Filson Food: Roasted Beaver Tail Recipe

a beaver tail roasting on a grate over red hot coals in a firepit

If you were a trapper back in the frontier days, a beaver tail was something that would have you licking your lips. Long, hard winters were filled with lean, wild game meals, which led to a scarcity of fat in a trapper’s diet. One of the more sought-after sources of high-quality backcountry fat was beaver tail.

old black and white image of a group of people sitting around a fireplace in a snowy campsite in the forest

“As this was my first time cooking beaver tail, I deferred to the trappers who were so fond of this meal and cooked it the same way they did: fire roasted. To improve on the original slightly, after roasting the tail in this recipe, the fat was seasoned and re-grilled to toast the outside. Under the scaly skin, a beaver tail is made up of a spongy fat with a tail bone running down the middle. The flavor of the fat is very mild with only a hint of fishiness if you go searching for it, but it is in no way off-putting. The biggest hurdle to eating beaver tail is coming to grips with the idea of eating a rodent’s tail—and the texture, which is unlike anything else out there.”

Connor Gabbott, Hunter & Backcountry Chef

preparation text on beige background
  • Trap a beaver according to your local game regulations and remove the tail.
  • Build a rock fire ring with a channel off-shoot that will fit a grill across the channel.
  • Start a fire in the main fire ring and create a base of coals.
  • Pull coals from the fire into the grilling channel and place the beaver tail onto the grill.
  • Roast the tail for approximately 20 minutes, rotating it every couple of minutes to get an even roast. Some charring on the skin is okay.
  • As the tail roasts, the skin will bubble and pull away from the tail.
  • Remove the tail from the grill and cut the skin off.
  • Run a knife down either side of the tailbone and remove chunks of fat.
  • At this point, the fat can be consumed as is, or it can be seasoned and grilled to crisp the outside.
beaver tail roasting on a grate over red hot coals
hand securing a charred beaver tail while a knife cuts down the center of the tail lengthwise