So how do you make a little grill like the Weber Jumbo Joe look really big? Throw on a bunch of Cornish game hens! I have wanted to do this cook for a several months and kept putting it off. These little two pound game hens come frozen solid as hard as a rock and I never plan well enough in advance to make time to thaw these things out.
These little hens fit perfectly on the Jumbo and grilled up in just under an hour. This is an easy way to put something impressive in front of your guests. If I had planned better I would have thawed these hens and then soaked them in a flavored brine for a few hours. Instead I rubbed them down with a mix of chili powder and lemon pepper seasoning and grilled them straight up until I hit an internal of 180F.
I went ahead and trussed them up before grilling so they wouldn’t be flopping all around on my little grill. Trussing just makes the whole presentation aspect much tighter.
I set up the Weber Jumbo Joe with a charcoal basket of lit Kingsford on one side of the grill and the trussed hens on the other with the legs facing the coals. I closed the lid with the top vent over the birds and had both the top and bottom vents fully open. After 30 minutes I rotated the birds so the breast was facing the coals and let them finish off until they read 180F.
Halfway through the cook I realized that I had forgotten to place a drip pan under the birds when the ash catcher started to fill up with chicken juices. Doh!
I thought these guys came out looking great. You can get as fancy as you want with these little hens with a little planning. You can stuff them with just about anything you can imagine or even inject them with a little Creole butter. I liked them with a simple rub.
Give this a try sometime on your Weber Jumbo Joe. It’s one more excuse to play around with a great little grill.