Most overrated and underrated proteins

Joined Apr 30, 2010
I gottta go with KY on this one pinto beans and cornbread where a staple in house as a kid I love em although I very rarely fix them anymore .... I probably haven't had pinto beans 12 times in the last 14 years (the wife basically banned them after I ate a plate right after we got married /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif )

I also agree that venison is highly underrated my family practically lived on the stuff as well as rabbit and squirrel and my wife and son love venison (my son is nuts over venison jerky)
Joined Jul 30, 2007

 sorry if this is a bit tangential, which is par for the course for me,... i know that dried beans are huge in the southwest...the indians, the anasazi, the mexicans, the spanish, the cowboys, ranchers.. all of them...i just don't know how they cooked them!...they must have had nothing else to do, no massacres or wars to fight, no land to conquer, no cattle to this altitude, it takes beans FOREVER to days! like maybe 4 or 5 days...when i was running the backside restaurant at the ski resort here, we were at 10,500 and it took a week to cook 20 #'s of black beans...all day, all night...i asked for canned beans, f&b, being ever so budget minded, sent me i said, all day, all night.....

Joined Nov 9, 2010
Personally, i believe that the most underrated protein source here in the UK is rabbit. Lean and healthy but it's so far out of the mainstream. 3 rabbits per two people makes a great meal.
Joined Feb 1, 2011
I certainly agree that offal is highly under-rated.  My favourite being lamb kidneys followed closely by liver.  Can't comment on tripe or brains -just have never tried them and not sure I want to.  No reason, just puts me off in my mind.

Fear not the tripe! Properly cleaned and prepared I almost guarantee you'll love it, especially if you like other types of offal already. I live in Southern California and let me tell you, tripe tacos at a good taco shack is a revelation. 

Brains on the other hand, not my favorite, I like all sorts of creamy things, but just couldn't quite get into the texture of any variety I've tried thus far. But hey, if i get the chance to try them prepared for me, I'm not gonna turn them down!
Joined Feb 1, 2011
But I think in American dining especially, there has been a real resurgence of people to eat "poor people" food. On the other hand, it could be for the same reason that I love legumes, cheap! I've just recently started making legumes a much larger part of my diet and let me just say, 1-2 dollars worth of any legume, 6 bucks in some poor misunderstood cut of collagen rich meat, will feed me every day for a week! You just can't beat that kind of flavor for value. Especially on a line cook's hourly wage. 
Joined Feb 3, 2011
Black bean, discovered it in Brazil...nice.

Commercial chicken, I'm soooo sick of the tasteless, water logged, 6 week old bird!!

I had to laugh when I read the (badbabara) rabbit and the (radleycooks)"poor people food" comments. I was at the butcher and I asked for 8 lamb shanks as we were broke (just lost the business) and had asked friends for dinner. $96.00 for dog bones!!!!!, oh well, chefs made it trendy so....

When will we see the finalists on "Masterchef" do rabbit confit, I wondered, cause I got a whole farm full of trendy little "stud" bunnies.
Joined Mar 20, 2011
Most overrated: turkey in any form, and especially the holiday roast turkey. Inedible! There are people who for some inexplicable reason expect it, so I have been dutifully making turkey at Thanksgiving for the past 35+ years, but I refuse to eat it. I make a tasty toast ham or standing rib roast for the feast, too. The idiocy of using ground turkey anywhere that ground beef, pork or lamb tastes far better, or of trying to call an atrocity of strips of protein made from turkey "bacon" or passing off ground turkey and spices as sausage. Also chicken breasts, goes doubly for skinless and boneless; all sources of moisture and flavor have been removed.

You can keep your ham and rib roast lady. Turkey is a delicious bird - especially wild. Roasting a turkey whole with it's cavity crammed with stuffing is the best way to ruin it. From the sound of things, that's what you've done for the past 35 years. Try breaking the turkey down into smaller sections before roasting. It's way easier to season and cook properly. Inedible... Refusing to eat it... you sound like my little nephew. 
Joined Dec 9, 2010
I have a hard time calling chicken over-rated. If it wasn't 50c/lb, i wouldn't be able to heat well on my entry-level chef's salary. but then again, i'm talking about whole chickens, each part being used eventually. not just the breast. I do definitely agree with chuck being under rated. would a few of you be willing to send me a few of their chuck recipes?
Joined Apr 3, 2006
I really like fish heads (especially salmon), but the other chefs at work always cringe when I cook it at work.
Joined Feb 26, 2007
Beans.  I try hard to ignore the slight pear=like texture of them.  I know they are a great source of protein and virtually fat free, low cost etc, it's just to me, my tongue can't stand the feel.  Lychees(not in the protein group) have this same kind of mouth feel. 

Whereas lentils, ahh ,now, they are much better.  The red ones are great for a quick meal, as in a pumpkin soup or with rice they make a great addition.  Split green peas take lots more time but the flavour is great.  Haven't tried the yellow ones.  I imagine they'd be good too.
Joined Jul 21, 2013
Overrated? Prime rib. New York Strip is the only way to go. Prime rib tastes ... Ok .. But requires a completely inordinate amount of time an effort to pick around the excess marbling.

Underrated? Liver and fresh veggies from your own back yard. Properly ground porridge oats (none of this rolled oats nonsense) make a fast and very easy traditional porridge.
Joined Aug 13, 2006
Interesting that nobody mentioned eggs. 

and again i reiterate milk and its derivatives. 

Chicken and turkey breast is by far the most overrated for me.  I bought a whole chicken that was opened up to cook on the grill (pollo alla diavola) and it was tasty and juicy and wonderful except - the breast.  Tastes like and feels like oakum. 

undrerated meat?  horse.  Nice dark red meat, high protein, not raised the way cattle is.  That some horse is illegally killed and all, probably.  But look at a turkey farm or a chicken farm and then think again.  any animal can be illegally killed, treated badly and fed crap. 
Joined Jul 13, 2012
Funny - we were talking underrated or "poverty" foods the other day and back in the 70's in Detroit I used to routinely buy raccoon, rabbit, squirrel, muskrat, and horse meat.  PBB contaminated feed caused the killing of millions of cattle and the price of regular ground beef went to $4/lb and we're talking 1970's dollars. 

We also used to hunt and fish for sustenance and northern pike is an underrated fish as well as winter and spring carp & lets not forget channel catfish.  Firm, delicious fish and well worth the extra effort to prepare.  But yeah horse meat was delicious - red, lean and almost sweet in flavor with great texture.

Another underrated animal that is be becoming a problem in many places is feral swine - absolutely delicious. 
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Joined Jan 24, 2013
I don't think chicken is over-rated at all. I think people have learned to accept chicken cooked within an inch of it's life. Chicken is absolutely delicious, in any form, if cooked properly. The other day I made a chicken marsala and the chicken was so tender it felt like I was eating veal, although I have not had veal in over 15 years.

Siduri before I read your post I thought eggs too. I love cooking eggs, and although I don't eat yolks myself (but I love egg whites), I enjoy cooking eggs in all forms for anyone who will let me. I think eggs are another protein people have either learn to accept are overcooked, or simply don't take the time to master.
Joined Nov 5, 2007
I don't think chicken is overrated, pollopicu, just chicken breast.    I can take it breaded and fried, and that's about it. 
It's a shame what folks do to destroy boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  Tonight, though, I have some bone in, skin on breasts.  Not sure if I'll oven roast or grill yet.  Pretty hot outside so I'm leaning towards grilling then slicing to top a big salad.

Joined Apr 3, 2008
I will say that although I prefer bone in chicken and whole chicken and dark meat even more so, I so fine good use for boneless chicken breast. More often than not I pull a frozen one out and within minutes I have a quick healthy protein with my salad. You can't beat that, and my toddler eats some too.
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