Entree | Field To Table

Smoked Rabbit

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This is a surprisingly delicious way to cook rabbit. This smoked rabbit is cooked low and slow and is tender and moist.

Smoked rabbit on metal tray with handle.Pin
Smoked Rabbit

Rabbit is just plain delicious. It can be cooked in a variety of ways. Stewed, braised and fried, among others. It’s as versatile as chicken and often eaten in Italy and France. Smoking is one of our favorite ways to cook it.

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The key getting tender and juicy smoked rabbit is to cook it low and slow. It’s also important to brine the rabbit ahead of smoking.

You can use a domestic rabbit or a rabbit that you harvested for this recipe.

What you need

For the brine

  • water
  • sugar
  • salt
  • thyme
  • rosemary
Ingredients for brining rabbit. See details in recipe below.Pin
Ingredients for brining rabbit.

For rub

  • granulated garlic or garlic powder
  • rosemary
  • kosher or sea salt
  • black pepper
  • onion powder
  • thyme
Ingredients for the rub for rabbit. See details in recipe below.Pin
Ingredients for the rub for rabbit.

How to make it

Separate rabbit into pieces. The loin saddle, front legs with thighs and back legs with thighs.

Step One

Combine salt and sugar in a medium saucepan.

Salt and sugar in pot.Pin
Add salt and sugar to a saucepan.

Step Two

Add water. Heat and stir until salt and sugar dissolve.

Water added to pot with salt and sugar.Pin
Add water. Heat until salt and sugar dissolve.

Step Three

Pour brine into medium bowl and cool. Ice cubes will help it cool down faster.

Ice cubes in bowl with brine.Pin
Once dissolved pour brine into bowl and cool. Add ice to speed up the process.

Step Four

Add rabbit and spices to a glass or plastic bowl with a lid.

You can also place it in a 1-gallon plastic resealable bag.

Rabbit pieces in plastic storage container with spices.Pin
Add rabbit and spices to a glass or plastic container with a lid.

Step Five

Pour cooled brine onto rabbit. Mix. Add cold water, if needed to cover the meat.

Brine added to rabbit and spices.Pin
Add brine to rabbit.

Cover or seal bag and move to a bowl in the refrigerator to brine overnight.

Step Six

Add dry rub ingredients to a small bowl or plastic container.

Spices in a plastic bowl.Pin
Add rub ingredients to a bowl.

Step Seven

Shake or stir with a spoon to mix spices.

Rub mixed up in plastic container.Pin
Shake or use a spoon to mix well.

Step Eight

One hour before smoking, rinse with cold water.

Discard brine.

Rabbit after brining.Pin
Remove rabbit from fridge. Rinse off brine.

Step Nine

Pat meat dry with a paper towel.

Patting meat dry with paper towel.Pin
Pat dry with paper towels.

Step Ten

Coat all surfaces of the rabbit with dry rub.

Cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for about an hour.

Dry rub rubbed onto meat.Pin
Coat all sides of meat with rub.

Set up smoker with wood chips or pellets. Preheat to 200 degrees F / 95 degrees C.

Step Eleven

Place pieces directly onto the smoker rack.

Rabbit in smoker.Pin
Place rabbit into preheated smoker.

Smoke rabbit for 5-6 hours until internal temperature reaches 160°F / 70°C. Measure temperature in the thickest part of the back thigh. Remove it from the smoker to a large platter. Tent with aluminum foil. Let rest for at least 10 minutes. In the first 5 minutes, internal temperature should raise to 165°F / 73°C.

What type of wood to use

With mild flavored meats, like rabbit, poultry and seafood we prefer fruit woods. Apple, cherry or pecan are best.

Metal tray with rabbit pieces.Pin

What if I don’t own a smoker?

If you don’t own a smoker, you can still enjoy smoked meats. You can use your grill to smoke. Set up your grill so that the fire is only on one side. You will place the meat on the side of the grill that does not have the direct flame (indirect heat). This is called indirect cooking.

Add soaked wood to a metal tray (we use a disposable foil pie plate or bread pan). Add another metal tray with water. Place water and wood chips on the side of the grill with the fire. Remember to fill the water if it runs out.

You can also create a similar setup for your oven in a pinch or in the winter.

How to serve the rabbit

Rabbit leg with cornbread and smoked potatoes.Pin

What to do with leftovers

Store leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. Leftovers can be vacuum sealed and frozen in individual use portions for 3-4 months.

More recipes with rabbit

More smoked recipes

Helpful tools

Contains affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you go to the link and purchase something, at no additional cost to you. See FTC Disclosure, here.

Pieces of rabbit on metal serving tray.Pin
Smoked Rabbit

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I hope you enjoyed the recipe today!

Enjoy. And have fun cooking!

Binky's signature
Smoked rabbit on metal platter.Pin

Smoked Rabbit

This is a surprisingly delicious way to cook rabbit. This smoked rabbit is cooked low and slow and is tender and moist.
See Step by Step Photos Above!Most of our recipes have step by step photos and videos! Also helpful tips so that you can make it perfectly the first time and every time! Scroll up to see them!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: entree, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Brining time: 12 hours
Total Time: 17 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 390kcal
Author: Beth Neels
Cost: $3

Ingredients

For the brine

  • water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • cup salt
  • 3 teaspoon thyme
  • 2 teaspoon rosemary
  • 2 Rabbit

For Smoking

Instructions

  • Add salt and sugar to a medium saucepan.
    1 cup sugar, ⅔ cup salt
  • Add two cups water. Heat and stir to dissolve.
    water
  • Pour brine into a medium bowl to cool it down. Adding ice will speed up the process.
  • Add rabbit and spices to a glass or plastic bowl with a lid.
    3 teaspoon thyme, 2 teaspoon rosemary, 2 Rabbit
  • Pour cooled brine onto rabbit. Mix. Add cold water, if needed to cover the meat.
  • Cover and move to the refrigerator to brine overnight.
  • Add dry rub ingredients to a small bowl or plastic container.
    2 tablespoons salt, 2 tablespoons garlic, granulated, 2 teaspoons pepper, 1 tablespoon onion powder, 2 teaspoons dried thyme, 2 teaspoons rosemary
  • Shake or stir with a spoon to mix spices.
  • Remove rabbit from the fridge about one hour before smoking to come down closer to room temperature. Rinse with cold water.
    Discard brine.
  • Pat meat dry with a paper towel.
  • Coat all surfaces of the rabbit with dry rub.
  • Set up smoker with wood chips or pellets. Preheat to 200°F / 95°C.
  • Place pieces directly onto the smoker rack.
  • Smoke rabbit for 5-6 hours until internal temperature reaches 160°F / 70°C. Measure temperature in the thickest part of the back thigh. Remove it from the smoker. Tent with aluminum foil. Let rest for at least 10 minutes. In the first 5 minutes, internal temperature should raise to 165°F / 73°C.
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Nutrition

Calories: 390kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 55g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 203mg | Sodium: 11302mg | Potassium: 978mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 50IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 9mg
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Originally published June 17, 2022.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you go to the link and purchase something at no additional cost to you. See FTC Disclosure here.

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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I had never thought of smoking rabbit when I came across your recipe. This is an incredibly easy and delicious way to enjoy rabbit. Thanks for another winner!

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