Timber 2 Table - Deep-Fried Snapping Turtle

Want to introduce someone to snapping turtle? Try this recipe.

Deep-Fried Snapping Turtle

20 Min

Prep Time

90 Min

Cook Time





I readily admit that snapping turtle isn't exactly a common thing for most folks to eat these days, but it used to be. Back when folks got most of their food from the woods and water, snapping turtles were eagerly caught and consumed. Good reason, too, they taste delicious.

The deep fried turtle is crunchy, spicy, and makes a great party appetizer.

Let's bring back the turtle as table fare. Last week, we showed an easier way to clean and process a turtle to get it recipe ready, now let's cook it.

Maybe you question your friend's and family's readiness for turtle meat? Try this deep-fried version to ease them into it. Everyone likes fried things.


Meat from one dressed snapping turtle

1/2 cup white vinegar

2 quarts of water

1.5 cups flour

1/2 cup corn meal

2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning

1 egg

Vegetable or peanut oil for deep frying

Cooking Instructions

Turtle meat can be tough. There are a couple of ways to get around this when you fry it. The first involves frying the meat first, then wrapping it in foil and placing it in a cooler or slow cooker to basically steam itself for an hour or two. The trouble with this method is that it makes the breading on the turtle meat soft and a bit mushy. This method slow simmers the turtle pieces on the bone first, then the meat gets deboned, dipped in egg wash, then rolled in flour and deep fried. This method gives tender meat with a crispy, crunchy coating.

Start by adding the vinegar to two quarts of water in a heavy pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, add the turtle meat, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Place the lid on the pot and simmer the meat for one hour. Remove the turtle pieces from the pot and allow to cool.

Simmer the turtle slowly in water with a bit of white vinegar for one hour to tenderize the meat.

While the oil heats, mix the flour, cornmeal, and Cajun seasoning together in a shallow bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the egg with a couple tablespoons of water to make an egg wash.

Cajun seasoning gives the fried turtle a spicy kick.

Move each batch of finished turtle to a paper-lined platter while you cook the next batch. Serve the turtle by itself, or with your favorite dipping sauce.