Smoked rabbit!

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by Darkwater, Dec 25, 2011.

  1. Darkwater

    Darkwater Well-Known Member

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    Bought a smoker couple of years ago to smoke fish. Now on the Holidays, try to smoke a few rabbits.

    Just love the flavor with oak wood. You need to try it.
     
  2. klickitat

    klickitat Well-Known Member

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    So how did you do it? Did you brine it first, De-bone it or smoke it whole? Did you dry it first like you would a salmon? Potassium nitrate?

    I am really curious, because I am wanting to do this myself.
     

  3. craftyfarmgirl

    craftyfarmgirl Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking about this when we first decided to get rabbits, it sounds delicious!
     
  4. Macybaby

    Macybaby I love South Dakota Supporter

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    I've shared this before

    I make a lot of home made relishes and jams, so I take a 8 oz jar and add some vinigar, maybe some brown sugar, or other stuff depending on what sounds good that day. Mix it up, open the bag (thaw the rabbit first) and dump it in and then reseal the bag and let it sit a day. Then I open it up, take out the rabbit and break the back bone and spread it out flat.

    Then put that in the smoker, I like to use apple wood, but prefer a very light smoke taste to my meat.

    In this pic, I had spread the rabbit before marinading, but found it works fine to spread it after, and is easier to fit back in the bag that way.

    [​IMG]

    And out of the smoker - I think the rabbit was cooked a bit long, still very moist and tasty but the meat was falling off the bones and that made it hard to get off the grid.

    [​IMG]

    I have my smoker set up in the greenhouse - it has an attic exhaust fan in the roof if needed.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Darkwater

    Darkwater Well-Known Member

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    O.K. So here's how I do it.

    First off, I am not using meat rabbits, I can tell you that it doesn't really matter which breed you are using. They are all scrumptious.

    I use the "broom handle" method for the kill. Easy, fast, no blood. Then hang upside down by two 20 penny nails driven at an angle through a 2X4 and mounted to a tree.

    The harvesting I prefer is to keep the quarters and backstrap(loin). The rest isn't worth the effort to keep on the smaller breeds.

    These parts go into a gal. size bag with kosher salt and water. (I heat up the water and dissolve the salt before putting in the bag.) Brine the rabbit for a couple of hours and turn the bag over every 45 mins.

    I just put it in the electric smoker and run off and do something else for a couple of hours.

    The front quarters and backstrap are done in 2 to 3 hours. The rear quarters take longer.

    I like smoked rabbit to be a little dry and leathery. Almost like a moist jerky. If you like it more conventional, you will need to mop it with a marinade or a BBQ sauce at the appropriate time.

    My smoked rabbit will keep a long time in the refrigerator in a sealed container - not so long if I have fishing or hunting outings and need a flavorful snack.
     
  6. klickitat

    klickitat Well-Known Member

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    What is it like against the bone? Do you use a needle to get up against it? If not, isn't that a little dangerous?
     
  7. Darkwater

    Darkwater Well-Known Member

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    Klickitat,

    Not exactly sure what your are asking.

    The meat up against the bone is like any other meat that you smoke/bbq. Slightly pink. Same when you bbq/smoke chicken, pork or beef. It is definetely "done".

    I can't imagine that a needle would be necessary or desirable.

    Try it! You will be amazed by the flavor.

    Oak is more of a mellow wood to smoke with than hickory. I like hickory too though.

    Here in Florida, I smoke alot of my fish on red bay.
     
  8. Homesteader at Heart

    Homesteader at Heart Well-Known Member

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    When I was young we used to hunt wild rabbits. My grandfather would smoke them, then they would go in the freezer. My grandmother would make smoked rabbit gumbo. Good stuff, especially with a big dollop of potato salad in the bowl with the gumbo.
     
  9. Darkwater

    Darkwater Well-Known Member

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    We usually figure that we can pick at it for a week and then put it into the freezer when we brine it and smoke it.

    I've hunted wild rabbits. Don't have any experience smoking. Here in the South, we don't harvest and eat rabbit in any month that lacks the letter "R". In Florida there is NO closed hunting season on rabbits

    Would love to try rabbit gumbo.
     
  10. Oxankle

    Oxankle Well-Known Member

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    Wish there were rabbits here; I see maybe three or four in a year. Too many cats and coyotes.

    I much prefer cottontail to domestic rabbit. Young cottontail, fried-----I ate so many of those as a youngster.
     
  11. Riverdale

    Riverdale Well-Known Member

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    I would 'do' rabbit like I 'do' salmon

    warm water enough to fill the container ½-¾ full

    enough sea (or kosher) salt to float a raw egg high enough off the bottom and I can pass my hand underneath the raw egg .

    ½-¾ cup local honey stirred in to the brine.

    Brine rabbit for 6-24 hours

    smoke over maple, alder or apple wood

    I don't use any iodized salt for brining or smoking because it can give an off taste and color.
     
  12. Riverdale

    Riverdale Well-Known Member

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    Macybaby, that looks GREAT!
     
  13. Backfourty,MI.

    Backfourty,MI. Katie Supporter

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    The last rabbit we smoked I smoked it all cut up. I didn't brine it first but the next one I will. I used a cherry wood. It was very tasty & moist. I put potatoes & corn on the cob in with the rabbit as well & boy was that a tasty supper.