Meat Hacks: The Best Way to Cook Pheasant?


  • Walton's Employee

    Meat Hacks: The Best Way to Cook Pheasant?

    Learn the Best Way to Cook Pheasant with Walton's and Meatgistics. Watch the video, read the guide, and then post your questions or comments below.

    Meat Hacks

    As any hunting enthusiast knows cooking wild game presents a few more challenges than cooking a farm raised store bought cut of meat. These are animals that lived in the wild on different diets than what they are fed when raised on a farm. They tend to be a little tougher and can have a gamey taste to them this doesn’t mean that we should just accept that they will give us an inferior finished product though.

    We’ve had some pheasant sitting in a freezer here for a while and today we are going to prepare and cook them a few different ways and see which one gives us the best results. We have 16 breasts so we are going to Smoke half of them and Sous Vide the other half. We are going to marinate a few of them overnight in butter flavored seasoning which has phosphates to increase the water holding capacity of the meat and then rub them with a few different seasonings. We are also going to marinade two of them with the Kentucky bourbon Spirited Sauce and two in the Smokey Habanero Chipotle sauce and then smoke and sous vide one of each and see which marinade and which cooking method we liked the best.

    Now since this is pheasant we do need to get the internal temp up to 165° for food safety so we are going to set our sous vide for 165° and cook them for 4 hours. This will give us our lethality and make the meat nice and tender. For smoking we are going to smoke them at 225° until the internal temp is 165° which should take about 2 hours and we will smoke them over apple woodchips.

    The ones we smoked came out tasty but very dry, this is pretty common when smoking pheasant. The ones that were smoked and marinated with phosphates did retain some extra juice but they were still more dry than I would normally prefer.

    The Pheasant Breasts that we Sous Vide however were very tender and plump! The ones that we marinated with Phosphate definitely did retain some extra moisture but either way they were still great and far more tender (and tasty) than the smoked ones. Another unintended consequence of Sous Videing then was that some of the gamey taste seemed to go away.

    All in all if you have a way to Sous Vide your Pheasant or other birds it is absolutely worth it!

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  • Power User

    @jonathon
    Jon I’m shocked that you didn’t lean on your upstate NY past and try Spiedie sauce. We marinate halves of any game birds for 24-48 hours just like chicken and grill over indirect heat, sear to finish. If you cube the breasts and skewer them, they would make a great sandwich. If you need a care package from the ROC, you know who to call…



  • @parksider I think Waltons should donate a saw of their choosing for us to do a review on or any of their products for an honest and
    Impartial review.



  • @allanmoyer I want to apologize my last post was meant as a joke but for some reason my LOL at the end did not show.


  • Walton's Employee

    @allanmoyer Haha it’s all good Allan, I don’t even think we stock a Saw anymore, everything is special order these days but man are they useful to have when you need it!


  • Walton's Employee

    @parksider A bit of an embarrassing fact is that I didn’t really eat wild game (other than venison jerky) when I was in upstate NY! It just wasn’t part of my culture at that point, moving down to Texas and now Kansas has fixed that but what is Spiedie Sauce?


  • Power User

    It’s a vinegar, oil, and spice marinade, very popular in upstate NY. Usually chicken cubed in 1"ish pieces and marinaded for a few days, grilled on kabob skewers, and served on a sausage roll. We do halves of game birds, marinade in 2gallon zip locks then indirect grill. Keep some of the marinade to baste with since wild birds are very lean.
    https://www.amazon.com/Salamidas-Original-Spiedie-Sauce-Marinade/dp/B000RY8Z88/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_4_s_it?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1531511577&sr=1-4-fkmr1&keywords=county+fair+chicken+spiedie


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Recent Posts

  • M

    @parksider Thanks for the follow up!! I was really watching the internal temperature when they were in the rolling (HOT) water and making sure to pull them right at the 165. And then right into the ice water bath.

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  • You guys got a great job! Im pretty passionate about this kinda stuff. I enjoy it a lot and love doing R and D stuff! Keep up the fun work!

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  • P

    @Jonathon Yes Jonathon-it’s in your head 🙂
    @mikeihuntr My only advice is to keep the water around 170F, not a rolling boil. If the casing are too tight they WILL explode then you have a really big pot of bad soup! A nice simmer is the way to go, take them out 155-160 and into a water bath. Here is a pic, we just use the turkey fryer with the basket. It makes it really easy to remove from the water and rinse. I will also recommend keeping a temp probe right in the meat you can see the wire going into the water. Good luck!!

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  • P

    This was a big topic of conversation because we do freeze/thaw/process/refreeze venison and pork, never an issue. As a former restaurateur and certified food handler here is what Dept of Agriculture has to say. I’ll defer to the experts:

    https://food.unl.edu/it-safe-refreeze-raw-meat-and-poultry-has-thawed
    Author: Alice Henneman, MS, RDN

    The U. S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) advises:

    Once food is thawed in the refrigerator, it is safe to refreeze it without cooking, although there may be a loss of quality due to the moisture lost through thawing. After cooking raw foods which were previously frozen, it is safe to freeze the cooked foods. If previously cooked foods are thawed in the refrigerator, you may refreeze the unused portion. Freeze leftovers within 3-4 days. Do not refreeze any foods left outside the refrigerator longer than 2 hours; 1 hour in temperatures above 90 °F.

    If you purchase previously frozen meat, poultry or fish at a retail store, you can refreeze if it has been handled properly, according to USDA.

    DO NOT thaw meat at room temperature, such as on the kitchen counter.

    Safety will depend on whether the raw product was handled properly before it was frozen, refrozen shortly after it was thawed, cooked to a safe temperature when it is eaten and handled safely if there are any leftovers.

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  • K

    What temperature should I pull my cured and smoked bacon out of my smokehouse?

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  • P

    @jonathon it is printed on the Box. I’m looking for a bag that has a evoh barrier. Does Waltons carry a four or five mm evoh High barrier bag?

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