Fowl ?

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Original poster
Guys, looking for a little help.....Im a hardcore duck and goose hunter and have trying to smoke these things with little success.  Ive had awesome smoked goose from commercial smokers when we used to hunt in Southern IL so I know it can be done.  Ive soaked em overnight in beer, Italian dressing, all sorts of other concoctions, and it seems they still are not as tender as they should be.  They smoke at about 220 degrees, so I dont think the temp is too high...Any suggestions because I'd like some great breasts instead of cutting em up and wrapping them in bacon........Thanks in advance.
That breast meat is pretty lean.  Are you smoking skin on or off?  My suspicion is one of 3 things with the tenderness: either not enough fat or not enough moisture in the smoker, or you're over cooking the meat.  Your cook temps seem perfect.  How long are you smoking them?  To what internal temp on the meat? 

Fat can be solved by a) keeping the skin on (skin side up) and let the fat drip over the meat, b) basting with your oil of choice, or c) draping bacon over the top of the breast meat.  Moisture can be addressed two ways, and I would employ both, if you're not using fat or oil; you should have a pan of warm water in the smoker, and you might consider basting with a fruit juice, wine or vinegar. 

You might also consider foiling the meat after about 2 hours of smoke (if your smoking longer than that).  If you foil, spritz a little juice or whatever into the foil packet before finishing the cook.

Good luck.  I hope this helps.
Sounds like James has all the bases covered for you.  I agree with his diagnosis of the problem and would highly suggest the foiling he has recommended!  Let us see some pics and temps. from your next smoke and we may be in a better place to help you out!  Keep smoking them ducks!

Your SMF Friend,

Try aging your ducks or geese before smoking.  Here is a forum that has some aging tips.

It does make a difference in taste, especially if you take and grill them like a steak.  I age mine whole uncleaned breast up in a fridge for 12 days.  then I clean and prepare to eat from there.  Do this as long as they are not gut shot.  Do not want the internal organs or fluids running through breast meat, etc.
i just smoked some goose breast over the weekend for a buddy, he sliced them into 1/4 " strips and marinated overnight.  i put them in the smoker around noon on sunday and started at 140 degrees for about an hour and bumped to to 165 for 2 hours and for the last 2 1/2 hours bumped it to 175 and had the AMNS lit with mesquite.  i also dumped a pot of boiling water in my water pan before i got everything going in my MES 40.  the pieces of meat came out tender and they were cooked all the way thru.  all the meat was above 165 degrees internal temp.  when i pulled each rack out i put different seasoning mixes on them.  any where from teriyaki with spice, brown sugar, to hot and hold onto your a$$ hot.
mine come out best when smoked whole with the

skin on over mesquite wood.Granted plucking them is a pain but for smoked goose my wife will pluck them if that tells you anything.Its the only way she will eat wild goose.
mine come out best when smoked whole with the

skin on over mesquite wood.Granted plucking them is a pain but for smoked goose my wife will pluck them if that tells you anything.
I'm wondering why no one suggested brining them in a sugar & salt brine. I don't do wild game, but it sure works wonders for chicken & turkey.
I took some mcormick's bbq seasoning and some sweet baby rays bbq sauce and sliced about 8 goose breasts to desired thickness and let them sit over night and stuck a tooth pick through them and dropped them in the slats on my racks. smoked at about 200 degrees for 3 hours. very tender i thought.
+1 on soaking in a brine. I've yet to smoke game birds (definitely will this year) but have roasted a lot of pheasant, grouse, quail and chuckar. These can all be quite dry and tough. A few hours in a brine and a nice bacon blanket in the oven have really netted good results. Hope everything works out, can't wait to see pics! is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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