Smoked Beer Brined Cornish Hens

Smoked Beer Brined Cornish Hens


  • 36 oz of beer
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 6 cups of ice cubes
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, whole
  • 4 Cornish Hens
  • Favorite rub for poultry


  1. In a large pot, mix together beer, salt, onion and garlic and bring to a boil.
  2. Remove from heat and cover for 10 minutes.
  3. Add ice to the hot brine and place in fridge or freezer to get it to at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below.
  4. Once the brine is cool enough and the cornish hens are thawed, place the hens in gallon baggy (two per bag) and submerge with brine.
  5. Place the brining hens in the fridge for 3 to 4 hours, but no more.
  6. When done brining, rinse off the birds and place on a cookie sheet.
  7. Season the birds, but don't use a salty rub because the brine adds enough salt. If your 165rub is salty, I found that you can tone it down by adding brown sugar, which add a little more BBQ flavor.
  8. With the smoker at 250 degrees Fahrenheit, place the hens on the grill breast side up and smoke until the internal temperature is 165 degrees Fahrenheit (usually about 3 hours, depending on the size).
  9. Serve it up!

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