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runnoft 07-06-2013 08:02 PM

Need a few tips for Cornish Hens
Hey y'all I've got 5 successful cooks under my belt on my wsm 18.5 thanks to the brethren and advice from Toast and my Weber cook book, three pork butts, 1 brisket and three racks of pork loin ribs. I've paid close attention to everyone as it pertains to what I've already cooked but now I'm ready to do some poultry cause I'm burnt out on pork and I didn't really pay that much attention about cooking birds except for a few things. I'm going to cook a pair of cornish hens tomorrow and have the following questions. 1. I've heard y'all say that birds must be cooked at a higher temp to prevent rubber chicken skin. What should the temp of my smoker be? 2. What IT am I looking for and length of rest? 3. With water pan or without? 4. Should I coat the bird with light oil prior to the rub? I know I can hold 300 degrees with the water pan. I'm so impressed with the forum and y'all's helpful advice. Thanks for any input you can give me .:razz:

landarc 07-06-2013 08:18 PM

Oh man, Cornish hens are different from full size chickens (note that they are chickens still). The skin in thinner and there is less fat, the skin will render nicely at many temperatures. Personally, I prefer to grill them, split and marinaded, then grilled over a high heat. That being said, I have done them whole as well.

I wedge some garlic cloves and a large lemon wedge into the body cavity then rub with a little salad dressing and toss into the cooker at 325F. I have never timed them, I use a remote thermo and take them out when they reach 155F to 160F. They don't hold so well. I tend to adjust dinner for when the birds get done. I would give them 45 to 50 minutes as an estimate

runnoft 07-06-2013 08:25 PM

Thanks Landarc. Camping years ago I over smoked them on a brinkman and took them off when the legs would spin. Whole different ball game now working with quality equipment. Thanks again!!!!

HeSmellsLikeSmoke 07-06-2013 08:27 PM

The only BBQ'd Cornish Hen that I've had was excellent and was from Cosy Corner in Memphis. I have no idea how they cook it, but I wouldn't be surprised if deguerry doesn't see this and venture an opinion on what they do.

You'll never go wrong following Landarc's advice though.

I am very interested in how your cook goes and will stay tuned.

Crazy Harry 07-06-2013 09:30 PM

I smoked some little birds for a throwdown once.

runnoft 07-06-2013 10:13 PM

I guess what I am going to do is lightly coat them inside and out with some Benissimo extra virgin garlic/rosemary/thyme olive oil that I have. Then I will coat inside and out with my rub. lightly smoke at 325 and pull when IT reaches 160 as landarc has suggested. I will let y'all know how it turns out. Thanks for your input everyone.

landarc 07-06-2013 10:22 PM

Let them rest, don't forget that part of it. At least 15 minutes

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