American Oceans

Can You Eat Black Drum and How Does It Taste? 

Distinguished from its red drum cousin by jet black fins and black striped scales, the black drum is a saltwater fish inhabiting the Atlantic waters. They are the largest species in their family, with an average weight between 5 and 30 lbs. They’re bottom-feeding fish, consuming smaller fish and crustaceans. Can you eat black drum fish?

Black drum

Black drums are prevalent in northern and southern Atlantic coastal regions, from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. They’re an easy catch for sports and commercial fishermen, and the smaller specimens are popular fish to eat.

If you’ve been wondering whether you can eat black drums, the following sections will explain how to eat them and what they taste like.

Do People Eat Black Drum and Is It Safe?

Black drum is a delicious fish to eat and a fun challenge for amateur fishermen. They’re easy enough to lure, but once they latch on to the bait, they’ll put up a fair fight! 

fisherman is holding a huge fish black drum

Whether you catch them or buy them at the fish counter, Black drums are safe to eat once they’re cleaned and deboned. Swallowing a spikey fish bone or rough scale may cause harm, but it’s far from deadly.

The larger the fish, the less desirable the meat. Thus, black drums between 5 and 15 lbs. offer the best texture and flavor. You’ll see black drums on the menu at many seafood restaurants along the Atlantic coast. 

What Does It Taste Like?

Black drums are meaty, moist, and flakey without being oily. Their mild, slightly sweet flavor and hefty texture stand up to numerous cooking methods. 

Chefs and consumers liken the taste of the black drum to that of the red snapper. It’s touted for its lean protein content and a great source of omega-three fatty acids. 

Can You Eat Black Drum Raw?

You can eat black drum raw in ceviche or as sashimi, but this is a rarity. Some health officials advise against eating raw black drums due to the content of mercury.

raw black drum fillets

Only the smallest black drum catches are used in raw consumption, otherwise, the texture will be unpleasant. The smaller the species, the flakier and lighter the meat, which is the optimal texture for raw consumption. 

How To Cook Black Drum

Since black drums are thick, large-flake fish with edible skin, they lend well to most cooking methods. You can bread and fry them as easily as you can bake them with a bit of olive oil and lemon. Their moisture and thickness also make them great for grilling.

When you’re buying a black drum for consumption, it’s best to buy the smallest fish you can find to get the best texture and flavor.

Black drums have a high-fat content, so if you’re looking for the healthiest preparation, throwing it on the grill would be best.

baked drum fish with lemon

Black Drum Recipes

Black Drum’s high-fat content and thick filets make it a versatile fish to cook with, so you can experiment with various recipes.

If you’d like to deep fry it for crispy skin and decadent flakiness, check out this deep-fried black drum recipe.

For a healthier and simpler black drum recipe, check out this oven-baked recipe

Is It Safe to Eat Black Drum?

It is safe to eat black drums. It is also a nutritious and delicious experience that will surely make you a repeat customer. In the case of the black drum, quality and quantity are inversely related. 

It may be impressive to catch a giant black drum, but you should throw it back after snapping a photograph, continuing your search for the smaller, tastier catches.

Add comment