How To Process And Preserve Snail Meat For Sale

How To Process And Preserve Snail Meat For Sale
How To Process And Preserve Snail Meat For Sale

There are various preservation methods for different animal proteins, and how to preserve snail meat should be a question for anyone into the snail farming business as well as escargot consumers.

Many snail meat consumers do not even know what snail meat is called. LOL! Do you? Well, I didn’t know until very recently that snail meat is called Escargot

You can preserve Snail meat over time, at least 3months,  with the meat retaining its nutritional value. Refrigeration, smoking, frying are all methods of snail meat preservation.

As a snail meat or escargot lover, you may have been wondering how to preserve your fresh meat and make into different delicacies without stress.

I will explain how to preserve your snail meat for a longer period without it losing its nutritional value.

The word ‘escargot’ would be used in this article so don’t be confused, it’s what snail meat is called especially in fine dining.

Snail Processed Into Nigerian Peppered Escargot
Nigerian Peppered Escargot

Snail dish can only be enjoyed if it has been carefully washed, stone free and adequately preserved.

Snail meat contains less fat, low cholesterol and a higher mineral content, such as iron and calcium, than many animal proteins.

This protein is highly appreciated for its high quality since it contains all nine of the body’s required amino acids.

Snail Processing Requirements For Snail Business

The following are items needed in snail processing and preservation:

  1. Water
  2. Alum
  3. Cellophane and Packaging materials
  4. A large plastic bowl or container
  5. Dryer (Oven Dryer with Gas/Charcoal/Electric)
  6. Company registration and registration with other agencies in the case of large scale production

How To Process Snails For Sale

Snail meat must be adequately treated and preserved to be marketable.

When safety food measure standards are met, snail meat can be sold in local and foreign markets.

How To Process Snail Meat For Sale
Freshly Processed Snails

Have you been wondering how to tap into snail business? Then this is the part you don’t want to miss.

The following steps are how best to go about snail meat processing:

  1. Empty the snails’ stomach by starving them for about 24hours.
  2. Prepare enough quantity of water by boiling it at temperatures over 700 Pour the boiled water into a container when done.
  3. Add just sufficient alum (potassium or ammonium aluminum sulfate). This helps to reduce the slippery nature of the snail slime. You can also use lime or lemon.
  4. After 5 to 10 minutes of adding alum, pour the snails in hot water ensuring that the water is over them and cover them up.
  5. Open the lid and drain the unclean hot water, then cool off the snails under running water.
  6. Remove the snails from the shell by gently yanking them out.
  7. Remove the waste and wash it at least twice in cool, clean water.

How To Package Snail Meat For Sale

Snails can be packaged in the following ways depending on the type of market and clientele:

  1. Refrigeration: the processed snail should be kept wrapped up in cellophane and stored in the refrigerator.
  2. Drying: processed snails can be sun dried or a cabinet dryer can be used to remove the moisture content before marketing. However, this must be done carefully, neatly and professionally.  Cabinet dryers are most commonly used in commercial business settings.
  3. Canning: Fresh snail preservation by canning is also possible. Many established companies use this method to preserve their snails.

Please note that it is unsafe to store fresh snails with other food. Snails are known to carry a variety of diseases and parasites.

Ensure they are also not kept in the same refrigerator with other perishable foods.

How To process And Preserve Snail Meat For Sale
Snails Ready For Processing

How To Process Snail For Freezing

To properly freeze your snails’ follow this procedure;

  1. Prepare a well ventilated wooden box to keep your snails. The wooden box is for live snails.
  2. The box should be elevated by at least a few inches from the surface of the ground. The flavor of the snail can be increased by feeding it dill (a herbal spice) for a few days.
  3. Get rid of the snail’s innards to avoid eating the snail’s waste and also enhance the flavour of the snail meat.
  4. Wet the snails for about 5 days without meal. This is to ensure they stay alive and healthy while you are trying to get rid of their stomach contents.
  5. At the end of the snails fast, sprinkle a little amount of rock salt on the snails in a big container.
  6. Arrange another set of snails and repeat the process above until all the snails have been salted.
  7. Snails do not like salt and will foam due to the presence of salt. Rinse off after an hour of foaming.
  8. Boil the snails for about 3 minutes and drain off.
  9. Remove the snails from their shells. Remove the intestines as well.
  10. Leave the snails for about 15 minutes in a saltwater solution.
  11. Drain off adequately and clean the snails.
How To Preserve Snail Meat By Refrigeration
How To Preserve Snail Meat By Refrigeration

The snails are now ready for refrigeration. Frozen snails can be stored till about 6months if properly processed. It is best to package the snails in cellophane bags, air tight and put in a container.

How To Preserve Snail Meat By Canning

Just like processing snails for refrigeration, the snails are put in cans and sealed up.

This is however done by commercial snail farmers and snail business entrepreneurs.

There are safety measures to be met during production. Canned snails can stay up to 1year when stored properly.

Canned snails can be nutritious although they also come with some health hazards.

Adequate care and observation should be made when purchasing canned snails. DO NOT BUY OR USE CANNED FOODS THAT ARE LEAKING, DENTED, COMPRESSED OR DAMAGED!

Upon opening your canned food item, once you observe that the smell is terrible or there’s leakage, do not use it or even taste it.

They may contain Botulinum toxin which can be lethal even in minute quantity.

Canned snails and other canned food items should always be kept in a cold, dry place.

Do not store them close to hot or cold water sources such as the stove, cooker or sink and other naturally moist areas such as a kitchen store.

How To Preserve Snail Meat By Oven Drying
How To Preserve Snail Meat By Oven Drying

How To Preserve Snail Meat By Drying

After processing the escargot, they are ready to be dried and packaged. Let’s look at 2 ways of drying the snail meat:

Oven Drying: The snails are arranged in an oven; electric or charcoal and lighted up.

The temperature should be about 325 and 450 degrees F and observed every 10 minutes. The snails should by dry and not turn into flakes.


Escargots can be preserved just like any other source of animal protein. Refrigeration, drying, smoking and canning are all possible with escargots and effectively so if well processed.

The technique used avails consumers the opportunity of having escargots available all year round due to the seasonal nature of snails.

Advantages of each method vary likewise the nutritional value and taste.

How To Process And Preserve Snail Meat For Sale
How To Process And Preserve Snail Meat For Sale

Snail meats can be kept from 6 months up to 2 years depending on the method of preservation and can be used to prepare delicacies that are healthy, tasty and nourishing!

Go ahead and follow the guidelines in this article and leave your responses and observations in the comments section.


  1. Thank you for this article. Nice seeing that alum can be added to water before boiling the snails. I’ve been doing that in a reversed and more difficult way but trying your method is easier. Thanks once again

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