Wow your tastebuds with Grilled Alligator! Healthy and delicious don't always go hand in hand, but here you have it. Perfectly cooked, bacon-wrapped grilled alligator will have you wondering why you haven't been eating this the whole time.
Ingredients for Grilled Alligator
Alligator Tenderloins - We are going to use the tenderloins. They will vary in size. They are a perfect appetizer size, but if you are serving this as the main course, you will need at least two to three tenderloins per person.
Milk - We will allow the alligator to bathe in the milk for 3-4 hours.
Bacon - In this recipe, we are wrapping the alligator tenderloin in bacon. Depending on the size of the tenderloins you will need 1-2 slices per tenderloin. I highly recommend thinly sliced bacon. This allows the bacon to cook and crisp up without overcooking the gator.
How to Grill Alligator
Step One - Place the alligator tenderloin in a zip lock bag along with the milk. Massage the bag a little to make sure all the pieces are thoroughly mixed with the milk bath. Place the bag in the refrigerator for at least three to four hours.
Step Two - Remove the alligator from the milk bath and dry the tenderloins off with a paper towel and place meat on a cutting board. Next, wrap each tenderloin in bacon. I use two pieces per tenderloin with a small overlap. Use toothpicks to keep the bacon in place. You could also choose to use wooden skewers.
Important Step - Preheat Grill
Ok, here is the deal, Whenever you are grilling with bacon, so bacon over an open flame, there is a high possibility of a flare-up. In order to avoid the flare-up, we will cook over indirect heat when we can. Preheat your gas grill to high. Once it is as hot as it gets, shut off one of the burners. We will place our bacon-wrapped tenderloins over this burner. If you have a 2-burner grill, leave the other burner on high. If you have a three-burner grill(like me) turn the other two burners to medium/medium-high. These are small and you don't want to over cook them, but we do want to get the bacon crispy.
Step Three - Place the bacon-wrapped alligator tenderloins onto your preheated grill. Cook the tenderloins for about 10 minutes over medium heat. You should turn them at least once halfway through. You can also cook them on "four" sides so that all sides of the bacon get a nice crisp from the hot grill grates. You want the bacon fat to turn at least golden brown.
Cook alligator until the internal temperature reaches 160°F. When it is done. Remove from the grill and serve. Enjoy!
Marinade - You can easily marinade the alligator tenderloins. When I marinate alligator tenderloins, I like to use a mixture of soy, olive oil, freshly chopped garlic and onion, and black pepper. Whisk marinade ingredients in a deep bowl and place it into the fridge. Allow the alligator to marinade for at least six hours. You can also marinate it overnight. When you are ready to cook, remove tenderloins from the marinade and grill as in the post's directions. Discard marinade.
Spicy - For a bit of heat add hot sauce to the milk marinade.
Dry Seasoning - In a small bowl combine garlic powder, salt, onion powder, and black pepper, and if you want some kick to it, add red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper. Mix dry ingredients together and then season the gator meat after it comes out of the milk bath. Grill following the instructions in the post.
Cajun - You could also choose to use a premade cajun seasoning for cajun grilled alligator.
Sauce - You can also serve this with bbq sauce or the southern classic, comeback sauce, which is a zesty mayo-based sauce.
I think the best way is to wrap it in bacon. But feel free to try some variations on this grilled alligator recipe next time.
Can you really eat alligator?
First off, don't worry, we are not preparing a whole alligator. In this recipe, I am using one of the easiest to use cuts of alligator meat, the tenderloin. Alligator in general, has a little bit of a "swampy" taste. It isn't unexpected, that is where they live. The alligator tenderloin is tail meat. It is very easy to use and is the most mild tasting part of the alligator. We will still use a milk bath to draw out some of that "swampiness". The tenderloin is mild white meat that has a firm texture. Because it doesn't have a strong taste, it is pretty flexible in its ability to pair well with seasons, sauces, and other dishes.
How to serve Grilled Alligator?
Serve bacon-wrapped grilled alligator tenderloins with sauteed broccoli rabe, grilled broccoli, or grilled squash.
If you are looking at creating a delicious grilled appetizer spread be sure to include som of our favorite grill recipes: Asian Pork Meatballs, Venison Siders, Wild Boar Burgers, and Bacon Wrapped Salmon.
- 16 oz alligator tenderloin
- ¾ cup milk
- 8 oz bacon thin slices
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place the alligator tenderloins into a container with a lid or a sealable food bag. Add milk, and place in the refrigerator for three hours.
- Remove the alligator from the milk bath and dry them off with a paper towel. Discard the milk.
- Wrap each tenderloin with a slice of bacon. Use a toothpick to keep bacon in place.
- Preheat your grill to high. Once the grill is at max temperature, turn off one of the burners and set the others to medium heat. Place your bacon-wrapped alligator tenderloins over the off burner. Cook the alligator for 10 minutes. Turn the alligator halfway through the cook.
- The alligator tenderloin is done when the internal temp reaches 160℉. When it is done, remove the alligator from the grill and enjoy.