How to Skin and Clean a Rabbit — Steven Rinella MeatEater

How to Skin and Clean a Rabbit — Steven Rinella MeatEater

I’m going to show what’s up with breaking down a cottontail rabbit. and making it, you know, totally ready for whatever kind of recipe you do. As an herbivore, they have a pretty big gut and they go–they get sour quick. So even if it’s cold out, like now, it’s below freezing, this thing would start to get– It would start to green up if you didn’t gut it right away. I’m going to totally clean him for cooking. I don’t need to worry about gutting him first. You just want to cut a notch into the hide, right there. Now from there I’m just gonna peel back undress that leg like a sock. Undress that leg, down to the last knuckle. Usually the tail stays on, grab that and just pluck that. Now, just pull down. Ok, at this point the hair’s been pulled off except for the feet. Now I just go through and pop the joints. Pop the joint. Take the knife back out. There, there, there, there. Come in sever the head Ok, now he’s hairless but he still has his guts in him. Let’s make an incision right here at the base of the sternum. Lift that stuff up so you’re not cutting into the guts. A trick in gutting whether you’re doing deer or anything, is when you get down to this area, in order to not snip the bladder and lower intestine just grab the stuff and pull it up and clear that channel out, and you just put your knife in there so split the pelvis just take it up like this and reach up and grab the heart and all its little moorings, right here. Pull it free. You see the kidneys peel away everything down, and we already opened the pelvis so this is all going to be able to pass out clean. You can tell this is like a good healthy rabbit and he’s not had a hard winter because he still’s got fat on him. You check his liver no big white spots on it. Sometimes you hear of Tularemia, it’s a disease you can get cleaning rabbits even. If a rabbit has Tularemia it will have a heavily like a–sometimes a heavily spotted liver. He doesn’t have any on, looks healthy, and to part it out I’d do the rabbit so he’s in five pieces. Let’s take this flank here cut that up. Cut through the ribs. There’s not a lot of meat there I’ll do one back leg, go like that. Pop the ball joint There’s the two back legs, that’s the bulk of your meat right there. Do the shoulders. I like to make it pan-sized more. Cut the whole saddle into two pieces and that right there is 90% of rabbit recipes that I do. Like use these pieces as is. Always
cook rabbit on the bone. When you bone it out you just lose stuff. And one rabbit can feed It’s a big meal for one person, it’s a light meal for two people.

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About the Author: John Markowski


  1. I literally just shot a rabbit out the front door of our home and then looked this video up and followed it to a ‘T!’ Works great. Now we have rabbit in the cooler, waiting for another. Thank you Mr. Rinella, for the excellent instruction.

  2. Holy crap, I didn't know rabbits were just flesh burritos… I mean you took that fur off like you just reopened a burrito, that's crazy. I've never seen an animal go from cute fluffy rabbit to meat sack so fast

  3. Hey steve, for the initial cut to remove skin, was that in the "scruff" of the neck or in front under the chin? many thanks for the video!

  4. when you first come up to the dead animal what "Symptoms" do you look for to prevent cutting open a sick/diseased animal?

    when he was looking at the (clean) liver it would have been too late if the rabbit had had a disease


  5. Of all the instructional videos for rabbit skinning, available on YouTube, this is probably the one everyone should follow. Unless of course, Cameron Hanes had a video that differs.

  6. I never see a really good video on how to get around the bladder and the pelvis. I've done it a couple times, but not sure I did it right or not.

  7. Rabbits have skin that's like paper towels. I don't see how it's not ripped from their body by every briar patch they run through.

  8. Stick the knife up they're anus a little ways, grab em behind the front shoulders and squeeze it's guts out of it's anus. Tis the easiest way.

  9. Not the best way to clean a rabbit. Best way is to cut off the back feet, skin the rabbit from back to front and bring the skin up and over it's head. Slit the gut membrane and the holding the skin in one hand and the back legs in the other 'flick' the guts out. The kidneys and heart will stay in. Then cut off the head and hang the rabbit upside down for any remaining blood to drain. No mess on hands and quick.

  10. I skinned my first rabbit yesterday but I keep the heart ,liver and kidneys as it is for my raw fed Service dog. I got the pelt off in one so am pleased . I was just checking how I did. I did cut head off first though then peeled skin off. Now I know its easier to just put a notch in. Thank you : )

  11. Moving to an area where there may be a lot of rabbits, so my gal looked this up, so she can be rodent control with access to extra meat for us to use for slow cooker meals. Booyah.

  12. Pop the joints.. I’m crying 😭I don’t want anyone taking my rabbit away from me just so you can eat it…my rabbit is a household pet

  13. Very helpful I killed my first rabbit to night and watched your video 20mins after then skinned and cleaned. How ever I didn’t have a good knife on hand so I may have wasted a lot of meat. Was a huge rabbit tho! Thanks for the video!!!!

  14. Not a big meal for me auh-buh-boh, shit my pants Big Mac ×4 super size fries, fart fuck shit my pants three funnel cakes

  15. My dad father could skin one in2 seconds, he would just twist the head and rip it all off. Crazy to watch

  16. Some people like to eat the kidneys and liver. YUCK! I personally don't care for them. Very gamy. So, I just dispose them along with the intestines and excess. All you really need is the meat.

  17. Fucking discussting my god why would any 1 do this. I'll die b4 id eat that. Looks like a infant baby why the F did this show up in recommended

  18. One thing that I do that you left out was take the inside loins and back straps. Though they’re small, they’re pretty tasty.

  19. I've gone hunting yet.
    When he started to gut it I was slightly grossed. But even it started to look like some wholesome fresh and environmentally friendly cuts of meat my mouth literally watering.
    I think I can get through the not so sexy part of hunting – only time will tell

  20. Wild rabbit tastes way better off the bone than wild rabbit on the bone. Cleaning wild rabbits without gloves is not a good idea. I have no problem taking all the meat off the bone. No tallow, no tannin, no game taste. Rabbits eat bark so tannins go into the bones. Deer are the same.

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