Maple Smoked Spatchcock Cornish Hens

posted in: Chicken, Poultry | 0
Maple Smoked Spatchcock Cornish Hens
Maple Smoked Spatchcock Cornish Hens

Maple Smoked Spatchcock Cornish Hens

Maple Smoked Spatchcock Cornish Hens have a surprising amount of meat on them. I find that half a Cornish Hen is plenty. Served with a side of green salad, Avocado, and hard boiled egg. If you're following a low-carb lifestyle then this meal is ideal since there's no carbs in Poultry - the avocado is loaded with good fats and eggs are your best friend.

CookinPellets Sweet Maple wood pellets infuse a delicious flavorful profile to poultry. CookinPellets never add any fillers like Oak or Alder. They are 100% Sweet Maple Hardwood.

Prep Cornish Hens:

  • Four (4) Tyson All Natural Premium Cornish Hens (~ 1½ pounds each)
  • Spatchcock the Cornish Hens by removing the backbone and then flattening the breast plate
  • Carefully pull back the skin from the breast and legs/thighs
  • Wrap seasoned Cornish Hens with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours

*Note* - According to USDA you're not supposed to wash your poultry. Rinsing raw poultry doesn't kill off any bacteria but instead spreads it all over your sink, hands, and kitchen. Rinsing raw chicken before cooking can increase your risk of food poisoning from campylobacter bacteria.

Seasoned Spatchcock Cornish Hens
Seasoned Spatchcock Cornish Hens
Maple Smokin' Cornish Hens
Maple Smokin' Cornish Hens
Resting Cornish Hens
Resting Cornish Hens


  • Configure your wood pellet smoker-grill for indirect cooking
  • Preheat to 225ºF using CookinPellets Sweet Maple wood pellets
  • Smoke the spatchcocked Cornish Hens at 225ºF for 1 or more hour
  • Increase the pit cooking temperature to 375ºF in order to finish the cook
    • The higher cooking temperature will crisp the skin of the Cornish Hens
  • Roast the Cornish Hens until they reach an internal temperature of 180ºF
  • Rest the smoked Cornish Hens for 10 minutes loosely under a foil tent before serving

For planning purposes only: Total cooking time was about 2½ hours - but remember to always cook to internal temperatures!

Half a Maple Smoked Cornish Hen
Half a Maple Smoked Cornish Hen

Cowboy Caviar

Sometimes you just need a simple side to serve with your casual meal.

2 Diced Avocados 🥑
1 Large Diced Tomato 🍅
1/2 can of corn 🌽
1/2 can of black beans (or whatever beans you prefer)
1/2 Diced White Onion
1-2 Diced Jalapeños
The juice of 2 limes

Garlic salt and pepper to taste

Smoked Mac-N-Cheese

Mac-N-Cheese; in all of its variations; has been a staple in kitchens around the world for countless years.  Served as a main dish or a side, this comfort food has stood the test of time!  Our twist from traditional preparation is to add a variation of cheeses and a little kick with the red pepper flakes.


What you'll need:

  • 1 lb elbow macaroni
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 cups Milk
  • 1 block cream cheese; cubed
  • 1/2 brick Velveeta cheese; cubed
  • 4 cups grated extra sharp cheddar
  • 1 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp Salt & Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 lb Bacon, cooked and chopped


In a large pot, prepare elbow macaroni per instructions on the package.  Strain and return to pot.  Add 2 cups shredded cheddar and the cooked/diced bacon; set aside

Cheese Sauce & Preparation

  1. In a medium sauce pan:
  2. Melt stick of butter, add flour and whisk until mixed well
  3. Pour in milk while stirring; bring to a simmer
  4. Add in crushed pepper, salt/pepper and stir thoroughly; mix in shredded parmesan cheese
  5. Add cubed cream and Velveeta cheeses and stir until sauce has a creamy consistency
  6. Pour sauce into pan containing macaroni, cheddar cheese and bacon.  Mix  well.
  7. Pour contents into a disposable pan; cover with remaining 2 cups shredded cheese.
  8. Place on smoke/grill at a temperature of 250-300 and leave until cheese on top is bubbling and slightly browned.
  9. Serve Mac-N-Cheese with your favorite side of meat!

Smoked New York Strip Loin

posted in: Beef | 0
Smoked New York Strip Roast
Smoked New York Strip Loin

Smoked New York Strip Loin

Why is it called a 'New York Strip Loin'? ... Delmonico's Restaurant, an operation opened in New York City in 1827, offered as one of its signature dishes a cut from the short loin called a Delmonico steak. Due to its association with the city, it has since been referred to as a New York strip loin. A New York strip loin - sometimes called the top loin, or Kansas City strip - is a succulent, lean, tender, full-flavored roast. 

This recipe is extremely easy and the smoked results are mouth watering and succulent. Preheat your wood pellet smoker-grill to 240ºF with CookinPellets Premium Perfect Mix. The 3 pound roast was a perfect size for my Green Mountain Grill Davy Crockett. Smoked the New York Strip Loin for approximately 2 hours until the internal temperature reached 135ºF. Rested the smoked roast loosely under a foil tent for 10 minutes before slicing against the grain.

NY Strip to 135ºF resting
NY Strip to 135ºF resting
Sliced New York Strip Roast
Sliced New York Strip Loin

Cut a 3 pound roast from an entire New York Strip Loin, removed the fat cap, and trimmed away any silver skin. Rubbed roasted garlic extra virgin olive oil on all sides and seasoned the roast liberally with Pete's Western Rub (page 169 of my cookbook, The Wood Pellet Smoker and Grill Cookbook). Wrapped the seasoned roast with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight.

Trimmed NY Strip Roast
Trimmed NY Strip Loin
Seasoned New York Strip
Seasoned New York Strip Loin

Apple Mash Smoked St Louis Spareribs

posted in: Pork | 0
Apple Mash Smoked St Louis Spareribs

Apple Mash Smoked St Louis Spareribs

I prefer my ribs naked but SWMBO likes hers sauced. So in order to compromise, I smoked three racks of St Louis style Spareribs using CookinPellets Apple Mash Pellets and sauced one with Sweet Baby Ray's for her while keeping the other two au naturel ... I think that 2 racks to 1 is a good compromise - don't you?

Ever wonder why ribs come in packages of 3? Anyway, started with 3 racks of St Louis Spareribs from Costco. If you have a Costco near you I highly recommend buying your meat and poultry from them. Their quality is excellent. If you haven't yet, you should pick up one or more rotisserie chickens ... Not only are the chickens huge and delicious but you can't beat the price ... I think it's a loss leader for them. But I digress!

Spareribs smokin' at 225ºF
Spareribs smokin' at 225ºF
Ribs at internal temp of 190ºF
Ribs at internal temp of 190ºF
Half a rack with coleslaw
Half a rack with coleslaw

Begin by pulling the membrane on the back of the ribs. I like to pry a spoon handle under the first rib bone, grab the membrane with a paper towel, and pull it off. A little practice and it'll become second nature to you. Rubbed all sides of the ribs with Roasted Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil and seasoned them lightly with my Pork Dry Rub (page 169 of my cookbook, The Wood Pellet Smoker and Grill Cookbook).

Preheated my MAK 2 Star to 180ºF using CookinPellets Apple Mash pellets. Smoked the racks of St Louis Spareribs for an hour at 180ºF before bumping the pit temperature to 250ºF. Continued to smoke the ribs for 3 hours. At this point, the internal temperature of the ribs approached 190ºF. Sauced one rack and returned the ribs to the MAK 2 Star.  Smoked the ribs at 250ºF for 30 minutes. Pulled the ribs and rested them loosely under a foil tent before serving.

Pork and Apple are an unbelievable combination and the Apple Mash pellets really make a difference.

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