Can you eat a pigeon?

In this brief study, we will answer the question, “can you eat a pigeon?” and will also discuss the pigeons safe for consumption and cooking methods.

Can you eat a pigeon?

Yes, you can eat a pigeon. Several nations, notably the United Kingdom and Ireland, have adopted pigeons as their national bird. Squab, a baby pigeon, is a popular dish on the menus of high-end French restaurants, where it is served as an appetizer.

Pigeons are naturally tiny birds that may dry out quickly when cooked; as a result, the more fat they have, the wetter the flesh will stay after it has been cooked.

Pigeon meat consumption is on the rise.

When purchasing pigeon meat, the best advice is to do it from a reputable butcher or experienced dealer and to choose a bird that has both its head and feet intact. To get a better knowledge of the pigeon’s general condition, this is a great technique.

As soon as you’ve selected your pigeon, you’ll need to create a dish that will highlight the meat’s natural flavor.

A fruity sauce such as blackberry sauce, redcurrant jelly, red wine reductions, cinnamon, cumin, and other spices that can cut through the richness of the pigeon meat is the ideal accompaniment since excellent pigeon flesh is so rich.

Which Pigeons Are Safe to Consume?

Squab, wood pigeon, and wild pigeon are the three kinds of pigeons that may be eaten by humans. Squab is the smallest of the three species.

Despite being somewhat out of favor in the twenty-first century, the pigeon has long been a popular and prominent dinner option for several reasons ranging from its simplicity of capture to its ease of preparation and preparation.

The pigeon has an interesting position on the contemporary color pallet. Even though pigeon is not as often utilized in home cooking as other meats, it is a frequent sight on the menus of fine dining establishments and gastropubs. Many recipes make use of pigeon breast, but only a handful make use of the whole bird.

The following are the pigeon species that are most often suggested for consumption:


If you have never eaten pigeon before, squab is a nice “beginning” bird to try since the younger flesh is softer and has a more delicate flavor.

Wood Pigeon

The wood pigeon is a good choice if you’ve had your fill of delicate squab flesh and are looking for something a little more substantial to replace it. Many individuals choose wood pigeons when they want a flavor that is more rich and minerally in flavor.

Wood pigeons, like other game birds, may be cooked to be as delicate as a young, farmed squab if the cooking procedure is done with a little more care than usual.

Wild Pigeon

There are certain considerations to bear in mind while dealing with wild pigeons as compared to farm-raised pigeons. Start by looking for a wild bird with the plumpest breast parts and the most evenly distributed fat under the skin when purchasing one.

Pigeons are naturally tiny birds that may dry out quickly when cooked; as a result, the more fat they have, the wetter the flesh will stay after it has been cooked.

Cooking a Pigeon

Raised squab and young, plump wild pigeons make the finest fast-cooking pigeons, according to the experts. While pan-frying the breasts quickly may provide stunning results, keep in mind that pigeon does not like to be served well done, so strive for a pink finish. Rest the breasts for 4–5 minutes after cooking to allow liquids to be retained and the pan to be deglazed, infusing sauces with even more pigeon flavor as a result.

Chefs have also lauded the advantages of sous vide pigeon cooking, which is done in a vacuum. Cooking the breasts for about 15 minutes at moderate temperature results in tender flesh that has been gently and uniformly cooked, while retaining all of the fluids from the breasts themselves. A few drops of aromatics may be put into the sous vide bag to enhance flavor, but not in excess since the flavor will be very concentrated.

Roasting pigeons is also a very simple procedure when compared to other meats; just brown the birds in a skillet for about 10 minutes before roasting, or brush the birds with butter before roasting for great results, and they are ready.

Slow-cook the legs separately, then finish the crown using a faster technique since pigeon legs take longer to cook than pigeon breasts, which is why you should cook the legs first. Legs are also excellent when confited.

If you want to create a meal that is one-of-a-kind, cure pigeon breasts in a spicy marinade for 48 hours before serving them carpaccio style.


In this brief study, we answered the question, “can you eat a pigeon?” and also discussed the pigeons safe for consumption and cooking methods.

If you’ve enjoyed ”Can you eat a pigeon?”, take a look at ”Can pigeons eat rice?” too.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.