Smoked rabbit is delicious and easy to make. Whether you are an old pro or you're cooking rabbit first time, this easy-to-make smoked rabbit recipe will have your family and friends impressed with your level of culinary skill. So get ready as we walk you through creating a delicious mouthwatering delight.
Rabbit is a great sustainable meat source. They breed quickly and are full of protein and healthy to eat.
They are also a very common household pet in the United States, so it makes many people a little squeamish or turned off to the idea of enjoying them as a culinary delicacy. Some hunt wild rabbits, while many of us are usually happy with free-range farmed rabbits.
As a child, my family raised rabbits for eating. I was always more ready to dive into the meal than my sisters who had names for them all. Nevertheless, rabbit is an easy-to-cook and delicious. I hope you enjoy our recipe.
One whole rabbit - Rabbit meat is very healthy. It is a lean protein that has low cholesterol and is better for your heart. It might not be readily available in a large grocery store, but smaller specialty stores or your local butcher should have them available. One whole rabbit will serve about four adults.
Olive oil - We need just a little oil to coat the entire piece of meat and allow the seasonings and herbs to adhere.
Fresh thyme - Fresh herbs are great. Fresh thyme has a wonderful aroma that easily adds another layer of flavor to your dish.
Kosher salt and black pepper - When you have light-flavored meat like rabbit, you don't need to go heavy with sauces and dry rubs. You can use your favorite sauce or favorite dry rub, but all you need is salt and pepper to properly season the meat. Combine that with the smoky flavor from fruit wood and you have a perfect bite for dinner.
Apple cider vinegar - We will spritz the rabbit with apple cider vinegar as it smokes. With rabbit meat being such a lean meat, the lack of fat reduces the natural moisture that other fattier meats will generate during the smoking process. Spritzing with cider vinegar gives it a little extra moisture to keep the meat perfect and juicy.
How to Make a Smoked Rabbit
Step One - Unpack your whole rabbit. Rinse it off under cold water and dry it with a paper towel. Set it on a large tray or cutting board to season. Brush to coat the entire inside and outside with olive oil, then season with salt, pepper, and chopped thyme.
Step Two - Place the seasoned rabbit directly onto the grill grate in your preheated smoker. Smoked the rabbit at 225°F for two to three hours. Use a meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of the rabbit. My Traeger pellet grill has a built-in wired temperature probe that I like to use. You can also use a wireless meat thermometer to monitor the temperature as well. The rabbit is done when the internal temperature reaches 160°F.
Spritz the rabbit with apple cider vinegar every 30 minutes or so during the smoker process to help the rabbit retain moisture and avoid drying it out.
Step Three - Once the smoked rabbit reaches 160°F internally, remove it from the smoker and allow it to rest for 5 minutes. Then using a large sharp knife, cut the rabbit into four to six portions and serve.
What is best served with Rabbit?
Pair your Smoked Rabbit with just about any side dish you enjoy. We served ours with rice, Green Beans, and Roasted Butternut Squash.
What can I do with leftover Smoked Rabbit?
Leftover smoked rabbit meat is also great in a stew. To make smoked rabbit soup, simply chop onions, celery, and carrots to create a mirepoix. Place them in a large stock pot and saute. Then add garlic powder, onion powder, chicken stock, and two bay leaves along with the smoked rabbit meat.
Simmer until all the flavors meld together. If you want to make it a heartier meal, add brown or potatoes to the stew to give it more body. To make it into a creamy smoked rabbit stew mix a little white wine and cornstarch and use that to thicken the broth.
- Traeger Grill or other smoker
- 2.5 lb whole rabbit
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 fresh thyme sprig
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- Coat the rabbit with olive oil, inside and out. Season inside and outside with salt, pepper, and roughly diced fresh thyme.
- Place the seasoned rabbit in a preheated smoker for two to three hours at a temperature of 225℉. Cook the rabbit in the smoker until the internal temperature reaches 160℉.
- Spritz rabbit with apple cider vinegar every 30 minutes during smoking.
- Remove the rabbit from the smoker. Let it rest for 5 minutes. Then cut the rabbit into portions and serve.