Survival Food | How To Catch, Cook, & Eat Snakes For Survival

What constitutes survival food?

In a survival situation, you’ll eat just about anything when you’re starving…including creatures (or parts of creatures) we otherwise actively try to avoid. It’s important to remember that some of the foods we consider “extreme” or weird are common edibles and even delicacies in other countries. Things like ants, spiders, scorpions, rats, and yes even snakes are as common to them as a hamburger is to us. Like I said, if you’re hungry enough, damn near anything becomes palatable. But it’s best to know how to catch, kill, and cook these strange survival foods before you need them to survive. Let’s open up our culinary horizons and take a look at snakes as a survival food:

Survival Food | How To Catch, Cook, & Eat Snakes For Survival

It’s incredibly important that you treat any and all snakes as though they were venomous. I can’t stress enough how important this is. The last thing you want is to end up with a snake bite in a survival situation … Check out this quick and easy method for trapping snakes that will keep you out of harm’s way ( this works whether you want to catch them for food, or just keep them out of your chicken coop).

Identifying Venomous Snakes

Identifying Venomous Snakes | Survival Food: Can You Eat Snakes For Emergency Survival?

In North America, there are four known species of venomous snakes: the rattlesnake, copperhead, cottonmouth, and coral snake. Each of these species has recognizable markings, habitat, and distinctive behavior. It’s also important to know that each of these snakes has a non-venomous look a like that might be a little safe to catch (if you know how to tell the difference)

Catching A Snake

Catching A Snake | Survival Food Can You Eat Snakes For Emergency Survival?
If you’re a homesteader that keeps chickens or other farm fouls, you should have no issues finding snakes… in fact, they’ll come to you. However, if you have to go out and hunt them, it can get a little more tricky. On cool days and evenings, you can often find them sunning themselves on rocks or warm pavement. They’ll be a little slower on cold days, but don’t let that make you any less cautious when dealing with them. During the heat of the day, they’ll often hide in grass, brush, or piles of leaves. To catch a snake, use a net or stick with a Y in it to pin its head down. Do not approach the snake to make the kill until you’re sure the head is secure. Once the snake is secure, dispatch it as quickly as possible. Sever the spinal column as quickly as possible to avoid making the animal suffer. Make sure that you bury the head to avoid a reactionary bite ( yes dead snakes can still bite and inject venom).

How To Cook A Snake

How To Cook A Snake | Survival Food: Can You Eat Snakes For Emergency Survival?
Once you’ve safely caught and killed your meal, it’s time to prepare it for cooking.

Once you’ve removed the head, you can now peel the skin off, slit it down the middle and pull the guts out. Make a light cut to avoid rupturing the insides and tainting your meat. Rinse the meat well then cook it how you see fit. I’ve included a few recipes below that could help make it a bit more palatable:

Snake Recipes- How To Turn A Snake Into Survival Food:

1. Skewered Snake

Skewered Snake | Survival Food Can You Eat Snakes For Emergency Survival?


  • 1 snake, cut into small portions
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • Steak or barbecue sauce

Time For A Little Snake Satay:

  • Put alternately the snake meat, bell pepper, and red onion onto a skewer
  • Apply the steak or barbecue sauce to the snake meat
  • Position your skewers over your campfire
  • Cook for about 20 minutes while rotating the skewers halfway every 3 to 5 minutes
  • Serve and enjoy

2. Barbecued Snake

Barbecued Snake | Survival Food Can You Eat Snakes For Emergency Survival?


  • 1 snake, cut into steaks about 2 to 3 inches
  • 1/2 cup barbecue or teriyaki sauce
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger

How To Get That Char Grilled Goodness:

  • Mix the barbecue or teriyaki sauce with the 1/2 cup honey and 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • Pour the mixture into a large ziplock bag then add the snake meat
  • Marinate it for about 2 to 3 hours
  • Grill the meat until it’s cooked

3. Poached Snake Steak

Poached Snake Steak | Survival Food Can You Eat Snakes For Emergency Survival?


  • 1 kg of snake steak
  • 5 pcs. of shallots, sliced
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 5 cloves of garlic, ground
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 10 stems lemon grass, peeled while tender parts are finely chopped and pounded
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp white rice wine
  • 2 tbsp peanut oil
  • 2 quarts spring water

How To Get The Perfect Poach:

  • Boil the snake steaks then poach it with the lemon grass peel and chopped and pounded lemon stems
  • Add the shallots, ground ginger, and ground garlic in a one-quart of water
  • Once the meat is soft, take out the snake steaks and let it cool
  • Saute shallots on low heat until it gets light brown
  • Add the spices such as ginger, garlic, paprika, peanut oil, and turmeric powder
  • Turn up the heat until you smell the toasted aroma from your cooking pot
  • Add the snake meat, rice wine, and the remaining spring water
  • Reduce heat and let it simmer for about 10 minutes
  • You can pair this with hot steamed rice

Looking for more recipes for survival food? Check out these “Desert Delights.”

So, the next time you’re stuck in the wild with a short food supply, you ready to prey on snakes for survival food.

Have you tried eating a snake before? Share your survival stories in the comments section below!

Up Next: Survive Snake Bites with This Helpful Infographic

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