The first step is to season our quail with Hog’s Breath Blackening Seasoning. It includes a mixture of garlic, paprika, sugar, citrus, onions and other spices. I like to do this the night before and let it rest in the refrigerator overnight.
After removing the frig the next morning, I simply cover all sides of the quail with the seasoning. Before I put the quail in the Smoker, I like to freshen up the quail with a little more seasoning right before placing in the smoker.
Only fill your smoker water pan about half full. There will be some drippings from the bacon and quail that will contribute to the amount of liquid in the water pan.
Next, simply place the quail in the smoker. If you are smoking any larger meats with the quail, then you will want to place the quail near the top as it will not take near as long as if you were smoking a roast. For today, we are just smoking the quail, so the lower racks will be fine.
We want to smoke it until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 to 170 degrees.
After an 1 ½ hours baste the quail. The mix I’m using for basting, is simply a water and orange juice mix. You can use about 3 parts or so water to 1 part orange juice. The purpose is to keep the quail moist. I’ll also add a little more apple chips.
Once the internal temperature of the quail reaches 145 degrees, apply a finishing sauce for the last bit of smoking. For half of the quail, I’m going to use Ole’ Ray’s Blackberry Wine BBQ Sauce. We’ve used this many times on quail, and you simply can’t go wrong with this combination. Trust me, blackberry pairs very well with quail.
I finished the remaining quail with Blackberry Jalapeno Pepper Jelly. One of our favorites comes from Heidi’s Pepper Jelly right here in Florida.
Place the quail back in the smoker to finish. After 2 – 2.5 hours the internal temperature should reach 165 degrees and is ready to remove from the smoker.
Take your quail out of the smoker and let it rest for about 30 minutes; then it will be ready to serve. Enjoy!