Anyone have any experience with hens?

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by foamheart, Aug 3, 2015.

  1. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have a big hen. We all know they are stock birds, takes so long to get them tender that then there is no flavor left in the meat. But I also think the same of turkeys if I were to boil or roast them.

    Has anyone tryed smoking a large hen?

    Going to put it out tomorrow to thaw.

    Pop always cooked the turkey and Mom also boiled a hen for the broth during the holidays, Has anyone smoked a hen? I am thinking anything done low and slow enough would have to turn tender, but to do really low and slow it would have to be cured to be safe.

    Anyone got any info? One way or another its going to be hen and dressing in August! AiiiiiiiiEeeeee!!
  2. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    When I was young we had 200 layers. One weekend we butchered all of them. I was to young to remember how they were cooked

    I would cure them. Cure helps to make them tender if thats what your worried about.
  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Never done it but your theory is sound. A Brine, min 1/2C Kosher per gallon, would be of great benefit. Then a 225° smoker temp would be safe with no cure. I am thinking the meat counts here with the skin not as important? Here is a situation where a Water Pan would be a benefit as well. You can crisp the skin in the oven if desired. Mom said, back on the farm, there were no chickens raised for meat. They were all layers. If Grandma wanted to make chicken, you go catch the oldest. Roasted, Fried. whatever, that is what you ate... We had Teeth and the Chickens had Flavor!...JJ
  4. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Just a thougt , Ma did a lot of Chicken and Dumplings , always good . Your query got me to thing , what if you Smoked that Girl for a while , then toss

    her in a CI pot (set in the smoker) and finished as C&D , I'd try it . . .

    Let us know how you prepare her.

    As always . . .
  5. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Morning Kevin.... I have done tough hens... turkeys also.... I mixed up a pot of water, beer, celery, garlic, onion, spices etc... bring up to a simmer and insert the critter.... try to keep temps about 185 ish... lid on... after several hours, turn off the heat and leave the bird in the bath.... the meat will soak up the liquid and seasonings as it cools......

    Some folks boil meat.... not good.... boiling toughens protein...

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