How to Cook a Snake

Whether you've bought fresh snake meat at a market where snake is a popular dish, or you've skinned a snake yourself specifically for dinner, you won't find a snake meat recipe in the average cookbook. Snake is somewhere between chicken and fish in texture and flavor, and may be made to seem like either. This article will outline a recipe which is also suitable for bluegill, so the resulting meat will be reminiscent of a small lake fish.


  • 1 snake, obtained from a trusted source or familiar environment; avoid the risk of eating a snake that has eaten a poisoned rodent
  • 1 box of cornbread mix
  • 1/2 c egg whites
  • Splash black pepper
  • 1/2" oil (depends on pan size)


  1. Image titled Cook a Snake Step 1
    Refrigerate the carcass as soon as possible. It can also be frozen. The meat's integrity remains intact, and the coloration of the skin is unaffected.
  2. Image titled Cook a Snake Step 2
    Skin the snake. Cut off the head, strip off the skin, and remove the guts of the dead snake.
  3. Image titled Cook a Snake Step 3
    Rinse the meat, and cut it into pieces with a sharp knife or poultry shears. Make the cuts between and at the same angle as the ribs to avoid cutting the ribs. If the ribs are severed, they may be difficult to remove from the meat after it is cooked. Some people prefer to soak the ready-to-cook snake pieces in saltwater for a day or two to remove any remaining blood or "gaminess" from the meat.
  4. Image titled Cook a Snake Step 4
    Dip the segments in a bit of egg white (milk would also do) before dredging them in a pepper and sweet cornmeal mix (or cornbread mix with some extra black pepper). Shake off the excess.
  5. Image titled Cook a Snake Step 5
    Heat about 3/4" (2cm) of canola, vegetable, or peanut oil in a heavy frying pan until quite hot. Add the snake pieces one at a time to avoid from dropping the temperature in the pan too quickly. Use tongs to keep your fingers away from the sizzling hot oil, watch for dangerous splatters, and use a screen if necessary to prevent a mess. Turn the snake pieces just as the batter begins to turn golden - by the time it starts to brown the snake will be overcooked. There's not much meat on the bones, and the muscles are thin and lean.
  6. Image titled Cook a Snake Step 6
    Drain and cool. Remove the snake pieces before they're quite done - they'll continue to cook after removal from the pan - and set them on paper towels to drain and cool.
  7. Image titled Cook a Snake Step 7
    Serve your fried snake bits warm, and provide napkins - this is finger food. Accompany with most anything you'd serve with fried fish.
  8. Image titled Cook a Snake Step 8
    Eat the snake meat. There should be a line of muscle along either side of the spine; this is the thickest piece of meat on the snake's body. The ribs are quite firmly attached to the spine, so scrape your teeth over them firmly to remove the rest of the meat from the ribs.


  • Overcooking (which can be seen in these pictures) will result in the snake meat tasting fried, but getting it just right will result in a nutty flavor.
  • If you've still got more batter, chop up some veggies, dip them in the egg whites and/or milk, dredge in batter, and fry.
  • You can also just mix the liquid into the batter and fry hush puppies.
  • Snake meat gets most of its flavor from the way it is spiced and prepared. Cooking methods used for chicken will produce snake that tastes like chicken.


  • Avoid eating the head of the snake, as this is where the venom is located if the snake happens to be a venomous species. The body of a snake does not contain venom and is safe for consumption.
  • Remember to cook the snake to at least 144 °F (62 °C) to kill all bacteria.
  • If hunting for snakes in the wild for this or other recipes use extreme caution and care.
  • Wash your hands as you would when handling any kind of raw meat.
  • It is illegal to kill several kinds of snakes (especially venomous ones). Some are protected by federal law, and you may face jail time and/or fines if you kill a protected snake.

Sources and Citations

  • Instructables - Original source of images. Permission to share granted by author (Canida).

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