Capt. Christian’s Super Simple Grilled Sandhill Crane

A recent Texas hunt with Justin Martin and the folks from Academy Sports + Outdoors ended with this tasty crane dish

By author of Timber 2 Table Wild Game Recipes Print Recipe
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Guest recipe and photos by Grit Media

Capt. Christian Schneider — guide and cook at Speck Ops LLC in Crystal City, Texas — is a culinary connoisseur when it comes to preparing quick, tasty dishes that feed camps full of hungry duck and goose hunters. 

Serve the sandhill crane with your favorite side dishes. Photo by Grit Media

The Speck Ops boys are a high-energy, motley crew of 20-something, bird-blasting banditos from South Texas. They hunt hard, bringing a youthful yet professional approach to bird hunting — treating their clients to incredible hunting across all sorts of hallowed ground in the Lone Star State. 

A successful sandhill crane hunt ends with a tasty meal. Photo by Grit Media

Think Young Guns, decked out in Realtree MAX-7 camo.

On a recent hunt with Realtree, Academy Sports + Outdoors, and Justin Martin from Duck Commander, the Speck Ops boys gave the industry fellas a front-row seat to some of the finest sandhill crane hunting that South Texas has to offer. 

Clean the birds by removing the breast. Save the legs and thighs for other recipes. Photo by Grit Media

And Capt. Chris continued the fun with some fine home cooking back at camp. 

Dubbed the “ribeye of the sky,” sandhill crane meat is a prized delicacy that surely deserves its fine reputation. 

Season and grill the breasts. Photo by Grit Media

Here, Capt. Chris presents a super simple dish that does justice to the oh-so-coveted crane meat. The “less is more” premise certainly holds true. There’s no need to dress this up with unnecessary accoutrements. And whatever you do, do NOT overcook. That’s a punishable offense in most goose camps, and illegal in at least 17 states. 


Cleaned sandhill crane breasts

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Fiesta Brand Uncle Chris’ Gourmet Steak Seasoning

Hot fire (400-degree flame)

Cooking Instructions

1. Clean the birds. Be sure to remove all shot pellets. 

Fillet the meat off the breastbone. Photo by Grit Media

2. Trim breasts to desired size.

Trim up the breast fillets. Photo by Grit Media

3. Put breasts in a large bowl. Hand-coat with olive oil. 

4. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and steak seasoning over the meat. 

5. Place breasts on the grill.

6. Grill to medium rare. Sear well before serving. Total grill time should take no more than 10 minutes total per breast. 

Take care not to grill over medium-rare doneness. Photo by Grit Media

7. Slice into thin strips across the grain for serving.

Slice thinly across the grain. Photo by Grit Media

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