Smoked pheasant is a delicious game meat that makes an adventurous alternative to fried chicken. Made with a moist brine and dry barbecue marinade, this Apple Smoked Pheasant recipe is juicy and full of flavor!
While scavenging pheasant can be difficult, roasting this game recipe is not. This smoked pheasant recipe can be smoked in just over three hours, making it much quicker than other types of roast chicken.
We’ll smoke whole pheasants for convenience, but YOU can easily serve them in breast, wing, or thigh portions later.
Because pheasant is game meat, it is leaner than most other cuts of poultry. However, it is structurally or not very different from chicken, so our approach to smoking is similar to smoking whole chickens.
We’re going to use a moist brine to tenderize the meat and help it retain moisture while grilling. Curing is a typical meat preparation step for many cured meats, but it’s especially important with lean meats. Stirring the meat in a bath of water, salt, and sugar softens and reshapes it to better retain moisture while it’S COOKING at a lower, slower heat. The end result is a juicy, delicious bird that’s well worth the wait.
Time and temperature
Roast pheasant must be smoked at 200°F for a minimum of 3 hours until the internal breast temperature reaches 63°C(145°F). The leg or thigh should be closer to 80°C(175°F). Use a meat thermometer to check when the bird is done.
The best wood for roasting pheasants
When smoking pheasant, it is best to treat it like fried chicken. We take this approach to curing and preparing meat, and our choice of wood for smoking is no different.
The best wood for grilling is apple, walnut or cherry. Each of these woods offers the right amount of smoke and flavor without overpowering the meat and adds a subtle sweet touch to the bird.