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Smoky Rattlesnake Chili

If you’ve ever tried rattlesnake meat, you know those cold-blooded critters are surprisingly tender. You can find smoked versions at some stores, or order deliveries online. If not, just substitute skinless chicken thighs. The chili powder and jalapeño still deliver plenty of bite.
  • Yields: 6–8 Servings
  • Cook time: 1 h 15 m
  • Prep time: 25 minutes

Pitmaster note: If you can’t find rattlesnake meat in your area, you can order it online, either smoked in a can or from a site like exoticmeats.com. Alternatively, you can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs, which makes things just a tad easier!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound rattlesnake meat, skinned, boned and de-rattled (can sub boneless, skinless chicken thighs)
  • 1 pound boneless pork loin chops
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder, divided
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2 onions, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, stem removed
  • 1 red pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into 4 large pieces
  • 1 green pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into 4 large pieces
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 14-ounce can pinto or kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • shredded cheese, sour cream, avocado and cilantro, for garnish

Instructions

Using Kingsford® Original Charcoal, build a fire for direct grilling and preheat to 400°F.

Coat the snake meat and pork chops with 2 tablespoons of the oil, and season with 1 tablespoon of the chili powder, 1 teaspoon of the salt and the pepper.

Place the meat on the grill and cook for for 8–10 minutes, turning once halfway through. It’s ok if it’s not fully cooked, it will finish in the chili.

While the meat cooks, brush the onions and peppers with 2 tablespoons of the oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Grill for about 8–10 minutes, turning once, until softened and charred in spots.

Transfer the meat, onions and peppers to the cutting board. Cut everything into small dice and mince the jalapeño.

Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add remaining oil, and when hot, add the meat, vegetables, canned tomatoes, remaining chili powder, salt, cumin, oregano, garlic and beef broth.

Bring to a boil with the grill’s lid closed; then reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes to an hour, until everything is softened and comes together. For your safety, please reference the USDA safe cooking temperatures.

Add the beans in the last 15 minutes of cooking. Season to taste and serve hot, with cheese, sour cream, diced avocado and cilantro, for garnish.

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