How to Prepare and Cook a Rattlesnake for Good Eating
A Little Background on Cooking With Rattlesnake
First, be sure that you are allowed to hunt or kill rattlesnakes where you are located. It is against the law in some areas. If you buy rattlesnake meat, expect to pay a high price. The last time I saw it, the price was about $30 per pound. In the southwest, rattlesnake meat is a delicacy. Rattlesnake chili is a common and popular recipe.Rattlesnake tastes like a Cornish game hen to me, with a hint of gamey flavor. It even has a similar texture, but it is a little chewier and a bit stringy. There is nothing to worry about regarding eating a poisonous snake. Even if venom is present in the meat, it will cause no ill effects if ingested.
Western Diamondback Rattlesnake
Some Precautions About Preparing a Rattlesnake for Cooking
You need to skin the rattlesnake before you can prepare it for eating. The first thing to do is turn it so that its underbelly is facing up. Cut off the snake's head about 4 inches below the head, unless you want to keep the skin.Be careful when handling the snake's head, as it could still contain poisonous venom. Get rid of the rattlesnake's head immediately in a tightly covered container, away from kids and pets. Believe it or not, the decapitated head can still bite for a few hours. Be sure to wear gloves when cutting and disposing of the rattlesnake's head.
Instructions for Preparing a Rattlesnake to Cook
Hang the snake up just below the tail end. This will allow it to 'bleed'. Starting at the head end of the rattlesnake, make a cut down the length of the snake all the way to where the white part of the tail is located. Now cut all the way through the tail at this point.The rattlesnake meat can simply be peeled away from the skin now. It is not difficult to remove. Start at the head end and peel the skin up toward the tail end.The next step is to remove the intestines and other innards. Then wash the snake meat well in cold water. Cut the snake into two large pieces and freeze in salt water. Make sure the snake is put in a tightly covered container. If not, the snake will literally crawl out.
How to Cook With Rattlesnake
When you are ready to prepare the rattlesnake, thaw and rinse in cold water. Then cut the snake into suitable sizes for your rattlesnake recipe. Cook the rattlesnake as desired- grill, bake, fry or throw it into a stew or rattlesnake chili recipe.
Of course, with some rattlesnake recipes you will want to remove the bones first. To debone rattlesnake meat, simmer the rattlesnake in water with about 1/4 cup of lemon juice added to it. After the rattlesnake has cooked for about an hour, it should be easy to remove the rattlesnake meat from the bones.