Wild Food: Smoked Goose

Back in February, I made those smoked ducks. I opted for a long, slow smoke because the first time I had waterfowl had been smoked. Another reason was that last year in December, my dad had been up for a visit. I had wanted to make a nice big dinner, and we had the larger of the two geese from last year in the freezer. I brined and roasted it. Only, I was used to cooking domestic turkey and chicken. I figured that, like poultry, it had to be done to 165F to be safe to eat.

Matt and my dad were really good sports about the whole thing. This in spite of the fact that I basically served them jerky still attached to a skeleton.  So, I smoked those ducks and they turned out well. We needed some room in the freezer, so I pulled that goose out Sunday to thaw. I brined it as well, since geese are typically lean and this one was no exception.

The brine ingredients

The brine ingredients: a small onion, half a lemon, bay leaves, salt (lots), pepper, lemon thyme

The goose breast down in the brine

The goose breast down in the brine

People brine chickens over night, and turkeys for a day. This goose just brined for about 4 hours yesterday afternoon. Could it go longer? Probably. I let it sit while I did some cleaning and yard work. Then I got the fire going. While it had been brining, I had picked up some apple wood chunks to cook it over. My fire was a blend of plain charcoal and apple wood. Once it had burned down a little bit, I set the brined goose on the grill to one side of the fire to cook slowly.

DSCF4881

Then I closed the lid and the chimney cover to let it puff away. It still ran a little hot, so I made sure to open the lid and vent the heat now and again, and I monitored the internal temp a bunch. Overall, it cooked for about two and a half hours.

I had mine like this. For Matt, it went back on the grill for a while.

I had mine like this. For Matt, it went back on the grill for a while.

It turned out very well. Much more firm than chicken or turkey, or even the ducks. But the brine helped it stay juicy, as did a quick bacon grease coat I gave it halfway through cooking. The flavor was good, too, even with how simple I kept the herbs and seasoning. I served it with baked red potatoes and summer squash from my garden, both done on the grill.

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2 thoughts on “Wild Food: Smoked Goose

    • It’s good stuff, once you get the hang of cooking it. We’ll have even more room once Matt clears out the fish he wants to taxidermy.

      To further that conversation temperatures: tonight’s low is 48. Brr!

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