Smoked Cornish Hens

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by crankybuzzard, Dec 30, 2015.

  1. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    #2 son and I made some SS sticks last night, and while we were working on those, we had a couple of little chickens in the smoker.

    These 2 were cured for 2 days prior to smoking.  We'll be doing these again, the flavor was great and they are the perfect size for a meal.

    I hung the birds in netting and then smoked at 230° until the IT of the breast was at 171°.  We got distracted and overshot the target of 165°, but they were still extremely juicy!




     
    disco, crazymoon and tropics like this.
  2. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    CB The dark meat has a lot more red color then the breast,surprised to see that.I can't eat a whole hen any more.

    Richie

    [​IMG]
     
  3. humdinger

    humdinger Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Mmm. That's my wife's favorite smoker meal. Looks good buzzard. What wood did you use?
     
  4. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Richie, I was kind of surprised at how big the difference was as well.  I probed both birds with my handheld before I pulled them and the thighs were over 175.  I'm going to do this again soon and will see if I get the same results.

    I ate most of mine, but the kiddo wiped out his and finished mine!
    Howdy Humdinger!

    I used apple pellets in my A-MAZE-N tube.  Love apple for poultry!
     
  5. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    I haven't cured a bird in ages,that is why I was surprised.Mine were always more pink even in the breast,but I injected.

    Made a Happy meal for the boy 

    Richie
     
  6. I haven't smoke a game hen years. You got me motivated to try it again. Thanks! Looks delicious! Oh....never cured one...what's the process?
     
  7. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Those look good. I think the last hens I did I stuffed with boudin. 

    Nice looking birds. I really like the way the netting leaves them looking, don't you?
     
  8. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    NH
    CB, Nice looking birds, they look great with the netting marks !
     
  9. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I just use Pop's brine:

    1-gallon water
    1 cup brown sugar
    1 cup white sugar
    1/2 kosher salt
    1 heaping tablespoon of cure #1

    Put the birds in a bucket, pour the curing pickle over the birds until submerged, cover and allow to sit for a couple of days. I didn't inject these with the pickle since they are so small, but I do inject full sized birds and turkeys.
     
  10. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Mmm, boudin stuffed birds! Now that sounds great!

    About the netting, I love the way the birds cook when netted and the marks are an added bonus! I really like the marks as well. Maybe it's just me, but the smoke color seems better for me when I net the critters.
     
  11. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks! If the birds turn out bad, at least they'll be pretty! :biggrin:
     
  12. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Cured birds sound great, CB. It is great that  you are smoking with your son, too.

    Point

    Disco
     
  13. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Do Cornish Game hens talk with an accent? Inquiring minds want to know!
     
  14. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Only if they were raised on a diet with corn in it.
     
  15. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks! Our youngest loves to cook, smoke, make sausage, and eat all of the results! He and I had a ball while he was in town.

    When spring break rolls around, be prepared, we plan to smoke LOTS of pork and beef.
     
  16. pipelinegypsy

    pipelinegypsy Fire Starter

    Hey CB I'm just curious... what is the purpose of using the cure? Surely the cooking temp is high enough that there is no need to use it for preservation purposes?? I am wanting to do some this weekend and stuff them with some dirty rice.
     
  17. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Don't mean to answer for you CB, but it changes the flavor, you get sort of a hammy taste. It's very good!!

    Al
     
  18. pipelinegypsy

    pipelinegypsy Fire Starter

    Thanks Al. Is that what they do to the smoked turkey legs you get at the fair? I have always wondered why they taste just like ham! In fact I used to use them in pots of beans as an alternative to ham.
     
  19. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    That's exactly right!

    That's what they do!!

    Al
     

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