Smoked Pheasant

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How to Smoke Pheasant
Smoking pheasant is a surprisingly delicious way to prepare this delicacy poultry.  Since pheasant is a wild game bird, it will be more lean than other meat you are used to smoking. That is why I recommend using a brine to soak your pheasant in a salty water mixture prior to putting it on your smoker to make sure your pheasant retains moisture during the long and slow smoking process. This will give you a succulent and smoky bird that you will not want to cook any other way.

Smoked Pheasant Brine Ingredients IMG_9822
2 whole pheasants
1 gallon of water (or enough to completely submerge your pheasant)
3/4 cup salt
1 cup sugar

Smoked Pheasant Recipe Ingredients IMG_9823
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons black pepper
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder or 2 crushed garlic cloves

Smoked Pheasant Directions
1.) I recommend that you brine your pheasants prior to putting it on the smoker. This means that it adds about 8-10 hours to the overall recipe time. To brine, heat your brine ingredients minus the pheasant to dissolve the salt and sugar. Let the brine liquid cool to room temperature and submerge your pheasant in the brine liquid. Next put your brine in the refrigerator and let it sit for 8-10 hours.

2.) Next, soak wood chips in water for an hour to allow them to smolder and smoke instead of burn up quickly within the first few minutes of your smoking session.

3.) You will want to light your smoker up about 15-20 minutes before you want to start smoking your brined pheasants. You will know when the smoker is ready once it starts smoking.
During your 20 minutes while you are waiting for your charcoal, mix all of the smoked pheasant rub recipe ingredients together in a bowl. Fully coat your pheasants inside and outside with the rub seasoning. IMG_9824 IMG_9825

4.) Place your seasoned pheasants on the smoker and adjust the smoker vent to about 3/4 the way open. If you are using a grill with an adjustable lid, make sure the vent is placed directly above your pheasant so the smoke is drawn across the center of the grill and your pheasants. Smoke the pheasant for about 3 to 3 1/2 hours to reach a temperature of 155 degrees. Wait 20-25 minutes before cutting into your smoked pheasant or you will not let the internal juices redistribute throughout the meat. This will make your pheasants more tough, so this is a very important step in this recipe.

Pheasant Smoking Time
Smoking pheasants is faster than most other whole poultry like chicken or turkey because they are significantly smaller birds. You still need about 3 to 3 1/2 hours smoking time to complete this recipe. Your internal pheasant breast temperature should reach 155 degrees Farenheit and the juices should run clear.  I cooked mine too long the first time, so if you need to crank up the heat a little….do.

I had several friends over for this, they all absolutely loved it!  Some said it was one of the best things they had ever tasted in a smoker.

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