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36 responses to “Smoked Pheasant”

  1. Jan's Sushi Bar

    I have a pheasant in my freezer, but since we didn’t hunt it ourselves – we purchased it from our butchers – I’m sure it’s been pen-raised. And, unfortunately, it is far too cold here in northeast Ohio to smoke anything. 🙁 That’s okay, though; I plan on making your Glazed Roast Pheasant for Christmas dinner – it sounds awesome.

  2. Brian

    The color on that bird is fantastic. It looks like a piece of mahogany furniture. But what I really want to know is how you managed to kill a rooster without breaking a wing, leg, or putting a single pellet into any edible meat. I suspect that a soft-mouthed dog caught it.

    I presume that it came from South Dakota. I am waiting to hear what you thought about big time pheasant hunting, and more importantly, if you managed to bag any prairie chickens.

  3. marshall

    Great looking legs. My birds typically have thin, very thin, legs and a slightly thinner breast. Looking forward to trying this.

  4. Eric

    I’m eager to give it a try. Any tips on plucking a wild bird without ripping the skin?

  5. Jeff Adams

    What type of smoker do you use?

  6. David Borrowman

    What a beautiful bird. My wife and I are currently living in Prague, CZ and I am really missing my annual trip to chase roosters in Kansas. We can, however buy game meat at the markets here, so I’ll give this a try in our tiny oven.

    One of my wife’s favorite game dishes was smoked pheasant, but our hunting party always skinned our birds. I would brine them as you recommend and baste on soy sauce and honey for about two hours from 200-250 over pecan wood. There would be only a very thin layer of dried meat that could be trimmed off. When it was done, we cut into small pieces and tossed in a little more soy sauce and honey. We served this as an appetizer with cheese and crackers and it was always a hit at parties.

    I also want to say Thank You for what you are doing for the hunting community. You are bringing to light the responsible use of our natural resources that many non-hunters would not see otherwise.

    David Borrowman

  7. la domestique

    My mouth is watering just looking at the pheasant.

  8. Chris Paredes

    Hey Hank, I prepared your poached wild turkey breast recipe and it came out awesome. Do you think your smoked pheasant recipe would work well for a whole wild turkey? Looking forward to your waterfowl book.

  9. Alex Shin

    Great site Hank! Do you think this recipe would work for a canada goose? I would love to find a smoked goose recipe. Thanks.

  10. Cory

    I just smoked 3 birds my boys harvested a few weeks ago (their first by the way, they are 13 and 15) The birds turned out great I can’t say enough on how good they were. We used a cherry wood and it worked wonderfully. What a great Thanksgiving Day treat. On a side note my son used my grandfather’s shotgun he purchased in either 1926 or 1927, it was a great story for my son, a gun that has killed birds for nearly 100 years and it can still provide for the table. Great Blog

  11. Tom

    My father in-law has a dozen or so pheasant in the freezer now. Unfortunately they have all have been skinned. Would this smoked recipe work if you covered the birds in bacon to substitute for the skin?

  12. Lorraine French

    Planning to buy a smoker to do ribs, fish, poultry, etc. Do you have any recommendations for the smoker you prefer? Thank you.

  13. Andrew Bogan

    Great smoked pheasant recipe, thanks. Your brine works perfectly. Try it with pomegranate molasses glaze instead of maple syrup sometime.

  14. Tom

    I smoked a skinned pheasant this weekend. It turned out moist and tender. It was cut up so that the legs quarters and breast could be removed from the smoker when they each reach 160. I brined for 8 hrs then oiled and added the dry rub. Right before putting them on the smoker I injected with Cajun butter and wrapped each piece in bacon. I also had a rabbit and squirrel treated the same way on the smoker. The WSM was running a 225 with a mixture of apple and pecan when everything went on. I started pulling off the smaller pieces after 1.5 hrs with the bigger pieces taking a little over 2 hrs. Everything turned out great with the rabbit being the favorite and the squirrel being a little too salty from the brine.

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  17. Ron Martin

    Unfortunately all of the birds I just brought back from South Dakota were skinned and not plucked. Can I still brine and smoke these birds? Someone recommended I wrap them in cheese cloth and then brine and smoke them. What are your recommendations?

  18. robzilla

    This worked perfectly for my ‘Franken-Pheasant’. My pheasants were skinned, so I pulled the skin from chicken hind quarters and ‘re-skinned’ my pheasant breast sections. They slipped right in like a tight sweater. I stuffed a little chicken fat in there, too. The pheasant hind quarters,legs, and wings I use for soups.

  19. Larry Corke

    I have 10 pheasants frozen. They are skinned. Good hunting trip to North Dakota. I want to smoke them and then referees them. Will this work out ok? I could use some guidance on this plan.

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  21. Dave

    When using this recipe or any other recipe for smoking game birds how do you deal with the shot that is still in the bird. do you have to pick all the shot out before brining or is it all right just to throw a whole pheasant cleaned skin on bird in the brine. I have heard that the salt in the brine will react with the shot.

  22. Tao

    Great recipe! We always skin our birds so to seal in moisture I wrapped the breasts in bacon. Seemed to work great as the meat was melting in our mouths! Thanks again for this recipe!

  23. Adam Tuttle

    This was great!! I added a bit of Sriracha (about 1 tbsp) and bourbon. I thought it was the best pheasant I’ve had and a few of my friends who eat pheasant quite a bit agreed. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  24. Glenn

    Hello Hank, Quick question. I brined a plucked pheasant whole overnight and have it drying in a Tupperware bin in the fridge (covered but with some paper towels). My question is how long it will keep like this. I’m going hunting this weekend for ducks and geese and was hoping I will have more to go with it come Sunday. I was assuming that b/k you can hang pheasants for so long that it will probably keep pretty well for a week or so but I didn’t want to take any chances either. Thanks in advance

  25. Anne

    Thank you, Hank!

    I have made this recipe twice now, both times the pheasant was cooked to perfection! Used Hickory the 1st time and apple wood the 2nd. Both were great, the difference in taste was subtle. I topped the breasts and legs with slices of maple bacon.

    Thank you again, I would never have ventured to try smoking pheasant without your most informative and helpful instructions.

  26. bill valladao

    smoking pheasant right now should be good. will be cooking very large white front,might be a tule goose 8 lbs taken near colusa , ca. will be christmas dinner , any ideas.

  27. Joe Jelinski

    Hank, the smoked pheasant recipe is wonderful.
    We made it for Christmas, using a skinned bird and pomegranate molasses for basting. We we wrapped it in bacon strips and smoked it for 4 hours using hickory and pecan, and took it out when the meat thermometer read 160 deg F. The result was amazing – it wasn’t dry, and it was very flavorful, and it made an amazing Christmas dinner.
    Thanks for the great recipes.

  28. Rudy T

    Here is an additional tip from David the owner of Quail Point Hunting Club in Zamora California. He smokes his pheasant and then immediately zip lock backs them and puts them in the smallest cooler (without ice) that fits all the birds for 2 hours. This really seals in the moisture (I like to call it a red neck pheasant under glass technique :))_I can’t wait to try the recipe!I am brining now!

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