Cooking With Time And Patience: How Long To Smoke Cornish Hens?

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Cooking Cornish hens can be a daunting task for many home cooks, especially when it comes to the question of how long to smoke cornish hens?”. To help you achieve the perfect smoked Cornish hen every time, this guide offers step-by-step instructions that will ensure your dish is flavorful and juicy.

From preparing the bird to serving it up, we’ll provide tips on how long to smoke Cornish hens so that each dish is a winner!

What temp to smoke Cornish hens?

Smoking Cornish hens is an excellent way to add smoky flavor and a delicious golden brown color to your poultry dish. The key to success is to find the ideal smoking temperature for the birds.

Generally, most experts recommend smoking Cornish hens at temperatures between 220 and 250 degrees Fahrenheit. This lower temperature allows the fat in the hens to render off slowly, leaving a juicy, succulent bird every time. To achieve that classic smoky flavor, many pitmasters suggest adding wood chips during the smoking process.

With such a low cooking temperature, it’s important to note that it may take up to two hours or more for the hens to cook through completely.

For those looking for an even deeper smoky flavor, consider bringing your Cornish hens overnight in a salt and sugar solution before smoking them – this will help lock in much of the moisture and ensure your birds are as flavorful as possible when they hit the plate!

How to smoke Cornish hens?

1. Start by gathering your supplies. You will need one or two Cornish hens, a smoker, wood chips, aluminum foil, and an appropriate rub for the hens. Make sure the rub you select is flavorful and well-suited for poultry. 

2. Rinse the hens under cold running water and pat them dry with paper towels. Place them on a cutting board and season each hen liberally with your chosen rub blend. Rub the seasoning onto each to ensure an even distribution of flavor throughout the meat. 

3. Prepare the smoker according to its instructions if it’s your first time using it. Heat up the smoker until it reaches a temperature of 225°F (115°C). Once heated, add 2-3 handfuls of wood chips into the smoker with some additional oil so they can smolder without catching fire.

You can use any type of wood chips you prefer based on your desired smoky flavor, such as hickory, applewood, cherrywood, etc… 

4. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the seasoned hens on it so that they are spaced out evenly apart from each other – this ensures that they will cook evenly all around in the smoker without overcrowding them together. Place the baking sheet inside of a preheated smoker and cook for 1 hour or until fully cooked through to 165°F (74°C). 

5. After an hour has passed or once you’ve confirmed that each hen has reached 165°F (74°C), remove them from the smoker using tongs or oven mitts before transferring them to a plate or cutting board to rest for 10 minutes before serving warm with fresh sides like mashed potatoes or roasted vegetables!

How to reheat smoked Cornish hens?

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350°F.

Step 2: Remove the plastic wrap or foil from the smoked Cornish hens.

Step 3: Place the Cornish hens on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. For extra moistness and flavor, brush a light layer of butter, olive oil, and herbs such as rosemary or thyme over both sides of each Cornish hen.

Step 4: Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, insert a thermometer into the thickest part of one of the Cornish hens to check if it has reached an internal temperature of 165°F—this is important for food safety reasons! If it hasn’t reached this temperature yet, bake for an additional 5-10 minutes or until it does.

Step 5: Once done cooking, allow your smoked Cornish hens to sit for about 10 minutes before slicing them and serving. This allows time for a more tender texture once sliced and served! 

Step 6 (Optional): If you’d like your smoked Cornish hens to have extra crispiness on top, broil them in the oven for 1-2 minutes just before serving. Just make sure to keep an eye on them so they don’t burn!

How to smoke Cornish hens on a pellet grill?

Step 1: Begin by gathering all of the necessary materials. You will need a pellet grill, Cornish hens, oil and seasoning (or a marinade), a thermometer, aluminum foil, and wood chips. 

Step 2: Preheat the pellet grill to 400°F. This may take 10-15 minutes to reach the desired temperature.

Step 3: Rub oil and your chosen seasonings or marinade onto the Cornish hens. Depending on your preference you can also stuff them with herbs and seasonings for added flavor. Place the hens on an aluminum foil sheet for easy cleanup afterward. 

Step 4: Place your seasoned Cornish hens on the preheated pellet grill, making sure to space them out so that they are not touching each other or any of the walls of the pellet grill in order to promote even cooking. Close the lid and allow it to cook for 25-30 minutes without opening it or disturbing it in any way. 

Step 5: After 25-30 minutes use a thermometer to check the internal temperature of one of the Cornish hens – if it is at 180°F then they are done cooking! If not, close the lid and allow it to cook for another 5-10 minutes before checking again. 

Step 6: Once they have reached an internal temperature of 180°F remove them from the pellet grill, place them on a plate, and allow them to rest for at least 10 minutes before serving in order for all of their juices to redistribute throughout each hen evenly when cut into pieces. 

Step 7: Cut each hen into pieces using kitchen shears or a sharp knife – be sure that each piece has some skin attached as this helps keep more moisture inside due to its fat content! Serve hot with sides such as mashed potatoes, veggies, or even macaroni salad! Enjoy!

How long to smoke Cornish hens on pellet grill?

The process requires some patience and care, as the hens need to smoke for at least four hours in order to reach the ideal temperature of 165°F. 

How long to smoke Cornish hens at 225?

Smoking Cornish hens at 225 degrees is a great way to infuse them with flavor and make them incredibly succulent. Generally speaking, it takes about 1-1/2 hours to smoke Cornish hens at this temperature. However, depending on the size of the birds, they may require up to 3 hours of smoking time. 

How long to smoke Cornish hens at 275?

Generally speaking, you should plan on smoking Cornish hens for approximately 2 hours, although this time can vary depending on the size of the hens, as well as the type of smoker or grill being used. 

How long to smoke stuffed Cornish hens?

Depending on how much stuffing is used and how hot the smoker is, it typically takes around 30 minutes per pound of bird to cook. For example, if you are cooking two 2-pound Cornish hens, they will generally take approximately 1 hour to smoke.


How long to smoke 2 cornish hens?

When it comes to smoking 2 Cornish hens, the time required is largely dependent on the size of each hen, as well as the desired level of smokiness. Generally, for a larger bird (over 1 lb.) you’ll want to smoke them for about 4-6 hours at a temperature of around 225 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you’re looking for more of a light smoky flavor, then smoking them for 3-4 hours at the same temperature should suffice. 

How long does it take to smoke 3 Cornish hens?

Smoking three Cornish hens generally require a longer time period than most other food items, typically taking about two and a half to three hours. It is important to keep the temperature of the smoker steady during this entire process, ideally between 225-250 degrees Fahrenheit.

How long to smoke 4 cornish hens?

Smoking four Cornish hens can take between 2-3 hours, depending on the size of each bird and what temperature you are smoking them at. If you are using a smoker with an internal thermometer set to 225 degrees Fahrenheit, it should take about 2-2.5 hours for the hens to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees. 

How long does it take to cook 6 Cornish hens?

Cooking 6 Cornish hens usually take between one and two hours, depending on the size of the birds. For example, if your birds are small, you can expect to have them cooked in less than an hour. To be safe though, allowing yourself a full two hours to prepare the dish is ideal.

What to serve with smoked cornish hens?

Smoked Cornish hens are a delicious and flavorful way to enjoy a meal, and they pair well with a variety of tasty side dishes.

  • For an elegant dinner, serve the hens with buttery mashed potatoes, roasted Brussel sprouts tossed in olive oil and garlic, and steamed asparagus topped with any type of cheese.
  • If you’re looking for something more casual, try rustic roasted vegetables like root vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, onions, and squash tossed in herbs. Serve them alongside some tender cooked greens like kale or spinach sautéed with garlic or blanched green beans lightly seasoned with sea salt and pepper.
  • To complete the meal, you can’t go wrong with some fresh homemade bread or cornbread served warm with honey butter. No matter what dishes you choose to serve it with, smoked cornish hens is sure to be a hit!

How do you know when a Cornish hen is done?

1. A Cornish hen is done when the internal temperature reaches 165°F when tested with a meat thermometer. 

2. The juices that come out of the Cornish hen should run clear and not have any pink or red in them. 

3. Once cooked, the skin of a Cornish hen should be golden and crisp, and the legs and wings should move easily in their sockets. 

4. The breast meat will also be firm to the touch and won’t feel rubbery or spongy. 

5. When you cut into it, the juices of a fully cooked Cornish hen will be clear and not tinged with pink or red coloration which indicates undercooking.

6. You can give a Cornish hen’s drumstick a gentle tug to see if it separates easily from the body; if it does, then it’s done cooking! 

7. When cooked properly, a Cornish hen will have moist and succulent white meat on the inside coupled with crunchy crispy skin on the outside for that characteristic texture combination that everyone loves!

What wood to smoke cornish hen?

Smoking a Cornish hen with the right type of wood can enhance its flavor and texture for an unforgettable meal.

The number one choice for smoking Cornish hens is hickory, which has a strong, smoky flavor that complements the bird’s gamey taste. Other woods to consider are cherry, apple, pecan, oak, beech, and maple.

  • Hickory is the most popular choice because it has a strong aroma that stands up well to long cooking times.
  • Cherry wood adds a sweet taste while apple wood provides a subtle fruity flavor.
  • Pecan wood is often used in combination with hickory due to its milder nature and nutty tones – making it great for balancing out the intense smokiness of hickory.
  • Oak, beech, and maple all have slightly less powerful aromas that won’t overwhelm the delicate flavor of Cornish hen.

Whichever type of wood you choose to smoke your Cornish hen with, make sure to use chips or chunks rather than logs as they burn more steadily and evenly to ensure consistent results.

What wood should not be smoked with food?

Wood that should not be smoked with food includes pressure-treated wood, plywood, particle board, and any other wood that has been treated with chemical preservatives or glues.

Chemical preservatives such as chromate copper arsenate (CCA), pentachlorophenol (PCP), and creosote contain known carcinogens which can leach out into food when heated and create a hazardous health risk if ingested.

  • Plywood and particle board are also not suitable for use in smoking as they break down quickly over time when exposed to heat. In addition, the glue used to bind these materials together can also add harmful compounds to the smoke that is absorbed by the food.
  • It is best to use only hardwoods like maple, oak, hickory, apple, cherry or mesquite when smoking food. These woods are dense enough to last through multiple uses while providing flavorful smoke without containing any potentially dangerous chemicals.

Should wood be wet or dry for smoking?

Smoking wood is a crucial factor in achieving the desired flavor of any smoked meat. Whether the wood should be wet or dry largely depends on the type of wood used and its intended purpose.

  • Wet wood, when properly treated, can offer a fuller and sweeter smoke flavor while dry wood may provide a more mild and more subtle taste. Those considering wet wood need to ensure that it has been soaked for at least 24 hours prior to smoking.
  • Dry woods will usually light easier and create shorter smoke sessions than wet woods, which can also produce more creosote buildup due to their additional combustible material.

The type of smoker also plays an important role when deciding whether to use wet or dry smoking wood; charcoal smokers tend to do better with dry wood while electric smokers are often best suited for wet wood.

Ultimately, selecting either a wet or dry smoking wood comes down to personal preference and experimentation with different types of woods and recipes.


Now that we’ve reached the end of this blog post, you should have a good understanding of how long to smoke cornish hens. smoking times will vary depending on a few factors, but following these general guidelines should help you produce delicious and perfectly smoked cornish hens.

If you have any questions or need clarification on anything, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below or contact us directly. And if you found this information helpful, please share it with your friends or family who might also enjoy smoked cornish hen!