Can You Eat Poisonous Snakes?

can you eat poisonous snakes

In desperate situations, people can eat almost anything because of hunger. You may find yourself in a situation, where you cannot find any animals except snakes! But snakes can spread venom in your body when they bite you. As we all know, people can even die instantly from snake bites. So, can you eat a poisonous snake

Snake meat is edible, just like any other meat. All you have to do is chop off the snake’s head where the venom is found. Even snake venom is consumable. However, you have to make sure the snake venom does not get into your bloodstream.  

In this article, I will talk about how to eat poisonous snakes. Although you can eat poisonous snakes with caution, it does not mean you should feast on them whenever you want. So, lets learn more about consuming snakes!

Can You Eat A Poisonous Snake?

By poisonous, most people often mean venomous snakes. Venomous snakes bit their targets to inject their toxins, which reach the victim’s bloodstream and take effect. However, most of the snakes have venoms, but their body is not poisonous. 

It means you can consume snake meat without much worry. However, you must cut off the head of snakes where the venom sacs are located. It is even safe to swallow snake venom. But there is a catch. The venom of the snake must not get into your bloodstream. 

So, before you eat a snake, make sure you do not have any open wounds. The venom will travel in your bloodstream through open wounds outside or inside your body. Also, you may come across some fresh snake eggs. So, can you eat them? Yes, you can eat them but be aware of some gestural discomfort. But they are not poisonous. 

If you are cautious and know how to prepare a snake, feel free to eat a poisonous snake as a meal. Here are some of the most common snakes people eat: 

  • The Coral Snake
  • Rattle Snake
  • The Copperhead
  • The Cottonmouth

Before you hunt any snakes, learn about your state laws. There might be state laws against eating endangered snake species. 

How To Eat Poisonous Snakes 

Follow these steps to Skin and Clean A Dead Snake to prepare it for cooking:

Step 1: Manage A Snake

You need to find a snake to kill, or you may have accidentally injured a snake. Do not eat a random dead snake you come across. You need to make sure the snake is fresh before eating. If the snake has been dead for hours and not refrigerated timely, avoid eating that. It may have been infected with bacteria which is harmful to your health.

When you hunt one, make sure it dies before you hold it. Many snakes can stay alive even after serious injuries. Your safety should always be your first concern. 

Step 2: Cut off the head

The first step is to cut off the head of the snake. You need to do that for mainly two reasons. First, to make sure the snake has no possibility of biting you. There have been instances where seemingly dead snakes suddenly bit people. 

Second, the venom sacs of snakes are in their heads. When you cut off the head, you are removing the venomous part of the snake. Once you remove the head, throw it far away. Then wash the snake thoroughly. 

If you are cutting the snake at home, use a chopping board or stacks of newspaper. However, if you are in the wild, try to find a clean spot. You can place a plastic bag or paper to cut the snakehead. 

A snake’s skin is not that tough to cut. You can use a sharp knife or shears to cut off the bead. Avoid using serrated knives, as they can make it hard to cut through the skin. 

Step 3: Cut Open The Snake

Now, it is time to get rid of the snakeskin. You can start cutting from two different points, either through the snake’s anal vent, or cut it from the head.

The anal vent is located at the underside or belly above the tail. It is a kind of opening. Hence, you can insert a knife or shears there, and cut along the middle of the stomach gradually towards the head. Or, you can start cutting from the head down to the tail. 

Step 4: Separate the connective tissue from the skin

The snake’s skin is connected with the meat through a lot of connective tissue. The snake develops the tissue to tightly attach its muscles with the skin. So, trim the connective tissue from the skin so that you can peel off the skin easily. 

Take a small sharp knife and start removing the tissue from under the skin close to the head. Continue to cut the tissue connecting the muscles and skin. You may want to keep the skin for other use. Thus, make sure not to puncture the skin. 

Slowly remove the connective tissues from the stomach around to the back and peel off some skin close to the head. During the process, you will expose some fascia. 

Step 5: Peel away the skin 

When you free enough skin to hold, you can pull off the rest of the skin instead of using the knife to remove the skin. Grab the snake with one and peel off the skin, carefully moving down the snake’s body. 

If you think the skin is too firmly attached, you can use your knife to trim the skin. It may take a bit of time. Sometimes, the skin of the tail area may not come off easily. So, you may have to make another cut there. 

Step 6: Remove the Guts

After you have taken care of the skin, it is time for you to clean the inside of the snake. The guts of a snake are arranged in a tube along the snake’s inside. Thus, it is easy to pull out with your hands.  

Step 7: Clean the Snake 

Rub off the chest cavity of the snake with a paper towel and wash the snake thoroughly. Next, cut the snake into pieces according to your preference. 

Step 8: Cooking Snake Meat

Snakes can be cooked, fried, or roasted like any pond fish or meat. You can put them on wooden skewers and roast them in an open fire. They also taste great fried in a pan with little oil. Just use the snake meat as any meat to prepare different dishes. 

Should You Eat Poisonous Snakes? 

Just because it is safe to eat snakes does not mean you should eat snake meat whenever you want. First, snakes are part of the ecosystem. They keep rodents, insects, and other animals in control.

Second, hunting and killing snakes are not easy. They are deadly animals. Again, many species of snakes are already endangered. Your state government may have put restrictions on killing snakes. Killing them will put you in legal problems. 

So, eat a snake only in extreme situations when you do not have any other choice. In the wild, snake meat is a good source of protein. Therefore, you will get good energy and nutrition from a snake if you find yourself lost in the wilderness. 


Can you eat a poisonous snake? Yes, you can eat a poisonous snake as long as the venom does not get into your bloodstream. Snake meat can be an excellent source of protein for survival situations. However, snakes are dangerous animals. So, be careful when you try to catch one. 

Kevin Noyes

Hey there, I'm Kevin, a former infantry soldier in the U.S. Army. I've been through it all - from grueling training to intense combat situations. Now, I'm here to spill the beans on survival. None of that dry, textbook stuff - I'm talking real-world, practical tips to help you conquer any wild situation. From setting up camp to keeping your cool, we'll tackle it all together! So let's dive in and get ready to rock the survival game!

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