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Cornish Hen Idea

bluethunder90

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I thought I would ask for opinions on an idea I've been playing around with for Christmas. My idea is to brine Cornish hens, layer them with bacon, glaze each one with straight honey, and then smoking them. My only concern is that I've never smoked anything with honey before, and all the recipes I've found have had the honey mixed with other ingredients. Can I smoke a bird with just honey, or do I need to mix it with something else?  Any input you guys could give me would be appreciated. Thanks and Merry Christmas!
 

SmokinAl

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I have never tried just honey either. I'm sure some of the folks here have & will chime in later. It seems to me that when it gets hot it will just run off. A little EVOO on the bird with a brown sugar rub will give you a glaze & will stay on. I'm just not sure if it would be the glaze you are looking for. I guess this a good time to experiment, try a couple of different ideas & compare the results.
 

bluethunder90

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I have never tried just honey either. I'm sure some of the folks here have & will chime in later. It seems to me that when it gets hot it will just run off. A little EVOO on the bird with a brown sugar rub will give you a glaze & will stay on. I'm just not sure if it would be the glaze you are looking for. I guess this a good time to experiment, try a couple of different ideas & compare the results.
I hadn't thought about the honey running off. My main concern was the honey burning during the long smoking process. My hope was that the honey wouldn't burn, but would just carmalize. I'm going to have to think about that.

 
 

meateater

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I've never tried straight honey but I would personally put the honey on first then layer the bacon on top. You could always add more honey on top of the bacon. Just don't over brine them little birds, here's a wiki to give you an idea on brining times. Good luck.


http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/wiki/brining-poultry
 

rstr hunter

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I had some spares in St Barths last week that were done in honey with Thyme.  They were OK but not all that falvorful, I still think I'd use a rub of some sort.  Just my two cents.
 

backwoodssmoker

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As a beekeeper I can say there isn't much I haven't tried Honey on, we flavor it, cream it, mix Maple syrup in it (my favorite on pancakes).  As a glaze and merinade I used the maple and honey, put chicken breast in ziploc, then on a grill with several mops while cookin, it (most) stayed on, but it will burn (edges) over direct heat, in a smoker you might avoid the burn. It did taste good. Also saved a little for dippin sauce - taste like coconut shrimp dippin sauce.  
 

bluethunder90

Newbie
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Joined Nov 1, 2009
As a beekeeper I can say there isn't much I haven't tried Honey on, we flavor it, cream it, mix Maple syrup in it (my favorite on pancakes).  As a glaze and merinade I used the maple and honey, put chicken breast in ziploc, then on a grill with several mops while cookin, it (most) stayed on, but it will burn (edges) over direct heat, in a smoker you might avoid the burn. It did taste good. Also saved a little for dippin sauce - taste like coconut shrimp dippin sauce.  
Thank you for the ideas. If I may ask you something as the resident bee and honey expert; as I'm preparing my hens, what is the best way that you recommend applying the honey to my birds? I'm trying to avoid wasting honey, creating a huge mess, or making things harder on myself than necessary.
 
 

backwoodssmoker

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I would put honey on with basting brush, only put as much honey in a bowl as you may need so you don't end up with leftover contaminated honey. You could mix any spices with the honey because the brushing may remove anything you have rubbed on.
 

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