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Boneless, skinless, sand hill crane breast

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  • dubob
    Club Member
    • Mar 2019
    • 130
    • Mormon Mecca
    • Bob Hicks, from Mormon Mecca
      Camp Chef Woodwind SG w/Sear Box
      I’m 78 years young and going as hard as I can for as long as I can.
      “Free men don't ask permission to bear arms.”
      “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

    Boneless, skinless, sand hill crane breast

    How would you cook or have you cooked it on your pellet grill? I brought home breasts from 8 birds bagged in Texas a couple weeks ago and would like to start with a smoked cook. The one after this will be a sous vide cook. Any of you Texas BBQ Masters have any advice?
  • JCGrill
    Club Member
    • Mar 2017
    • 1732
    • Minneapolis / St Paul burbs
    • Charcoal - 22" Weber Kettle
      Gas - Saber
      Smoker - Green Mountain Daniel Boone
      Portable - Charbroil Tabletop Propane Grill

    #2
    No experience, but a game bird like that would benefit from a wet brine, I think. Honestly I think if I were doing it I'd use my Weber Kettle, but that's me. Since you are using a pellet grill, I might try a low temp for 30 minutes or so and then crank it up to finish, maybe 350. You could also glaze it near the end if you had some ideas for it.

    Comment

    • HawkerXP
      Club Member
      • Jul 2016
      • 5506
      • Virginia
      • 2 Weber Performers, 1 kettle, 1 Smoky Joe and a PBC
        Thermopops
        Dot and Chef Alarm with probes
        Slo n Sear
        Cold beer

      #3
      I hear crane tastes similar to bald eagle.

      Comment


      • Steve B
        Steve B commented
        Editing a comment
        I hear cranes have a really high iron content. At least the ones here in NY. 🥴

      • Ahumadora
        Ahumadora commented
        Editing a comment
        Probably the taste the same as Kiwi or wood pigeon.

      • gcdmd
        gcdmd commented
        Editing a comment
        The ones in Minnesota taste like loon.
    • Murdy
      Club Member
      • May 2018
      • 464
      • North-Central Illinois

      #4
      I've never actually seen it. Is it a leaner meat? I believe they eat a lot of grain.

      Comment

      • dubob
        Club Member
        • Mar 2019
        • 130
        • Mormon Mecca
        • Bob Hicks, from Mormon Mecca
          Camp Chef Woodwind SG w/Sear Box
          I’m 78 years young and going as hard as I can for as long as I can.
          “Free men don't ask permission to bear arms.”
          “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

        #5
        Just so you know, it is probably the best eating larger game bird found in the US. Texans call them either 'ribeye in the sky' or 'flying sirloin'. I shot many in Canada (5 bird/day limit up there) in the past. They were hand plucked up there and brought home whole. I smoked them whole in my Bradley smoker. The only bird I would class as better eating would be ruffed grouse. They are as good as or better than quail, IMHO. Just as in other game birds, cooking whole is a different process than doing just the bare breast meat.

        Just so you know.

        Comment


        • pkadare
          pkadare commented
          Editing a comment
          Just to point out that Canada is a big country and the hunting of Sandhill Cranes is only legal, with a license, in the Yukon, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. :-)

        • Bama Grill
          Bama Grill commented
          Editing a comment
          I was just going to mention the "ribeye in the sky" label here in Texas! They are mighty fine eating, never personally cooked them myself though.

        • dubob
          dubob commented
          Editing a comment
          pkadare, I hunted them and geese in Sask.
          Last edited by dubob; December 23, 2019, 05:53 AM.
      • Richard Chrz
        Club Member
        • Mar 2019
        • 915
        • La Crosse, Wi

        #6
        I've had a few friends lucky enough to hunt them. They called them Ribeye's in the sky.

        Comment

        • Sweaty Paul
          Founding Member
          • Aug 2014
          • 1440
          • Hays, KS
          • Green Mountain Grill - Jim Bowie
            (I've never regretted having too much grate space).

            Weber Genesis Gas grill
            Weber Kettle grills x 2

          #7
          In Western Kansas they are referred to as “Ribeye of the sky.” The one I had was delicious and did taste like beef. Not sure how my friend cooked it.

          Comment

          • dubob
            Club Member
            • Mar 2019
            • 130
            • Mormon Mecca
            • Bob Hicks, from Mormon Mecca
              Camp Chef Woodwind SG w/Sear Box
              I’m 78 years young and going as hard as I can for as long as I can.
              “Free men don't ask permission to bear arms.”
              “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

            #8
            Decided to keep it simple. Washed the breasts to rid them of any blood from the packaging (vacuum packed). Dried them with paper towels. Coated then with EVOO and Heaven Made Texas Best Beef Rub. Set pellet grill to low smoke (160*F) and inserted a temp probe in each breast. I pulled them when the IT hit 125*F; wrapped in foil and a towel; rested for 90 minutes.

            Here they are with EVOO & rub; ready for the grill:
            Click image for larger version

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            This is the rub I used:
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            Here is the finished product ready for the table - perfect medium rare, very moist, very tender, and delicious:
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            Sorry, there aren't any leftovers for y'all to try. Maybe next time - NOT!

            Comment

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