Smoked Squirrel!

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Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
OTBS Member
Apr 16, 2007
Houston Texas
Well here is a different one for me anyway, my Texan girlfriend's son came by to help me fix my TV cable because the reception was less than perfect. It turned out the tree squirrels had been chewing on my line. After we fixed that he mentioned that we ought to do something about the dozens of tree rats that live in my back yard.

So after a few diet cokes and a half a can of air pellets we had 14 dead critters to deal with. The rest seemed to learn pretty quickly. To make a long story short, we ended up skinning and cleaning all those squirrels then rolled them in my standard rib rub. I tossed them in the smoker at 225 and just took a guess at a 2-1-1 smoke, the middle 1 hour in foil with an apple cider mop every forty five minutes they were out of the foil.

I really wasn't expecting much and I had never tried squirrel meat before in my life, but after a brief moment of trepidation I took a bite and damn if that wasn't a tasty rat. We ended up eating five of them between us, my girlfriend wouldn't have anything to do with it but that was her loss, I may be hooked. And the price is certainly right.
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You know, some of the less than at least suburban bloggers here might not know if you're serious about having done this!! My son is constantly asking to let him take aim at one while he's out practicing his bow...He wants to make squirrely jerky!
That is a fine idea. I have 2 huge pecan trees in my backyard, been living here for 20 years and never got a single pecan off either one of them. The squirrels get the nuts before I do. My wife would smoke me if I shot one of her squirrels. I have thought about it though.
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Squirrel... rats with nicer clothes...

I've had it fried like chicken, but never smoked... hmmmmmm...
Hhhmmm, I have always wondered...... I have removed alot of squirrels and rabbits this summer from my backyard and wondered how they might smoke up.
I'm looking forward to smoking squirrel, We try to have squirrel once a week when season hits. I take the kids squirrel hunting every week. I figure its good game to start kids out on. It also sharpens skills as they are fast little boogers out in the woods. we have had it fried, in stew. Squirrel pot pie. I love squirrel.
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You're right on! When I was growing up, we had squirrel or rabbit at least once per week during the winter season. My Mom would braise the rabbit but with the squirrel, she would stew them in water with seasoning and then add a thickening (flour and water) to it. It was delicious served over opened hot biscuits for breakfast. Of course, I grew up in the country in North Carolina and everyone I knew lived and ate about the same. We didn't have money but we did have game. And by the way, you haven't lived until you've had quail fixed in a similar way. Just top it off with fried sweet potatoes or apples and lots of good hot coffee. We had to buy the coffee but the price was right for all the rest.
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Rabbit pot pie... to die for. Long since lost the recipe for it, but any standard pot pie recipe will work though. Squirrel season is open here in MO.. has been since the end of May. Most people just don't want to deal with the fleas and ticks.
Chiggers, Joe, chiggers.

Never got any fleas, but have had a bunch of chiggers and several ticks from wading the boonies.

I take my squirrels off ridges with hickory & oaks on them around Stockton Lake with a .17 HMR Taurus gallery pump, iron sights. They eat just fine fried with biscuits and gravy. May have to try smoking some.
I do stand corrected chiggers not fleas.. my bad. Still good eatin though. I haven't been squirrel hunting in some time, but used to get up early in the warm months and get em while they are out playing or late in the day. I gotta get out more these days.
Squirrel season here in WV is in the fall,so you dont have to worry about them having cooties.I love the little furry bastards and rabbit is great.I cook them on the grill sometime with a little warm sauce but Ive never smoked them.I cant see why I havnt,this fall we will give it a try.
Well shoot, I didn't even think about it maybe not being in season. I've got so many running through my trees and the pellet gun doesn't make much noise... I hope I wasn't breaking any laws
I made some Squirrel Jerky in my mom's deydrator when I was kid. It was ok, but as I recall, more work than it was worth. It is doable though, and likely a fun way to practice while not wasting any "prized" or purchased meat.
Around here we batter and deep fry in an iron skillet like chicken. Leave the heads on when frying and when they are done you can pry the jaws apart and expose the tounge and brain. Very tasty. They go very good with rabbit dumplings.

Never smoked or grilled any but your description sounds pretty tasty!
OK, now we're on a topic that's near and dear to my heart...

I spent *many* days in my youth going squirrel hunting with my Grandfather. I've even got a technique... Takes two people. You go find a good spot amongst some trees, and hunter #1 sits really still and starts listening and observing. Once the squirrel is found, he'll probably try to hide by staying on the far side of the tree from where Hunter #1 is. Hunter #1 sends hunter #2 around to the other side of the tree in question, and hunter #2 starts shaking the sh*t out of the smaller bushes and making a general ruckus. The squirrel will move to the opposite side of the tree - away from the noise, which will put him on the same side of the tree as hunter #1. Bang.

Floating down a river in the early AM is also good with the .22 - around daybreak the squirrels come out of the trees and go down to the water to drink. Bang.

My weapon of choice is a semi-auto .22, but a shotgun works in a pinch.

They're generally cooked the same as rabbit... we'd soak them overnight in buttermilk and then roast them in the over with some carrots and onions.

Unfortunately, my squirrel hunting days are mostly behind me. I think my wife would divorce me if I brought some home. Ok, I *know* she'd divorce me. Things got pretty bad when I went dove hunting and brought some of those home... Doves are one thing, but squirrel is another entirely. That being said, I'd LOVE to put some in the smoker after soaking them in buttermilk and then adding a rub, but I don't think I'll get the chance. Don't think I really want to eat any Tampa squirrels anyway.

As long as I'm bearing my redneck soul, I'll throw in one last little tidbit for you all to chew on. What's the best part of the squirrel to eat?

Yup, the brain. I swear it's the best.

Now don't go hatin' on me...
I do like a good fried squirrel. That said, those of you who eat the brain are putting yourselves in jeopardy -

"Two Kentucky doctors last month reported a possible link between eating squirrel brains and the rare and deadly human variety of mad-cow disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, thought to strike one person in 1 million, produces holes in the brain. Symptoms include loss of muscle control and dementia. It may take years, even decades, for symptoms to appear.
Dr. Eric Weisman, a behavioral neurologist who practices in rural western Kentucky, reported in the distinguished British medical journal The Lancet that he has treated 11 people for Creutzfeldt-Jakob in four years, and all had eaten squirrel brains at some time. Six of the victims, ranging in age from 56 to 78, have died."
A sound reason for the head shot I think.

I personally would not eat the brain of any animal. Too risky.
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