Smoked Pheasant [Easy BBQ Recipe]


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!

Smoked pheasant recipe

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.

Smoked pheasant recipe 1

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.

Smoked pheasant

Grilled smoked pheasant prepared with wet brine and dry spices. Smoked in just over 3 hours, this is the quick and easy smoked chicken alternative you’ve been looking for!
Course dinner, main course
American cuisine , Barbecue
Preparation time 10 minutes
Cooking time 3 hours 30 minutes
8 hours alone
Total time 11 hours 40 minutes
Servings 4


  • Smoking wood(apple, walnut or cherry)
  • Meat thermometer


  • 2 whole pheasants, trimmed and gutted

Wet sole

  • 1 gallon of cold water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup kosher salt

Dry massage

  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • Pour water into a bucket of brine and stir salt and sugar until completely dissolved. Place the pheasants in the bucket and submerge them completely. Place in refrigerator overnight or at least 8 hours and place in brine.
  • Turn smoker on to 93°C(200°F). During the preheating die pheasants are taken out of the lake. Rinse in cooler water, pat dry with paper towels and place on a wire rack to cool naturally.
  • Combine dry ingredients to rub in a little pain. Mix with a fork, removing sugar or clumps of grass. Rub the pheasant, covering all surfaces evenly.
  • Place wood chips in the smoker box or chip bowl. Smoke for three hours or until the internal temperature reaches 62°C. Take a temperature reading of the bird’s thigh meat, which should read 74°C(165°F).
  • Remove pheasant from the smoker. Store in foil and scan for 15-20 min. Serve and enjoy.

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