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Smoked Cornish Hens

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

#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!

 

 

 

 

post #2 of 19

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

 

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post #3 of 19

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

post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tropics View Post
 

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

 

Thumbs Up

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!

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Humdinger View Post
 

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

Howdy Humdinger!

 

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

post #5 of 19

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

post #6 of 19

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?

post #7 of 19

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?

post #8 of 19

CB, Nice looking birds, they look great with the netting marks !

post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokeyTheRobot View Post

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?

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.
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foamheart View Post

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?

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.
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyMoon View Post

CB, Nice looking birds, they look great with the netting marks !

Thanks! If the birds turn out bad, at least they'll be pretty! biggrin.gif
post #12 of 19

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

 

Point

 

Disco

post #13 of 19

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

post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foamheart View Post
 

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


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

post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Disco View Post

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

Point

Disco

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.
post #16 of 19

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.

post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by PipelineGypsy View Post
 

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.

 

 

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

post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokinAl View Post
 

 

 

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


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.

post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by PipelineGypsy View Post
 


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.

 

That's exactly right!

 

That's what they do!!

 

Al

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