How to make a meat head
October 28th, 2010
10:00 AM ET
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I cannot pretend that this project is in any way moral, sane or defensible. I know only that to bear a cold cut bedecked skull upon a platter into the midst of a Dionysian-frenzied crowd of Halloween revelers chanting "Meat head. Meat Head. MEAT! HEAD!" is to know what it is to touch the face of an angel.

Here's how to make your own.

– 1 plastic skull
– 1 box of red or green gelatin
– Cream cheese (optional)
– Food coloring (optional)
– Plastic wrap
– 1-2 cookie sheets
– 1 1/2 pounds thinly-sliced cold cuts
– 1 hard boiled egg
– Olives or cocktail onions
– Toothpicks

1. Wash a plastic skull. If it isn't labeled as food safe, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Place this on the most opulent platter you possess.

2. Prepare a batch of gelatin, using half the amount of water suggested. Pour this onto a plastic wrap-lined cookie sheet to a depth of 1/4 inch, chill and let it congeal. Use a red-colored flavor for a gory look, or green if you should care to add an alien undertone to the festivities.

3. When the gelatin has set to a rubbery consistency, slice it into swatches and mold these around the skull. It may not be possible to thoroughly cover the entire head. This is okay. You will live - but he won't. Muahahahahahaha! You may also opt to augment coverage with cream cheese, stirred with the food coloring of your choice.

4. Layer the entire surface with thin slices of cold cuts. Deli ham (as pictured in my 1999 rendition above) can provide a smooth, only mildly-revolting skin, but salami and mortadella evoke a delightful soup├žon of postmortem putrefaction.

5. Halve a hard boiled egg, then halve the yolk and press sides into the eye sockets. Pimento-stuffed olives or pickled cocktail onions make delightfully disturbing pupils. If you should care to amp the hue with beet juice or red food coloring, who in the world would stop you?

6. Augment the presentation by decking the platter with cooked, sauced spaghetti, meat scraps, pimento-topped hummus - however the spirit moves you.

7. Lower the lights, clear a space on the buffet table, and select thematically appropriate music for your ascension into Halloween host immortality as you introduce Meat Head to his adoring new fans.

Serve with forks and crackers. Most guests, by then whipped into a state of meat-adoring ecstasy, will simply lunge at Meat Head with their fingers, clawing off his flesh and stuffing it into their gaping maws, but you yourself may wish to maintain a sense of decorum. You're not a savage, after all.

My first Meat Head construction in 1999 was inspired by the mad geniuses at MIT, and in 2010, we were dazzled by the creativity of the good folks of iReport and Geek Out! Read: Sink your teeth into creepy, gory Halloween eats

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Filed under: Halloween • Halloween • Holiday • Make • Recipes

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soundoff (86 Responses)
  1. chef cal

    maybe ill server this up for halloween

    October 31, 2010 at 1:39 am |
  2. Andy Oakland

    I'm delighted that people are still enjoying Meathead! I made that page nearly fifteen years ago, at the very dawn of the web. And, yes, those clamoring for Braaaains can eat their fill ... just pop off the top of the skull, fill it with potato salad, and cover with cold cuts!! (In most plastic skulls, the top comes off easily. Look at the first picture at

    October 30, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
    • Kat Kinsman

      That meathead pictured above actually got me a job at Maxim in the late 90s! Thank you!

      October 16, 2013 at 3:59 am |
  3. Sweetenedtea

    I want to be sarcastic when I say this was really a necessary, important story. I *want* to be sarcastic and dismissive...but I can't. I say the words and find myself meaning them with utter sincerity. This was absolutely a necessary, important story.

    October 29, 2010 at 9:06 pm |
    • Incognito

      Thank you for sharing your utmost feelings with all of us. That took guts,gumpshun and a tight panty wad. I believe Faux News is hiring.

      October 29, 2010 at 9:15 pm |
      • Sweetenedtea

        You're welcome. I was shaking and crying by the time I hit post, but I managed. Granted, I had "The Greatest Love of All" playing on my stereo, so I felt stronger and braver than usual, but I don't think that should detract from the character I showed in doing what was necessary.

        October 29, 2010 at 9:19 pm |
      • Incognito

        Absolute Strength with the stereo as a back-up. I usually have Oprah playing in the background so I can turn and energize myself to face the world. It is tuff at 5:00 a.m. in the morning but Oprah and Gayle help me everyday.

        October 29, 2010 at 9:33 pm |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants

        LOL at this convo.

        October 30, 2010 at 9:44 am |
  4. Shrike

    Somebody asked about the brains- you could really easily cut a hole in the skull, balance a bowl of guacamole or hummos or cheese dip (whatever floats your boat) in there... either layer the meat on top, or leave it exposed. Would be a neat addition, I think!

    October 29, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  5. Scary

    I though the best way to create a meathead was for the mother to drink heavily during pregnancy

    October 29, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
    • Daddy

      Hell,You'd drink too if you saw her mother.

      October 29, 2010 at 9:18 pm |
  6. John

    That's repulsive and not the slightest bit funny.

    October 29, 2010 at 1:52 pm |
    • Observer

      But enough about you...

      October 29, 2010 at 2:34 pm |
      • John

        And do you think your funny?

        October 29, 2010 at 3:40 pm |
      • Sgt. Hulka

        Lighten up Francis! (and John)

        You seem angry, which I guess happens when one goes through life named after a toilet...

        October 29, 2010 at 3:46 pm |
  7. Michael Jackson

    Has anyone seen my nose? I know it's around here somewhere.

    October 29, 2010 at 9:31 am |
  8. ----------------------------


    October 29, 2010 at 3:17 am |
  9. Mariza

    This is absolutely disgusting!

    October 28, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  10. Truth

    And when you serve this, be sure to ask loudly "Ok, who would like some head?"
    You know it is a great party when everybody comes!

    October 28, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants


      October 28, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
    • hj

      Hehe...great ice breaker

      October 28, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  11. Laura Galore


    October 28, 2010 at 1:45 pm |
  12. Shelburne

    Perfect for a room full of zombies...awmmnawmmnaaammmm gnommnomgrrwamnurmmnommm Meat GOOD!

    October 28, 2010 at 1:06 pm |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants


      October 28, 2010 at 1:32 pm |
  13. Meat is murder

    It is nothing short of barbaric that people in this day and age continue to consume meat. It should be outlawed.

    October 28, 2010 at 1:05 pm |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants

      October 28, 2010 at 1:30 pm |
    • mykl

      hey veggie fascist, i'm here to tell you the world is comprised of many shades of gray. Yours is obstinately black and white. Grow up.

      October 28, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
    • Sweetenedtea

      No, Conan is absolutely barbaric. Eating meat is merely Visigothic. And fun.

      October 29, 2010 at 9:07 pm |
    • Dave

      Outlawed...maybe not. Well, not in our current culture, anyway. Too many people view it as some sort of "right" still, despite the fact that we don't need to kill animals to survive just fine. Best you can do is lead by example. Given that we're not uncivilized hunter-gatherers anymore, and have the means to produce perfectly tasty and nutritious food without enslaving and slaughtering sentient beings en masse, one can only hope/assume human attitudes will continue to change.

      October 31, 2010 at 3:23 am |
  14. tucamote

    Want a real head just go over to Mexico they"ll give you a real one

    October 28, 2010 at 12:46 pm |
  15. kaamil

    traditionally, people will keep eating this so called meat head until they start eating the real human meat head. logically, why would you spend and invest more time gathering all the above specified ingredients and recipes while you can fetch a real head without using plastic head? And trust me there are many lazy people in america who wouldn't bother making plastic meat head, but rather do the easy way.

    October 28, 2010 at 12:36 pm |
  16. Mike

    This is where people like jeffrey dahmer get the idea from. It's start out eating stuff like this then escalate to the adventureus thought of eating real human heads. This is really sick!

    October 28, 2010 at 12:34 pm |
    • Me

      Please tell you're joking, you freakin' meathead.

      October 28, 2010 at 12:59 pm |
      • Me

        tell me^^, that is.

        October 28, 2010 at 1:00 pm |
    • Troy

      Ah, so it's a gateway head.

      October 30, 2010 at 4:30 am |
  17. Spork

    But where's the Brains? yummmm, brains......

    October 28, 2010 at 12:32 pm |
  18. Marilyn Abella

    I love it...but Im confused on how they did the teeth???

    October 28, 2010 at 12:29 pm |
    • Cathy

      Guessing the teeth are part of the plastic skull.

      October 29, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
  19. John P

    I think we're ready now for mutually-assured destruction.

    October 28, 2010 at 12:24 pm |
  20. NYC Gastronomist

    Wouldn't it just be easier to use a real skull, with real flesh?

    October 28, 2010 at 12:21 pm |
  21. Dr. Paul Fell

    Looks a bit like Mason Verger. Pass the favah beans!

    October 28, 2010 at 12:15 pm |
  22. OMD

    LMFAO! That's got to be one of the funniest things I have ever seen. I'm tearing up.

    October 28, 2010 at 12:14 pm |
  23. Ralph in Orange Park, FL

    No thanks. There are already too many meatheads.

    October 28, 2010 at 12:11 pm |
  24. hosss

    sick oooooo

    October 28, 2010 at 12:03 pm |
  25. Sam

    That is absolutely disgusting looking. Maybe something a serial killer would appreciate. Thanks CNN

    October 28, 2010 at 12:01 pm |
  26. kanon

    Cannibalistic simulation FTW.

    October 28, 2010 at 11:54 am |
  27. Grace

    You have too much time on your hands.

    October 28, 2010 at 11:42 am |
    • BinyeEast

      i hate people who use that term... because your life is so busy that you couldn't spare 20-30 minutes to build a meat head (but an hour to browse the internet is more/less productive?)> Sheesh.

      October 28, 2010 at 11:53 am |
  28. Head Job

    Who doesn't like a little head.

    October 28, 2010 at 11:39 am |
  29. Joe

    What about a real skull? Would a real skull work? Or does it have to be plastic???

    October 28, 2010 at 11:36 am |
    • Sweetenedtea

      Real skulls break too easily. Remember, they're not one solid piece - they consist of several plates held together by pure living will-power.

      October 29, 2010 at 9:09 pm |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants

        How many people have you killed?

        October 30, 2010 at 9:42 am |
  30. Jeff

    I did this last year, everyone loved it

    October 28, 2010 at 11:22 am |
  31. Robert W.

    Looks gross. But people will eat anything.

    October 28, 2010 at 11:20 am |
  32. wonders


    October 28, 2010 at 11:19 am |
  33. TwM

    This looks very cool. Wonder where the Veg-heads are condemning this.

    October 28, 2010 at 11:18 am |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants

      Continue reading....

      October 28, 2010 at 1:33 pm |
  34. MacKenzie

    I would not eat that.

    October 28, 2010 at 11:17 am |
  35. Matad

    hmmm, yummy

    October 28, 2010 at 11:17 am |
  36. sierra

    dude,this is so COOL;p

    October 28, 2010 at 11:15 am |
  37. ABK

    That is the most beautiful piece of brilliance I've ever seen.

    October 28, 2010 at 11:04 am |
  38. joeschmoe

    they cheated, they used a plastic skull lol, until I found that they used a plastic skull, I thought they carved it out of a large ham. wouldve been cool tho

    October 28, 2010 at 11:02 am |
    • DingoDog

      I thought it was a giant ham too! It looks Dee-Lish!

      October 28, 2010 at 12:43 pm |
  39. = D


    October 28, 2010 at 11:01 am |
  40. citizenUSA

    Gross... is what makes it cool.

    October 28, 2010 at 10:52 am |
  41. flacoloco

    mmmm nasty

    October 28, 2010 at 10:52 am |
  42. Don

    You need to have your head examined : )

    October 28, 2010 at 10:51 am |
  43. David


    October 28, 2010 at 10:51 am |
  44. tairy greene

    the gravy is theirs!

    October 28, 2010 at 10:48 am |
  45. Jdizzle McDonnerParty

    Mmmm. Head.

    October 28, 2010 at 10:37 am |
    • Zee

      I feel ill.....

      October 28, 2010 at 11:08 am |
    • Incognito

      "Give me Head till I'm Dead"-Booger from Revenge of The Nerds

      October 28, 2010 at 12:22 pm |
      • indie_cognito

        i agree this is disgusting! im gonna try this! wish me luck

        October 28, 2010 at 8:13 pm |
    • Brent Bouchard

      This is a gross misrepresentation of a holiday that i invented back in 2003. its true name is St. Hammond Gassys, and this is not how you do it. 1st off it takes place in the 2nd week of june, and 2nd, you carve a meat head, then put glasses on it, put it in a cookie jar, and leave it on a hiking trail (or something similar). Next you wait for someone to mistake it for a severed head from a mob hit. The goal is to make the local police report in the newspaper. If anyone wants the true story behind Hammond Glasys, i'd be happy to address them. my e-mail is We have plenty of photos from holidays past, and would love to share them.

      October 28, 2010 at 1:57 pm |
      • Bobo

        You can't even spell "your" holiday's name the same way twice.

        October 30, 2010 at 12:35 pm |
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