How to Cook and Eat Grasshoppers in the Wild

Insects like grasshoppers are a great survival food that is packed with protein, fat, and other crucial nutrients.   We could survive off of eating grasshoppers alone!  However, the videos we see of people eating grasshoppers or bugs are usually really hyped up. 

Think reality TV like Ultimate Challenge where squismish people have to eat live bugs.

Or Bear Grylls biting the heads off of bugs and eating them raw.

This is NOT how you want to eat bugs!

In this video, the experts from Sigma 3 Survival School show how to eat grasshoppers or crickets in the wild by roasting them over a fire.

Step 1: Make Your Clamps

Unless you are in a very serious survival situation where you must eat right away, always cook your food. All animals (and insects are animals!) carry the risk of parasites such as tapeworm.

Just like how you filter water in the wild, you also cook animals before eating them.

  1. Find an arm-length stick about the width of your finger.
  2. Lay the stick flat on a log.
  3. Use your survival knife to make a lengthwise split in the middle approximately 3 inches down from the top.
  4. Keep splitting the stick downwards. This is where you will put the bugs for roasting.
  5. Remove the outer bark. Many barks contain tannins which are bitter!
how to eat a grasshopper clamp stick
Making a split down the center of your stick
how to eat a grasshopper clamp stick
Remove the bark.
how to eat grasshoppers clamp stick
Now you have a roasting stick for eating bugs!

Step 2. Remove the Legs and Wings

When people try eating bugs for the first time, they often comment that they feel gross going down their throat.  The reason is:

The legs and the wings will get caught in your throat!

People have nearly choked on insect legs and wings, so don’t skip this step.

  1. Keep crickets alive until ready to put on the fire. Yes, they will be withering around during the entire process!
  2. Grab on firmly to one leg or wing.
  3. Rotate until the leg or wing detaches.
preparing bugs for eating
Twist off the wings and legs.

Step 3: Clamp the Grasshoppers into the Roasting Stick

There are many different ways to roast insects over a fire.  In the video, Sigma 3 uses a clamp.  An alternative would be to skewer the grasshoppers on long, thin sticks you’ve shaved down.

  1. After removing the legs and wings, put the grasshoppers into the roasting stick.
  2. They will still be alive while putting them in.
  3. Be careful not to squeeze the grasshoppers or their guts will come out.
  4. Don’t let any grasshoppers escape while putting in the next ones.
preparing bugs for roasting
Put the insects in your roasting stick

Step 4: Roasting Your Grasshoppers

It is going to take about 10 minutes to completely roast your grasshoppers or crickets.  This can be tedious, but resist the urge to speed up the process by holding them closer to the flames.  The grasshoppers will just get burnt.  If you don’t like burnt toast, you aren’t going to like burnt grasshopper!

  1. Make a fire.
  2. Set the grasshoppers over the flame.
  3. Roast until well done. Don’t risk getting parasites!
roasting grasshoppers
Roasting the grasshoppers over an open flame.

Step 5: Eat Your Grasshoppers

  1. Wait for them to cool.
  2. Eat!
eating bugs
The bugs are ready to eat!

Grasshoppers are very nutritious!

At Edibug, I found some info about the nutritional value of various insects. Based on that, here is how the nutrition of grasshoppers and crickets compare to 85% lean beef.

Nutritional Value of Grasshoppers & Crickets Compared to Beef

*Per 100 grams
**100g = approximately 185 grasshoppers

  Protein (g) Fat (g) Carbs Calcium (mg) Iron (mg)
Grasshopper 20.6 6.1 3.9 35.2 5.0
Cricket 14.3 3.3 2.2 27.5 3.0
Lean Beef 26 15 0 18 2.6


I know that eating bugs for survival doesn’t sound very exciting.  But, as Sigma 3 says, you need to gradually work your way up to large game.

Start with things that are slow, like wild edibles, rats, and bugs.  Soon you’ll be going for larger game like rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, and work your way up to deer.

Watch the entire video here:

Have you ever eaten grasshoppers or other bugs?  Do you think you would in a survival situation?  Let us know in the comments or join us on FB!

image credit:

Jason’s Lighter-Cooked Grasshopper” (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by  Chris Canipe 

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