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mazzgolf

who smokes rabbit? how long in smoker?

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Has anyone smoked rabbit? If so, how long did you cook it in the smoker?

I ask because a few months ago, someone posted a message about this recipe for smoking squirrel. I am going to try it.

I also have a couple rabbits in the freezer. So, I planned on putting both the squirrel and rabbit together in the smoker using that recipe.

But I know rabbit meat isn't nearly as tough as squirrel meat, so I am wondering if I will ruin the rabbit meat if I cook it as long in the smoker as I do the squirrel. This recipe calls for smoking directly on the grate for an hour, and then 2 more hours in a covered pan with broth/beer.

 

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I'm thinking they are using the broth at the end to rehydrate. 

Otherwise I would expect it to get very dry 

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Interested in your outcome. Agree with hammer, low and slow to avoid drying out. Remember you're not making jerky.

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It’s kinda like chicken , not much fat so it’s more about imparting a flavor and finishing with a different method like roasting or braising . I would go low , 180 degrees and may want to use a water pan to keep moisture in the smoker . 

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OK, so... mixed results. Yesterday, I put rabbit and squirrel in the smoker. The recipe called for smoking at 250, but I have a feeling that was too high (I actually put the smoker on at 240, but the temps run a little high so I figured it was on average running at about 250). Smoked at 250 for an hour, then placed in covered aluminum pans with broth and cooked another 2.5 hours. And it was a mixed bag.  Didn't matter between rabbit or squirrel (one wasn't better than the other). Some of the meat really was easy to pull off the bone and moist. But that was a small portion of the meat. A lot of it was dried out - too dry for what I wanted, but still edible. And some of it (mainly the legs) were just really tough and some still with that rubbery texture.

The problem is, I don't know if I cooked it TOO long, or NOT long enough.  And I don't know if the temp was too high. The dried out meat made me think it was too long of a cook or too high a temp, but then why were the legs still that tough, rubbery texture?? That made me think it wasn't cooked long enough.

In the end, I did get enough meat to make  a couple sammiches of the pulled meat.

This means I'm getting closer to being able to properly cook squirrel, but I'm not there yet. I still need to dial this in some more.

Next time, I think I will skip that first hour of smoking outside of the broth. I'll put it in the broth from the get-go to avoid drying it out. And I may lower the temp to, say, 200 but cook it for longer. Hopefully, with the broth adding moisture, the longer cook time won't dry the meat out.

When done right, the meat is fine, and pretty good. It is just hard to cook it right.

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Smoking those to without an extensive brine I say setting your self up,for failure.. You probably should have pulled them early and wrapped them in tinfoil to finish IMHO

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33 minutes ago, mazzgolf said:

OK, so... mixed results. Yesterday, I put rabbit and squirrel in the smoker. The recipe called for smoking at 250, but I have a feeling that was too high (I actually put the smoker on at 240, but the temps run a little high so I figured it was on average running at about 250). Smoked at 250 for an hour, then placed in covered aluminum pans with broth and cooked another 2.5 hours. And it was a mixed bag.  Didn't matter between rabbit or squirrel (one wasn't better than the other). Some of the meat really was easy to pull off the bone and moist. But that was a small portion of the meat. A lot of it was dried out - too dry for what I wanted, but still edible. And some of it (mainly the legs) were just really tough and some still with that rubbery texture.

The problem is, I don't know if I cooked it TOO long, or NOT long enough.  And I don't know if the temp was too high. The dried out meat made me think it was too long of a cook or too high a temp, but then why were the legs still that tough, rubbery texture?? That made me think it wasn't cooked long enough.

In the end, I did get enough meat to make  a couple sammiches of the pulled meat.

This means I'm getting closer to being able to properly cook squirrel, but I'm not there yet. I still need to dial this in some more.

Next time, I think I will skip that first hour of smoking outside of the broth. I'll put it in the broth from the get-go to avoid drying it out. And I may lower the temp to, say, 200 but cook it for longer. Hopefully, with the broth adding moisture, the longer cook time won't dry the meat out.

When done right, the meat is fine, and pretty good. It is just hard to cook it right.

250  very high for delicate meat like rabbit and squirrel , only need to cook to 165 degrees internal temp to be safe . Only large fattier beef cuts require high temps to render the fat. 

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2 hours ago, Rdfhunter said:

Smoking those to without an extensive brine I say setting your self up,for failure.. You probably should have pulled them early and wrapped them in tinfoil to finish IMHO

I forgot to mention, I brined them for 24 hours. And yes, I think covering in foil well before that first hour would have been better.

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Best recipe for both rabbit and squirrel.

 

Cut into pieces (4) legs cut backs into (2) pieces across the spine.

parboil in a large pot of water or chicken broth for 1 1/2 hours . I always add a large sweet onion to the boil .

 

10 minutes before parboil is done. another pan sauté a sliced up sweet onion with a stick and a half of butter on low heat..

‘once meat is parboiled , drain it and add it to the butter and onions . Sauté it on low about half an hour, or you can put it in a Corning wear dish with butter and onions and put it in the oven on 200 for half hour.

 

will be tender and fall off the bones ..

 

.

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40 minutes ago, hammer4reel said:

Best recipe for both rabbit and squirrel.

Cut into pieces (4) legs cut backs into (2) pieces across the spine.

parboil in a large pot of water or chicken broth for 1 1/2 hours . I always add a large sweet onion to the boil .

10 minutes before parboil is done. another pan sauté a sliced up sweet onion with a stick and a half of butter on low heat..

‘once meat is parboiled , drain it and add it to the butter and onions . Sauté it on low about half an hour, or you can put it in a Corning wear dish with butter and onions and put it in the oven on 200 for half hour.

will be tender and fall off the bones ...

NOW you tell me! :)

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14 hours ago, Rdfhunter said:

Smoking those to without an extensive brine I say setting your self up,for failure.. You probably should have pulled them early and wrapped them in tinfoil to finish IMHO

Agreed.

You need fatty meat if you want success in a smoker (beef or pork ribs, Boston butt, brisket, chicken). You can get DECENT (not great) results if you take a dry piece of meat and inject it or brine it, but even then you are just spinning your wheels. Most game meat tastes better if you grind it into sausage, add some fat, and THEN smoke it (unless you are trying for jerky).

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14 hours ago, mazzgolf said:

 

This means I'm getting closer to being able to properly cook squirrel, but I'm not there yet. I still need to dial this in some more. 

 

Parboil & fry like chicken; make stew, squirrel and biscuits in gravy, or cacciatore; crockpot and make squirrel pot pie, squirrel and dumplings, or Brunswick stew. Same holds for rabbits.

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