cleaning turtles

Discussion in 'Turtle Talk' started by JERMSQUIRM, Sep 22, 2005.

  1. JERMSQUIRM

    JERMSQUIRM New Member

    Messages:
    13,145
    State:
    il-waynesv
    well i got a p,m, on how to clean turtles. instead of giving a long reply ill just tell how i do it here.

    first Q was he heard turtle meat was green. answer is no. snapping turtles are full of all kinds of meat like a chicken has white and dark. turtles have white and several grades of red. the neck alone has red and white mixed right in.

    i first pull the head out far enough to chop it off with a sharp hachet. let it crawl around a bit to bleed or hang it upside down. they will fight a long time so if there fresh killed be prepared for a struggle.

    i them take the hatchet and a hammer and place the hatchet against the plate on the underside of the shell where the top joins to the bottom. there
    is a soft joint. i smack the hatchet to cut through this joint on both sides.

    then with a real sharp(i resharpen between turtles, its like skinning a dinosaur) skinning knife i cut all the way around this bottokm plate and remove.

    then i start with the back legs sections. i don't nail them down cause i like to be able to move and turn them to make skinning easier though they will kick till thier cleaned and even jerk when thier out in salt water. i begin with one of the back leg sections where the skin was cut from the plate. cut all the way around the back legs. the skin that is where it joins the top of the shell.

    next is to select a leg and begin to pull the skin as ya slice it away from the meat. it will not just pull off by hand. it must be sliced as a deer must. slowly work it off the leg and cut it between the tail so it can be skinned right down to the foot. whn the skin is removed just past the joint at the foot cut it off at the joint with the hatchet. then lift the leg up and slice away from the top portion of the shell untill you have cut it to where the leg bone joins at the hip area. cut it at joint like chicken. then ya should have a leg quarter. (thigh and leg.) for smaller peices these may be sepperated at knee joint.

    simply do the same to the other side.

    then go to the tail. skin it down untill ya get to where the meat kind of just turns to bone. cut it to with hatchet. then lift tail meat section up. the backbone sttaghes through the shell so this is easily cut with a whack of the hatchet. then cut meat away from shell. that will atke care of the back section. removal of the guts now will help.

    then go to front. cut the skin away from top shell like the rear. then begin skinning a front leg and cut skin between the neck and skin to the feet and remove like the rear. then cut the meat off the top of shell like rear. cut front leg at joint. this piece will be a little smaller than the rear. repeate other side.

    then the neck can be shinned right off past where ya removed head. this also attaches by bone to the shell and can be cut with hatchet. then all ys should have now is the fairly clean shell. if its done right the shell will almost contain no trace of meat. now toss the shell.

    lmao. no do not toss it yet. its work but inside the back of shell ya will notice the spine runs down center and there appears to be what looks like two rows of windows with a sort of membrane over them. these are ribs. cut all them out at the spine an as far as ya can where the form into the shell itself. remove all these on both sides. under these there is a strip of pure white meat.(backstraps) and are very tasty treats.

    well its been an hour or so on the first one but they get easier as ya learn. now you are really done. i do this at a small ford a few miles ous side of town where water runs over the concrete so i can wash up and toss the scraps in the weeds for the cyoteyes. now place the meat into a bowl of salt water in the fridge over night before cooking or freezing.

    thats how i do mine. right on my tailgate. ;)
     
  2. JERMSQUIRM

    JERMSQUIRM New Member

    Messages:
    13,145
    State:
    il-waynesv
    now that ya have got this prehistoric creature in your fridge and are wondering what the hell to do with it try this.

    this way is simple and for beginners will give ya a great result. turtle just fried will be tough and still good its hard to eat.

    take the meat and wash and remove the lil bits of bright yellow fatty tissue, and bread with your favorite breading. batters wont work for this. use a dry mix. fry it untill it looks like its about done. not real done but like chicken. when it looks like its about 5-6 minautes from done remove it and drain grease.

    take a large crockpot or electric roaster oven and place a layer of meat and cover with cream of mushroom soup. if ya have several turtles then add another layer of meat on top and repete with some soup. do not dillute soup. use the concentrate paste. if ya just have 1 turtle use a crock pot. this will allow layers.

    cook this on low for several hours. slow cook. this will give the turtle a very tender textuer that will fall off the bone and melt in your mouth. its kind of got the texture of tender roast beef when done like this. enjoy. :wub:
     

  3. JERMSQUIRM

    JERMSQUIRM New Member

    Messages:
    13,145
    State:
    il-waynesv
    any one else feel free to give your method. had seen a member asking on the other threads and also had a p,m, so i thought ide try and help. some say an air hose can be inserted in the neck and the skin be removed with air. never tried it though. my way works so i just stuck with it. :cool:
     
  4. loop

    loop New Member

    Messages:
    422
    State:
    Newkirk,Oklahom
    My uncle use to bring alot of turtles home and fix them.Think he use to par boil them in chicken stock,then bread them an fry them.He even did them that way an smoked them an BBQed them.
    He use to fix a big platter of turtle,eel,fish an chicken you never knew what you were getting.LOL
    All I can rember is it was great.
    Loop
     
  5. greggofish

    greggofish New Member

    Messages:
    214
    State:
    Holly Springs, NC
    Man...you gotta be awful hungry to go through all that..... :) I don't even like to clean catfish cause they move around way too much after they are supposed to be dead :eek:

    I think I'll stick with chicken, hamburger, etc.........

    The closest thing to a turtle I'll eat are Vienna Sausage.........I swear I saw one of them move once ......Vienees...the other soft pink meat.

    Interesting post though......thanks.....
     
  6. Cheryl

    Cheryl Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,010
    State:
    TN
    ;) I happen to know a man in FL that has great luck with turtles. He even caught 2 on top of each other, while the female was eating. Wish I had of had the camera ready then! :p

    I've heard turtle is very tasty, but I am a turtle lover, so I don't think I could eat one.
     
  7. JERMSQUIRM

    JERMSQUIRM New Member

    Messages:
    13,145
    State:
    il-waynesv
    if most folks ate it once they would learn to clean them. they are un believebly good. there ain't no explaining the taste. i just used roast beef as a close example. there way better. shoot ya only live once. if cats are to hard to clean ya must think were bass men. roflmao. the funny thing is after all that crap the heart will still be beating. and i ain't lying. maybe it is to scary for ya all. not me. turtles are the bomb. how but a click on my rep for the info not a dis.
     
  8. Phil Washburn

    Phil Washburn New Member

    Messages:
    7,680
    State:
    Shawnee OK
    great post, jeremy - i will have to try it, as there are plenty of turtles in the river. do you eat softshell turtles also? and do you make turtle soup?
     
  9. mad catter

    mad catter Member

    Messages:
    116
    State:
    Iowa
    Great turtle cleaning website, Schoe. Good job.
     
  10. JERMSQUIRM

    JERMSQUIRM New Member

    Messages:
    13,145
    State:
    il-waynesv
    i have never made turtle soup. that would be a Q for schoe. thats pretty close to how i do it too. with that post and mine should make it easy for someone whow has never done it.

    removing the feet first is a good idea.
     
  11. logchain

    logchain New Member

    Messages:
    4
    always wanted to clean and cook some of them turtles we catch a lot of them around here
     
  12. Schoe

    Schoe New Member

    Messages:
    106
    State:
    Moline ILL.
    Yes Jeremy, you are correct that between our two posts a novice should be able to clean a turtle with little or no problems. The first one is always the hardest and it seems that the more you do the easier it gets. The feet and claw removal came from experience myself. It's amazing how much strength and movement they have even after the head has been removed for a time.

    Loop, I hope you benefit from these posts and give it a try.

    Jeremy, a couple of recipes will follow shortly for turtle soup and baked turtle.

    Schoe
     
  13. Swampy

    Swampy New Member

    Messages:
    818
    State:
    Fl.
    Now that's not funny! LOL I'll never forget that night it was raining and I was catching turtles left & right. I can still hear you LOL at me.
     
  14. davesoutfishing

    davesoutfishing New Member

    Messages:
    479
    State:
    Menominee Michigan
    what do you do with the shells I would love to have a couple big ones
     
  15. spoonfish

    spoonfish New Member

    Messages:
    3,780
    State:
    Warsaw, Mo.
    I was wondering the same thing, what all uses do you guys use them for?
     
  16. Schoe

    Schoe New Member

    Messages:
    106
    State:
    Moline ILL.
    Dave, I P.M.ed you several times about turtle fishing but never had any replys. So I didn't know if you got them or not.

    I saw on one of your posts that you come to Davenport once in a while so when you do let me know as I have a lot of turtle shells and you are welcome to a couple. You can reach me at my web site schoe@whereifish.com to let me know when you will be in the area.

    Spoonfish, the same goes for you. And to answer your question, I don't do anything with them except Prop them up on a slat fence and let the flys do their thing and wait for people to want them. Some make wall hangers out of them, some make clocks out of them. Thanks for asking guys. Schoe