Let’s take a look at some basic steps that will make the process less time-consuming and produce tastier results. If you are into catching, cleaning, and eating turtles, there's a good chance that you might refer to them as good eatin'. Our friend over at survivalkit.com share a great process for cleaning and cooking turtles is a few easy steps.
How to Clean and Cook Turtles in a Few Easy Steps
Getting Everything Together
You will need a fillet knife, meat cleaver or hatchet, wire cutters, protective gloves, heavy-duty kitchen shears, a couple of sturdy sticks, pliers and possibly a serrated knife. You should also have a couple of feet of thick gauge wire. Think of the wire from a hangar as an example. You also need a large bucket, preferably a 55 gallon drum and some patience.
The first step is to place the caught turtles into the drum and fill it with water. Flush and change the water daily for up to a week. Turtles will ingest the clean water and it will help to cleanse their system of impurities. The amount of time that you will need varies on the quality of the water at the site where the turtles were caught. This is not necessary, but it is very beneficial. It will reduce the amount of stink and crud that you need to remove as you are cleaning them, their meat will be free from more contaminants, and the finished product will taste better.
Don’t worry about feeding the turtles while they are being cleansed. If some of them start to die off, then you can simply prepare those first.
Cleaning the Turtle
The first step is to remove the head from the turtle. Place the turtle on its belly on a flat surface and hold it down. Take extra care if you are working with a snapper to avoid injury. The best way to coax a turtle to stick its head out of the shell is to use a stick. Place the stick horizontally across where they tuck their heads into their shell and move it near and far to coax the turtle into biting it.
Pull on the stick as the turtle has a firm grip around it until as much of their neck is exposed as possible. Give it a good whack with the hatchet or cleaver, and use enough force to get it done in one strike. This will minimize the mess associated with blood spattering all over the place while also preventing the turtle from thrashing around. It’s also the humane thing to do.