How to Cook a Snake

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Introduction: How to Cook a Snake

About: I helped start Instructables, previously worked in biotech and academic research labs, and have a degree in biology from MIT. Currently at our parent company Autodesk, learning new things, and trying to catch …

Roadkill. It's what's for dinner when the apocalypse comes.

Learn how to cook snake, and you'll be ready for almost anything.

A companion piece to How to Skin and Clean a Dead Snake.

Ingredients:
1 snake
1 box Jiffy cornbread mix
1/2 c egg whites (I used the pre-packaged eggwhites to avoid wasting yolks)
splash black pepper
1/2" oil (depends on pan size)

Step 1: Acquire Fresh Snake

This is probably going to be the hard part.

Snakes do a fine job keeping the world free of unnecessary rodents; don't kill them unless absolutely necessary! That said, if you do kill a snake, or find one dead, don't let it go to waste.

The snake in this Instructable was run over by a car; Eric found it a couple minutes later, its heart still beating, in the process of expiring by the side of the road. Since we knew both time and cause1 of death, and refrigerated the carcass promptly, it was safe to eat.

A bit of internet research identified it as a probable Black Rat Snake, a non-poisonous Indiana resident.

1 Note that snakes can also die from eating poisoned rodents. You dont want to eat a snake dosed up with warfarin or other toxin2. Pay attention to context.

2 It's apparently fine to cook and eat poisonous snakes- cooking is sufficient to inactivate any venomous residue.

Step 2: Skin and Clean Snake

Cut off the head, strip off the skin, and remove the guts as described in this Instructable.

Rinse the carcass, and wipe down with a clean paper towel, then cut the body in to manageable lengths with a sharp knife or pair of poultry shears.

Step 3: Dredge

We're going to treat the snake much like you would a small lake fish, though you can also treat it like chicken. This is my favorite way to cook bluegill.

I dipped the segments in a bit of egg white (milk would also do) before dredging them in a pepper and sweet cornmeal mix (actually just Jiffy mix with some extra black pepper).

Knock off the excess.

Step 4: Fry

Heat about 3/4" of canola, vegetable, or peanut oil in a heavy frying pan (I prefer cast iron) until quite hot. A bit of dry batter should bubble nicely.

Add the snake pieces one at a time to avoid 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 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. (Yes, we mostly overcooked ours, but it was still tasty.)

Step 5: 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.

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 hushpuppies. It's all good.

We fried some fresh okra from the farmers' market.

Step 6: Serve

Serve your fried snake bits warm, and provide napkins- this is finger food. Accompany with most anything you'd serve with fried fish.

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.

Since our snake was a bit overcooked it mostly tasted fried, but some of the thicker bits had a distinctive nutty snake flavor. I'm definitely looking forward to getting my hands on another (hopefully bigger) snake and trying this again!

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    53 Discussions

    0
    MasashiN
    MasashiN

    2 years ago

    The other thing is that the grasshoppers needed to fear the frogs as that's their natural predator but the snakes help save the grasshoppers by eating the frogs. If all the snakes went extinct, there'll be less animals to hunt the frogs, therefore the grasshoppers would be in a more vulnerable risk of getting eaten by the frogs. There is a terrible situation which is if the hawks went extinct. The hawks needed to be there to try to get rid of the snakes. Snakes sounds scary because their venomous bite can be strong enough to kill some people. If hawks went extinct, the snake would overpopulate and humans needed to fear more and would be in a more vulnerable risk of snakebites. In 1970, the bald eagle was threatened by the government decided to restrict hunting because the bald eagle eats some small scary animals like the mouse, rat, snake, worm, etc. and these animal overpopulation might occur if the bald eagle went extinct and it would affect and harm human beings so much. If hunting bald eagle didn't stop, some parts of America would be overwhelmed by snakes which sounds very scary. The snakes would start to eat the frogs up and there might be more grasshoppers. The frogs are fun to observe, which affects some people. The other thing is that the frogs needed to fear the snakes as that's their natural predator but hawks help save the frogs by eating the snakes. If all the hawks went extinct, there'll be less animals to hunt the snakes, therefore the frogs wowould be in a more vulnerable risk of getting eaten by the snakes.

    food chain grasshopper snake populationchange fsdsdvnspixxxxxxxxk1.jpg
    0
    HorseBackBob
    HorseBackBob

    5 years ago on Introduction

    Snake is good meat. This is a good method of cooking them, though there
    are definitely a few twists that you can put on this. I've made a
    video to illustrate the entire process in a more primitive setting.
    Hope this helps. Enjoy!

    0
     lbj
    lbj

    6 years ago

    that looks good.but it's a snake

    0
    AstralQueen
    AstralQueen

    10 years ago on Step 6

    Hopefully, the next snake you get is also road kill, lol!

    0
    supervillain
    supervillain

    13 years ago on Introduction

    When I was 10, my dad wants me to learn how he live. So we take a vacation in his province in the entire summer. Everyday we always have a unique food, monitor lizards, grasshoppers, beetles, snakes, cobras, rodents, rabbits, grubs, crickets, sting rays and frogs. The only animal that I didn't taste is dog because my father doesn't want me to. AFAIR, frogs, lizards, snakes, rodents and rabbits all taste like chicken. grasshoppers, grubs and crickets taste like anchovies. Boiled beetles (June Beetle) have a unique taste, and it's really delicious. Sting rays had small bones that is like a sand in your mouth, but it's really soft. Sting rays taste also like a chicken.

    0
    sajada
    sajada

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    wow man. thats cool. im currentle looking up interesting, exotic, and rarely eaten foods and you totally just fit the bill.

    0
    canida
    canida

    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    Cool. If you ever do it again, take pictures!

    0
    whatsisface
    whatsisface

    13 years ago on Introduction

    Just curious... What does it taste like (in comparison to a regular meat)?

    0
    SnuffyDaPenguin
    SnuffyDaPenguin

    Reply 13 years ago on Introduction

    I'd bet it's probably tougher and a little oily, because it's like all muscle. I've got t otry this, we get a ton of snakes down here in New Orleans, though I don't think whatever they eat is healthy for you.

    0
    canida
    canida

    Reply 13 years ago on Introduction

    Very lean, and not at all oily. The taste was a bit nutty. They're as healthy for you as anything else, so long as they're not eating a diet of partially-poisoned rodents. This snake was from rural Indiana, so I'm pretty sure he got good healthy rodents. City snakes would be more suspect.

    0
    SnuffyDaPenguin
    SnuffyDaPenguin

    Reply 13 years ago on Introduction

    I'd definitely move the rating from "partially-poisoned" to "dangerously radioactive" This place is a mess, really...no one cares about it, no one takes care of it... A snake could eat anything here. Look around...What's the first thing you see (that's smaller than a toaster?) Imagine it soaked in greenish moldy mud for 10 years, then dug up and chewed up by some random animal. That's the kind of stuff you'll find on the ground around here.

    0
    zachninme
    zachninme

    Reply 13 years ago on Introduction

    Indiana? I thought you guys were in San Fran?

    0
    canida
    canida

    Reply 13 years ago on Introduction

    We do occasionally travel...

    0
    zachninme
    zachninme

    Reply 13 years ago on Introduction

    Ahhhh I figured that about 3 days after, I think I was reading some other instructable or something... Whenever we travel, we either go out to eat, or just make something incredibly simple, ie pasta. Its just didn't hit me, I guess :P

    0
    canida
    canida

    Reply 13 years ago on Introduction

    Well, we're food geeks, and were probably raised wrong. ;D

    0
    canida
    canida

    Reply 13 years ago on Introduction

    Well, this one mainly tasted fried because I overcooked it; however, there were definitely bits that had a distinctive almost nutty taste that was clearly snake. I liked it, and would definitely make it again.