Smoking 13 Cornish Hens on the 10th of December and have some questions

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by shea1973, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. This Saturday we will be having a bunch of people over, kinda like a Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, but in the middle of the two.[​IMG]   I am going to be smoking 13 Cornish Hens for the get together.  I haven't smoked them before so I do have 3 questions.  

    1st.  Sence they are Poultry I would think they have to be put in Brine before smoking?  If so, about how long to be in the Brine and if anyone could link a good Brine recipe that would be great!

    2nd.  I am assuming it takes about 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours to smoke them?  

    3rd.  I am going to use Mesquite Charchol, Mesquite Chunks and Apple chips.  I thought about soaking the Apple chips and putting them on the frie about every hour or so.  Or will soaking the Apple Chips and putting them on every hour create to much white smoke?  

    Thank You all for your help and if their is anything I am missing in my questions that you might want to tell me, please fell free and let me now!  
  2. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I personally love brining all of my poultry but you don't need to. I don't soak any of my chips anymore either. What temps are you think about running the smoker at? The hens are usually pretty small so they go pretty fast.
  3. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I would use the Slaugherhouse brine and to be honest the mesquite is pretty strong for poultry. I would recommend using fruit woods or pecan. 
  4. smokinal

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

    Definitely brine them, and we like mesquite for poultry. It will give it a stronger smoke flavor, but we like that.
  5. owlcreeksmoker4

    owlcreeksmoker4 Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    I would personally use a mesquite/pecan mix but thats me, but the slaughterhouse brine is the best. Also be careful these little guys cook way faster than normal chicken (obviously)
  6. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    I would brine them for about 8 to 10 hours and use a mix of Pecan and Apple on them. I like to also inject mine with some Cajun Butter after the brine is over...
  7. Thank You for all the help and suggestions.  I found the Slaughterhouse Brine.  I am going to leave the Cajun spice out because my mom can't handle spicy things.  

    I don't have any Apple or any other fruit woods.  I just have apple chips, cherry chips and maple chips.  The only wood I have is hickory logs and Mesquite Chunks.  I will use the Mesquite Chunks along with some Mesquite Charchol and use Apple Chips.  What would be the best way to use the Apple Chips?  Soak them or just throw them on?

    Rbanster, I usally smoke around 225 degrees.

    Again Thanks for all the help and suggestions!
  8. dutch

    dutch Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Chips will burn way faster than chunks.  Make a foil pouch to put your chips in-seal it tight and poke a few holes in the top and then place the pouch on top of the charcoal. With the restricted air flow the chips will smolder giving off smoke without bursting into flames. If it does go up in flames, then you had too many holes in the top of the pouch. 

    Also, have several pouches made up and ready to go-when one quits giving off smoke switch it out for a fresh one.

    Let us know how it turns out-

    Enjoy the Smoke!
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011
  9. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Before I got a real smoker this is how I used to smoke - it works great.
  10. raymo76

    raymo76 Smoking Fanatic

    I've never brined any of my hens/chickens, well anything, and I have had a problem with dried out poultry. Cook time will depend on your heat, obviously, I try to cook at 325* - 350* and it takes me about 3 hours. Good luck! It sounds like a fantastic meal you're going to have.
  11. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member


    Looking forward to the Qview
  12. africanmeat

    africanmeat Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  13. I just realized I never posted on how it turned out for the 13 Cornish Hens.  They were a hit with Family and Friends that were their! I put them in Slaughter House brine for about 8 hours.  I used Mesquite Charcoal, Mesquite Chunks and Apple Chips to smoke them.  Took about 3 1/2 hours to smoke them.  I would have pics of them, but the two Digital Camrea's did have were going out and showing nothing but blurry pics.  

Share This Page