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Rabbit and Rattlesnake Sausage “To Grill or Not To Grill?”

Posted by David on


For some of us the idea of a Rattlesnake Sausage is a little out there.  For others the idea of the predator/prey dichotomy is to intriguing to pass up (no the rattlesnake did not eat the rabbit and then get turned into sausage, for those who would and have asked).  But everyone who has tried this marvelous creation can agree on one thing.  It tastes phenomenal!

What does it taste like? Rattlesnake alone has a unique mild taste reminiscent of chicken and shrimp. Yes it has a mild sweet sea quality to it with a firm texture. Rabbit has a mild taste as well with just a little bolder flavor than chicken.The two together create a sausage experience that is very different from what most of us have had before.

However the most common question I am asked is “How do I cook something soooooooo cooooooool without destroying it?”  The simple answer is this.  “Cook it like a Bratwurst”.  Just because it is an exotic meat does not mean that you need super techy kitchen equipment or a culinary degree to enjoy it.  You don’t need to go buy a $350 Sous Vide Machine, or a $5000 24 burner gas/electric/charcoal/nuclear grill.  Most home cooks have the basic knowledge to cook game and exotic meats already.  They are just intimidated by the obscurity of some foods, and the price of said foods.  The key.  Treat it simple.  On the grill or under the broiler there is nothing fancy about cooking a good sausage.

Here is how

Main rule– Fire is Bad!!!!!!  Fun in a fire-pit, yes!   But bad for food!!!!

  • 1.  “Boil”your sausages first.  “Boil” however is not the proper term, but is the most common.  Boil is Fire but with water.  “Simmer” is the proper term.  Slowly simmer your sausages in water or beer for about 15 minutes.  For the temp savvy, you want to keep your water below 180°F.
  • 2.  Place your sausages on the grill for browning only.  Remember Fire is bad.  High heat is great for quick browning just watch so that you have no flare ups.  Use tongs to turn the sausages as they brown, not a fork, you don’t want to puncture the sausages and release all of the good juices.  Do not walk away, this part doesn’t take that long.  If you walk away your sausages will probably blow up and the grill may start on fire and take your house with it……well probably not, but fire will start and your sausages will turn black and taste horrible.
  • 3.  If you don’t have or don’t want to use a grill you can by all means use the broiler in your oven.  Preheat the boiler and place your sausages onto a pan lined with aluminum foil and sprayed with oil. Using tongs to turn your sausages as they brown, keep in mind the scenario played out in the grill instructions.  Do Not Walk Away!
  • 4.  When your sausages are browned insert a meat thermometer 1 inch into the end of a sausage.  If the temperature is 160°F you are done cooking and ready to rest.  If not, continue cooking to reach optimum temperature.
  • 5.  Let them rest 3-5 minutes before you serve or eat them.  For one thing they are hot and you will probably burn yourself or a friend if they are standing too close when the juices squirt into their eye.  Second you want the juices to settle down a bit before you break the skin.  Letting the meat rest will allow the juices to redistribute into the meat and give you that rich experience you were waiting for.

It’s as simple as that. The choice to grill or not is completely yours to make.  There is no right answer.  It is all up to you and your taste buds.  Either way, if you practice these simple steps your tummy will be happy.