Halal Meat: Does it Taste Different?

You might have stumbled across “halal” meat when shopping at the supermarket. If you’re curious whether halal meat tastes different from regular meat, you’ve come to the right place.

Many Muslims and non-Muslims who try halal meat find that it tastes better. However, some people disagree and say halal meat is drier because all the blood is drained out. 

This article explores everything you need to about taste and nutritional differences between halal, non-halal, and kosher meat.

What Is Halal Meat?

According to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), halal meat is prepared through the Arabic method of slaughter called zabihah. Halal meat is slaughtered and prepared according to the guidelines mentioned in the Koran. Islam forbids Muslims from consuming meat prepared in other ways, including non-halal meat.

The Islamic form of slaughter involves killing an animal through a cut to the jugular vein, carotid artery, and windpipe.

The Halal Process

There are some guidelines to follow before slaughtering the animal as well. To butcher an animal the halal way, you must:

  • Treat the animal properly and care for it well during its lifetime. It should be able to roam freely and access clean water, healthy food, and fresh air.
  • Ensure the animal’s health. Sick animals, or those treated with antibiotics and hormones, cannot produce halal meat.
  • The slaughter can be done by a Muslim who has reached puberty.
  • The name of Allah must be pronounced before or as the animal is slaughtered.
  • The animal’s face must point towards Mecca
  • The knife must be sharp and without any nicks.
  • The killing stroke should be one swift cut across the throat to sever the jugular vein, carotid arteries, and trachea
  • Pork and alcohol cannot be mixed with the meat.

How Does Halal Meat Taste Different?

Watch this fun taste testers video: Halal Vs. Non-Halal Meat.

When animals are stressed before slaughtering in slaughterhouses, it leads to lower quality meat. The muscle glycogen converts to lactic acid in an unstressed animal and adds tenderness and flavor to the meat. The glycogen levels decrease when the animal is stressed, leading to less lactic acid and less flavorful meat.

Stress is highly prone to develop under non-halal conditions since animals are frequently kept in close quarters. Also, they do not get enough outdoor time and are mistreated. They are squeezed into massive slaughter pens and slaughtered.

Many people believe that meat sourced from an animal allowed to develop at its natural rate tastes better.  

Halal Meat Vs. Non-Halal Meat – Key Differences

Halal animals are slaughtered by a Muslim who says a blessing. Also, they’re slaughtered by hand and not by machine. Once killed, the animal’s blood is drained since Muslims who eat Halal meat do not consume the fresh blood of animals. According to The Halal Catering Company, the animals must not see another animal being slaughtered or the blade being sharpened to prevent pre-slaughter stress.”

Animals that aren’t slaughtered by halal means are killed in various ways. For example, chickens are stunned before being guillotined by a machine. Larger animals like cattle are stunned before their throats are cut.

Most consumers don’t notice the main difference. But Halal meat is believed to be tastier and healthier than haram meat. This is because cleanliness is usually low on the priority list in large non-halal farms. Also, practices in non-halal farms include antibiotics, pesticides, growth hormones, or animal by-products that can quickly fatten animals. As a result of these haram procedures, meat is more likely to be contaminated and of low quality.

Does Halal Chicken Taste Different?

According to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (UNFAO), poultry is the most consumed meat worldwide (33%). Chicken is well-loved around the world for its tenderness, flavor, and simplicity. It is incredibly versatile and easy to prepare, making it a popular favorite among many.  

For chicken lovers, it’s important to know if there are any taste or nutritional differences between the halal and non-halal chicken. 

Here’s the thing: 

It’s hard to determine if halal chicken tastes different from non-halal chicken. You’ll need to make an unseasoned broth to confirm if the halal chicken’s tastier. Then, you’ll need to compare the chickens’ ages and fat composition.

In general, slaughter and post-slaughter treatment affect the taste, but it’s very minimal compared to breed and lifestyle. Halal chicken slaughter is very similar to non-halal chicken slaughter, so there shouldn’t be any taste difference.

Does Halal Chicken Smell Different?

Yes. The halal chicken smells fresher than haram or non-halal chicken. That’s because of the blood left inside the non-halal chicken. Bacteria thrive in blood, making it hard for the non-halal chicken to stay fresh for a longer period.  

Does Halal Meat Taste Different Than Kosher Meat?

Like Halal meat, kosher meat is guided by religious criteria that govern everything from how the animals are fed and raised to how they are slaughtered and prepared for consumption. It’s difficult to know if there are any nutritional differences, but kosher meat is known to have higher salt content.

Unlike halal meat, kosher meat is saltier because the process requires covering the meat with salt to extract the blood. After an hour of salting, kosher meat is thoroughly washed to mellow out the salty flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is halal meat healthier?

Halal farmers follow high standards of quality and cleanliness. This also means no added growth hormones, chemicals, antibiotics, or animal by-products to fatten animals. Farmers also practice proper sanitation to be certified as halal.

Sanitation in most non-halal farms is often low on the farmers’ priority list. Meat is also less likely to be contaminated because blood isn’t completely drained, encouraging potential bacteria growth.

Is halal chicken better quality?

Halal chicken is not only healthy for you, but it is more pocket-friendly. You just need to pay for the chicken because all the blood is drained. The presence of blood only adds to the chicken’s weight. As halal chicken lacks blood, it tastes better than non-halal chicken.  

Final Thoughts

Although halal meat may appear unfamiliar and strange to some, it’s simply healthier, delicious, and more affordable in many cases. Some opinions may differ and the science behind this may be debatable, but you should definitely try some halal meat and decide for yourself!

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