How to Eat a Snake Safely and Correctly

In some cultures, snakes are hunted and caught for their meat. For most people, snake meat is a delicacy and is something that is not eaten regularly. In some cases, snakes are eaten in emergency situations for sustenance and survival. If you are an avid snake hunter and want to try getting a taste of their meat, let’s talk about edible snakes first and if they are safe to eat.

Some snakes are safe to eat while others are not. Before you try eating a snake or catching one for food, make sure that you identify its species and determine that it is not a poisonous snake. Needless to say, eating a poisonous snake can be detrimental to one’s health.

So, how do you know if a snake is safe to eat?

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Which Snakes are Safe to Eat

How to Eat a Snake Safely and Correctly

Steer clear from venomous species- Photo credit: co0069yjui-flywheel.netdna-ssl.com

It’s pretty obvious that venomous snakes are risky to eat. You can identify if a snake is venomous or not if you know the appearance and skin pattern of the most common venomous snakes. However, the most dangerous venomous snakes are unlikely to be recommended as edible snakes.

The four venomous snakes are as follows: coral snake, cottonmouth snake, copperhead snake, and the rattlesnake. These species of snakes are highly venomous and their venom can easily kill a human adult with a single bite. For reference, here is a list of the top 10 most venomous snakes in the world.

Identifying a venomous snake can be difficult for those who are not very familiar with snake species. Thus, if you want to hunt for a particular species of non-venomous snake, make sure that you know what it looks like or you might end up encountering a dangerous snake.

Some sources say that cooking a venomous snake can inactivate the remaining venom in their bodies, but let’s not risk it, shall we? Especially if you are not an expert on snakes and snake venom.

On the other hand, if you happen to find a dead snake lying around, it is not recommended that you eat it especially if you don’t know the cause of death. Because in some cases, snakes can die from eating poisonous animals like rodents or frogs. If you eat a contaminated snake, the toxins may transfer to you and cause detrimental health effects.

It is also not recommended to get yourself into a situation where a snake bite poses a high risk. If you really want to eat a snake, there are some restaurants that offer this delicacy. On the other hand, you can also find someone who sells snake meat so you don’t have to catch it for your own.

How to Eat a Snake Safely and Correctly

So, you find or catch your non-venomous or non-poisonous snake. What do you do now? If you happen to capture a snake for your own, you need to clean it thoroughly and learn the proper way to cook it so that you don’t pose any health risk to yourself. Here is a slight overview of what you can do to eat an edible snake.

Step One: Prepare your snake

How to Eat a Snake Safely and Correctly

Prepare your snake properly- Photo credit: i.ytimg.com

Preparing your snake means that you have to clean it, skin it, and gut it before cooking. Just like other edible reptiles like alligators and frogs, preparing the snake for cooking can be a bit more tedious that when using regular store-bought meat. But that’s the fun of it! You will really feel like a survivalist while preparing your snake.

The first thing you need to do is cut the snake’s head off preferably with the best tactical knife or hunting knife you have. Cutting the head off is necessary sometimes because the snake can still pose a bite threat due to reflexes post-mortem.

Next, find the anal opening of the snake. This is where you will make your first cut. With a pair of scissors or sharp knife, cut through the snake’s anal vent and work your way upwards until you reach the neck. Be careful while cutting because you would want to save your snake skin for later.

After you’ve cut the snake vertically, you would notice that there is connective tissue that attaches the snake’s skin to its muscles. If you have experience skinning a fox or rabbit, then this part should be easily. But if not, practice makes perfect.

Carefully cut away the connective tissue until the snake skin separates from the muscle or until you can easily peel away the skin. Then, the next step is peeling the snake skin off of the body. Take hold of the snake’s body and use your other hand to carefully separate the skin from the muscle.

The next step in preparing your snake meat is to remove the guts. You can easily do this but cutting along the snake’s stomach and removing the tube that contains its innards. Easy-peasy, just like gutting a fish. Make sure you don’t puncture the innards so that you avoid getting the gross goo/snake bile all over the place.

Give your snake meat a good wash-down and then clean up the area you used for preparing the snake.

Now, you’re left with your precious snake meat! It’s time to get cooking!

Step Two: Cook your snake

How to Eat a Snake Safely and Correctly

Snake meat can be great for frying- Photo credit: http://pad2.whstatic.com

There are a few recipes available on the net for snake meat, but the most common ones are frying and grilling. If you’re out in the wilderness with not much choice for cooking options, you can grill the snake over a fire. Just make sure that you’ve cleaned the snake thoroughly.

Another snake cooking method we recommend is to fry it up like chicken fillets or gator meat. You can do this by simply cutting the snake meat into thin slices, seasoning it as desired, dredging with bread crumbs, and then frying in deep oil. Snake meat can go well with cornbread, rice, pasta, or veggies.

Step Three: Save the snake skin

How to Eat a Snake Safely and Correctly

You might not get another chance - Photo credit: upload.wikimedia.org

Of course, you cannot let the snake skin go to waste. After cutting it off from the meat, you can trim the excess tissue of, rinse it, and then save it as a trophy or use it for other creative purposes. You can also sell snake skin online!

What Are the Qualities of Snake Meat?

How to Eat a Snake Safely and Correctly

Snake meat is actually good for you- Photo credit: http://www.pythonsnackskin.com

Like frog meat, people who have tried eating snakes say that snake meat tastes like chicken or fish. Thus, you can season snake meat the same way you would season chicken or fish.

On the other hand, when we’re talking about nutritional quality of the snake meat, you can find it a great source of lean protein. It has lower fat content and calories than regular red meat, but it has a high protein content that can serve as fuel for the body and for repairing of tissues.

In the case of using snake meat to survive in the wild, it will definitely keep you going due to its nutritional content. You can also grill, bake, or sautee snake meat instead of deep frying to keep the calories on the down low.

Conclusion

Snake meat can be delicious and nutritious to eat both as a delicacy or emergency food item. If you plan on eating snakes, make sure that it is one of the edible snakes and it is safe for human consumption. Now that we’ve answered the question on edible snakes: is it safe to eat? You can try acquiring one of your own and trying it out.

Do you have any questions regarding this topic? If so, feel free to leave them in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

Sheldon Martin
 

Sheldon Martin is the founder of Captain Hunter. CaptainHunter.com is a site dedicated to the sport of hunting. We have a deep respect for nature and for the environment, and we therefore take the sport of hunting very seriously. Never think that you are alone in the woods again. Our goal is to share what we know with who needs it most.

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