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Can I Mad Max a pheasant?

AlaskanCAlaskanC Posts: 1,346
edited 8:22AM in EggHead Forum
I have to make 3 pheasants & a bunch of quails for my dad's 60th birthday tomorrow and I have no idea what I'm getting myself into.

I've done a search & found some other recipes, but I really don't want to cut them up prior to cooking them.. I want a WOW kind of presentation (plus it has to taste good). I am also making a ginormous prime rib, but I want to make him a big game platter with venison, sausages, the pheasants & the quails...all that good stuff.

I know pheasants get dry easy, so can I do a modified MM method with lower heat & maybe cover with foil so they steam in the wine for a while???

ugh....anybody want to fly up and help me? haha


  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    You paying for the ticket??

    Are they farm raised Pheasants or did you blue them out of the sky?

    Makes a small difference.
  • That might work great but since they are so lean, lay/wrap them with bacon strips over them to impart some grease and flavor.
  • AlaskanCAlaskanC Posts: 1,346
    haha suuuure

    Anyhoo - we have both farm raised & wild. I thought the farm raised ones weren't going to be here in time so I wrote it off..... then I found out that our friend just came back from a Thanksgiving hunting trip in the lower 48 and he has a bunch that he shot so I said - bring em to me! Then I got an email saying that the farm ones should be here today. shheeeesh.
  • AlaskanCAlaskanC Posts: 1,346
    Ok - that might work.

    bacon is going on the grocery list

  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    The farm raised one will be like a fresh turkey so you can probably use Max's Method on them. The Butter Paste should work great.

    Come to think of it the butter paste on the wild ones will work well too.

    Baste them more often and keep an eye on the liquid in the drip pan. You do NOT want it to dry up.

    I'll be leaving from RDU airport.. Just have the ticket waiting there..
  • Big'unBig'un Posts: 5,909
    1st of all, you've always been like a daughter to me, :laugh: Tell your father Happy Bday. I would definately cover the Pheastant with bacon or some other fatty meat to help with the moisture issue. Unfortunately, I haven't cooked pheasant on the egg, so you get to take the maiden voyage for all of us.
  • do a "mixed grill". .. .really easy and it has 'wow factor' ....i'm assuming the pheasants are fairly small....

    halve them (or if they are really big, quarter them). .. . in a nice big roasting pan/casserole.. . .chunk up some veggies(taters/carrots/onions/peppers) on the bottom of the casserole. . .lay the pheasent halves and whole quuales and the venison and sausage around on top of the vegies. .. .sprinkle some EVOO and season (i used dizzy shaking the tree but you could go with salt and pepper or anythign you like) all over it ... roast it in your egg at around 375 degrees till the birds are done and the taters are tender . . trust me, it will be delicious ....i did this at waldorf this year with duck/cornesh hens/quale/sausage and it was great (my only mistake was piling the birds too deep so that the skin didn't all brown, otherwise it was fantastic and the veggies, cooking in all that bird fat were fantastic. just want to make sure that the skin of the birds is exposed enough so that it browns. .. .




  • AlaskanCAlaskanC Posts: 1,346
    Aha! That could work!!

    what if I wanted to leave the birds whole? (I like being difficult)
  • AlaskanCAlaskanC Posts: 1,346
    gee thanks dad.....send me out there into the cruel world with no help... :laugh:

    I will be sure to take pictures of this feat/ feast!!
  • AlaskanCAlaskanC Posts: 1,346
    If I thought you could make it here in time, I would be tempted to do it! :)

    Ok - so I think I will use bacon & some of the pancetta that Max sent me, along with a butter paste & I will basically follow the MM method.

    Do they cook faster than a turkey?
  • i don't know. .. .they would cook way longer than the little quale. ...the trick is to have all the parts about the same size so the bigger pheasants you need to cut down so that the parts are the same size as the whole quale when i did duck/cornesh hen/quale, i quartered the ducks, halved the hens and left the quale whole so they all finished at the same time. .. .i don't know how big a pheasant is. ...but i know its way bigger than a quale. ...i guess you could leave the pheasants whole, then add the quales later on in the cook. ...

    you aren't being difficult, just challenging!! more fun that way!!
  • ZippylipZippylip Posts: 4,679
    Max I see you're still buck'n for that Vegan award :lol:
    happy in the hut
    West Chester Pennsylvania
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    try not to kill it by covering it in bacon. lean meat is never dry, unless it's also overcooked. you've cooked plenty beef tenderloin, right? as long as you don't overcook it like every tom **** and harry out there you shouldn't need to wrap it in bacon. hell, you want to taste pheasant, not pork, right?

    i'd pan sear it like duck.

    make a pan sauce from something with herbs, wine and maybe cranberry.

    i don't understand why everyone assumes venison and game is going to be dry. it will be if you screw it up, so just don't screw it up. hahaha

    i'd start checking it at 145 internal, and take it to maybe 160/165 in the breast
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • AlaskanCAlaskanC Posts: 1,346
    Ugh. can't you just get on the plane & do this for me? gads

    Ok - well I will try doing it in stages - I really want the whole bird *wowee super coolio* presentation.
  • you can only fly so fast in a shopping cart!!

    how do they weigh?? aren't they all dark meat like a duck?. ..and therefore don't the breasts cook to the same temp as the thighs, obviating the need for the ice bag?. ...other guys are saying here it isn't fatty though. ...maybe my sister, the wyoming hunter will see this and weigh in with some tips. ...
  • sure, i'll let mensa man push me there in his cart :woohoo:

    i like what stike said about not smothering it in bacon. ..the pancetta would add some nice flavor though.. ..when i did the mixed grill the sausage was great with the birds and added enough fat (along with the duck fat) to keep everything moist. ..and remember, the egg will help keep everything moist as well. ..
  • AlaskanCAlaskanC Posts: 1,346
    I keep thinking that it really can't be that hard to do..... but I have this magical way of screwing things up.

    Ok - so maybe just butter and no bacon on them. Just do it like a mm turkey....

    ffs this can't be that hard!!
  • AlaskanCAlaskanC Posts: 1,346
    hahahahha... the thought of a flying cart.....

    Anyhoo - I have no idea how much they weigh or anything else. I'm at work so I haven't laid eyes on the little buggers yet.

    so if its all dark meat, then do I cook em to 180 degrees? That seems awful hot for something so lean.

    crap this is getting confusing
  • AlaskanCAlaskanC Posts: 1,346
    And won't it help to have some wine in the bottom of the pan to kinda steam it? Maybe I should cover them with foil for the first half.

  • Mixed Grill Style would be a great way to go with a big whole bird right in the middle of it.
    Now you got me thinking I should do it with a duck I have. And then Make a Cassoulet wit the leftovers.
  • AlaskanCAlaskanC Posts: 1,346
    Yeah - I think you get the "look" that I'm going for. Max doesn't get it... that man has no sense of style... :laugh:
  • Beer can pheasant is pretty good and will retain moistness well. If it was not a headshot, make sure that you get all of those pellets out of the meat. Use a little applewood if you have it.
  • AlaskanCAlaskanC Posts: 1,346
    Ha - it's funny you mention applewood! My husband and I were just arguing over what kind of wood to use - he wanted apple & I wanted cherry. (thankfully this one time) he won so we will be using apple!
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