Need a refresher course on smoking Cornish Hens!

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by shea1973, Dec 3, 2014.

  1. It has been a few years since I smoked Cornish Hens so just wondering if anyone could give me a quick refresher course on it!  [​IMG]   If I remember right I brine them about 6-8 hours.  Smoke them for about 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 hours.  The only wood I have right now is Hickory, I know it is strong for poultry but that is the only kind of wood I have. 

    Also what type of seasonings would be good for the Cornish Hens?  I have a Applewood by Grillmates that I use on a lot of things and I think that would be good for the Cornish Hens.  Any suggestions?  Thank You! 
     
  2. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  3. lololo

    lololo Newbie

    Thanks for the link Oldschoolbbq!  I found a lot of good recipes.  I noticed some wrapped theirs in Bacon, I guess that gives it a different kind of flavor for the Cornish Hens? 
     
  4. Thanks for the link Oldschoolbbq!  I found a lot of good recipes.  I noticed some wrapped theirs in Bacon, I guess that gives it a different kind of flavor for the Cornish Hens? 
     
  5. 6-8 hours of brining is good.  You can brine overnight also.

    I use the following for Cornish hen brine: (enough for 4-6 hens at a time) (got this from someone else on this forum I think)

    1 gallon water

    1/2 gallon apple juice

    2 cups kosher salt

    3 cups brown sugar

    4 tablespoons black pepper

    2 tablespoons rosemary leaves

    2 tablespoons thyme leaves

    1/4 cup molasses

    1/4 cup white wine

    1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

    Mix all together, and heat and stir till all the salt and sugar has dissolved.  Then add 1/2 gallon ice water to cool it down.  I usually brine overnight.  After brining, I rinse the birds off, pat them dry - put a little salt and pepper on the outside, and I put 1/4 orange and a few sprigs of fresh thyme, sage & rosemary in each bird.  Not tightly packed - I want the smoke to circulate inside as well as outside.

    I use a mix of Hickory and cherry woods and have not had too strong a flavor - they are in the smoke for a short time - so it is hard to get too much smoke flavor on them.

    I have done them two different profiles.

    1: 225 for 2 hours, then ramp to 325-350 to crispen the skin for 30-45 minutes

    2: 275 for 45min-1 hour then drop to 225 for 30-45 min.

    I go to an IT of 165 at the thigh. 

    Both profiles resulted in very moist, great tasting birds.  Profile 1 did not give me a crispy skin.  Profile 2 got a crisper skin and took a lot less time (1 hr, 45 min total).

    Enjoy and Happy smoking!
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2014

Share This Page