Sunday, March 31, 2013

Smoked Cornish Game Hens

Cook time and prep time:  12 hours for marinade time and 4 hours for smoke time


2 quarts water
5 oz. sea salt
1/3 cup molasses
2/3 cup honey
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1 tsp dried thyme 
1 head garlic broken into individual cloves, unpeeled

2-3 Cornish game hens
Hickory chips

Bring 1 quart water to boil in large stock pot, and add salt.  Whisk until salt is dissolved.  Add molasses, honey, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, poultry seasoning, thyme and garlic.  Stir to blend.  Cool and submerge Cornish game hens.  If not enough room, pour brine in cooler, add game hens, and add ice.   Let hens marinade overnight.  

In an electric smoker preheat to 250, and smoke hens until they reach 165, about 3-4 hours.  

Using a Brinkman smoker, start soaking hickory chips and get coals started.  Once coals are hot, place them in coal tray on bottom.   Fill water tray with brine from game hens, and place game hens on rack over brine. Toss some soaked wood chips onto hot coals, and cover hens with lid.  Smoke for 4 hours, checking every 30 minutes adding more wood chips for smoke, and more charcoal briquettes as needed to keep heat in 275 degree range.  Meat will be pink from smoke, but will move freely at joints once cooked through.


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