This is a surprisingly delicious way to cook rabbit. This smoked rabbit is cooked low and slow and is tender and moist.
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.
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
- granulated garlic or garlic powder
- kosher or sea salt
- black pepper
- onion powder
How to make it
Separate rabbit into pieces. The loin saddle, front legs with thighs and back legs with thighs.
Combine salt and sugar in a medium saucepan.
Add water. Heat and stir until salt and sugar dissolve.
Pour brine into medium bowl and cool. Ice cubes will help it cool down faster.
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.
Pour cooled brine onto rabbit. Mix. Add cold water, if needed to cover the meat.
Cover or seal bag and move to a bowl in the refrigerator to brine overnight.
Add dry rub ingredients to a small bowl or plastic container.
Shake or stir with a spoon to mix spices.
One hour before smoking, rinse with cold water.
Pat meat dry with a paper towel.
Coat all surfaces of the rabbit with dry rub.
Cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for about an hour.
Set up smoker with wood chips or pellets. Preheat to 200 degrees F / 95 degrees 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 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.
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
- Slice and serve for dinner with potatoes or rice and side salad with blackberry vinaigrette.
- Serve with your favorite bbq sauce, smoked potatoes wedges with cornbread and coleslaw
- Cut into chunks and add it to our smoked mac and cheese.
- Slice and serve on charcuterie boards or grazing platters.
- Slice it and serve leftovers in sandwiches or chef salads.
- Add to chilis, soups or stews for an additional smoky flavor.
- Make rabbit tacos with leftovers.
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
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I hope you enjoyed the recipe today!
Enjoy. And have fun cooking!
- 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.
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.