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+ servings
Cornish Game Hens

Smoked Cornish Game Hens

Flavorful, smoked birds with herbs and butter.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Resting Time 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 1087kcal
Author Phen Pavelka


  • 4 cornish game hens 1 ½ - 2 lbs
  • 4 tbsp butter chilled
  • 8 tbsp dry rub I used Bob Byron’s Butt Rub
  • 2 sprigs rosemary finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme chopped
  • ½ cup BBQ sauce optional if you want to glaze your bird. I used our Smoked BBQ Source quick and easy BBQ Sauce


  • Pat each hen dry with a paper towel.
  • Pull the skin away from the breast meat using your finger, being careful not to tear it.
  • Put ½ tbsp butter on each side of breast meat in each bird.
  • Place half a sprig’s worth of rosemary in along with the butter.
  • Place ¼ tsp of thyme in along with the butter.
  • Coat each bird with a dry rub.
  • Cover with plastic and place in refrigerator for at least one hour.
  • Prepare smoker to 275°F.
  • Arrange hens on grates and close the smoker.
  • Cook hens to 160°F internal temperature at the thickest part of breast and thigh, around 1 hour
  • Increase smoker temperature to 300°F.
  • Glaze each bird with BBQ sauce - optional.
  • Continue to glaze the hens until their internal temperature reaches 165°F, around 20 - 30 mins.
  • Remove from smoker, tent with foil and let rest at least 15 minutes.
  • Serve whole or carved.


Calories: 1087kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 78g | Fat: 75g | Saturated Fat: 25g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 485mg | Sodium: 744mg | Potassium: 1207mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 1152IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 147mg | Iron: 7mg