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cornish game hen help for a newby

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Ok guys, I want to smoke a turkey eventually. However, because i am so new to smoking and typically make some sort of huge mistake, id rather start with a cornish game hen and work up to a turkey.

here are my questions for the cornish game hens

how long should i brine them?

Should i go high temp, like 300-350? if not what temp?

How long should I smoke them?

What int. temp am i looking for?

I have two smokers, a brinkman offset stickburner and a brinkman vertical water pan smoker. Which would be better for the hen?
post #2 of 7
Did a little search and came up with this never done it so don't know how it is but here goes
Smoked Cornish Game Hens

This recipe is for four Cornish game hens, and will feed 6 to 8 people. These go along nicely with a variety of grilled vegetables and a cold pasta salad.
Brine Ingredients
Three pints water
One pint apple juice
One-third cup canning salt
Two tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon dill weed, dry
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon black pepper

Combine the brine ingredients and bring to a boil. Remove the brine from the heat and chill down to 36 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Prepare the game hens by cutting along each side of the backbone, removing it from the carcass. Push down on the breast to flatten, and then remove the ribs if you like.
Marinate the game hens in the fridge overnight. Remove the birds from the brine and pat dry with paper towels.
Smoke the Cornish game hens at 225 degrees Fahrenheit for 3 to 4 hours, or until the thigh temperature reaches 175 degrees. Allow the birds to rest for half an hour after smoking before splitting through the breasts and serving.
Optionally, the game hens can be indirect grilled, or grilled over medium low heat 45 to 75 minutes, or until 175 degrees is reached.

If you are a fan of smoked poultry, these smoked Cornish game hens will be something to cheer about. Juicy, tender and full of flavor, they will become an all time favorite.
post #3 of 7
one thing you can do with cornish hens that I like, is kinda like the beer but chickens, or the big butt turkeys, just on a smaller scale. get some of the little cans of juice, don't remember the brand, but they are small and skinny. whatever kind you like, and use them the same way as you wood the beer can with a chicken. it's very good
post #4 of 7
The small peel type pineapple juice cans work well, if you are going to use the juice. I like to use Dr Pepper, so I get those small Starbucks Espresso cans. Drink the coffee, cut the top off (leave the rim so it doesn't hang on the bird) and clean them out good. Fill about 50% of the can with sodapop, EVOO and some crushed garlic. Smoke them to 165 (I do 160, but the USDA has a different opinion about that) and remove. If you like crispy skin smoke them at 350. If you like smoke but don't care about the skin, smoke them at 250.
post #5 of 7
Would this recipe work on chicken thighs Piney?
post #6 of 7

Wow That Sounds Great

Hi all,
I too am a newbie to smoking,,this is my 2nd summer of smoke.
The recipe for cornish hens sounds WONDERFUL. Having my family over on 6/28 for a family gathering and I just changed the menu!! I look forward to learning some new and yummy stuff on here!!
Canton Michigan
post #7 of 7
T-Roy this brine should work fine for chicken wings if you want to try it and see if you like it.

Catrowe welcome to the SMF site please stop by the roll call section and tell us a little about you and what smoker you use its kinda a tradition around here.
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