How to Cook Quail

Quail is a delicate game bird that has rich, flavorful meat. When cooked properly, quail can make a wonderful addition to any meal. Here are a few tips on how to cook quail so that you can enjoy this delectable bird at its best. And if you are raising quail they are an easy source of meat for your family.

quail meat cooking on grill with Cook Quail text overlay

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How to Cook Quail

Quail is a type of game bird that can be found in many parts of the world.

Quail meat is dark and has a strong flavor. When cooked properly, quail meat is tender and juicy. If you're looking to add something new to your cooking repertoire, quail might be the perfect option. Especially if you are raising your own for eggs.

Roast quail in the oven, grill or saute it on the stovetop. Because it is lean meat, cooking it quickly can cause it to become dry. To properly monitor its progress, take into account what kind of cooking method you use.

Quail Meat can be Dry

You don't need to marinate or brine quail meat, but since the meat is lean and fairly dry, doing so can reduce the risk of drying the meat out during the cooking process. I completely recommend doing this.

  • For a simple marinade:
    • Combine the olive oil, garlic, thyme, sage, and parsley in a large glass bowl.
    • Add the quail to the bowl and toss to coat thoroughly.
    • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the quail for two hours.
  • For a simple brine:
    • Combine the wine/water, salt, and bay leaves in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil on the stove over medium-high heat.
    • Allow the brine to cool.
    • Place the quail in a large bowl and cover with the brine. Cover with plastic wrap, then refrigerate for two hours.
cooked quail on cutting board wit how to cook quail text overlay

Methods for Cooking Quail

Roasting Quail

Roast for 15 to 20 minutes. Place the quails breast-side down in your prepared pan and transfer them to your preheated oven. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the meat feels slightly firm and the juices run clear.

Grilling Quail

Brown the first side. Place each quail breast-side down on the hot side of the grill. Cook the quails for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the first side is thoroughly browned. Flip the quails to the back-side and cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes, allowing this other side to brown, too. Cook 10 to 12 more minutes over indirect heat. Once both sides are browned, move the birds to the middle or indirectly heated section of the grill. Continue cooking them for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the meat feels slightly firm and the juices run clear.

Air Fryer

Prep your air fryer by spraying it with a good layer of cooking oil to prevent sticking. Place the marinated quails into the air fryer basket and air fry for 20-30 minutes at 400°F.

Instant Pot

Place the quails in the Instant Pot and saute on each side until brown. Add chicken broth, onion, rosemary, thyme, bay leaf, salt, and pepper, and stir well. Close the lid and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. When cooking time is complete, do a quick pressure release.

The quail has a unique taste that is delicious when properly prepared. Because it is a good source of protein, quail makes for a good option for family dinners. And if you are raising quail, it's a simple source of meat for your loved ones.

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