alligator with Comeback Sauce
- 1 lb frozen alligator sirloin, thawed
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp Code 3 Spices Sea Dog Rub
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- 2 tbsp chili sauce
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp Code 3 Spices Sea Dog Rub
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- a couple of dashes of hot sauce
- Prepare: Rinse the alligator, and pat it dry. Cut it into 12-14 equal-sized pieces.
- Season: Rub with olive oil, Sea Dog Rub (or your favorite Cajun seasoning) and garlic powder. Let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Heat the grill to high.
- Make Sauce: While it's resting, combine the ingredients for the Comeback Sauce. Add as much hot sauce as you like for your taste.
- Grill: Skewer the meat, and grill for 5 minutes per side.
- Serve: Serve with the sauce.
This estimate was created using an online nutrition calculator