Scott and I are pretty culinarily adventurous and like to try new things, and since we did quail last Thanksgiving, we had to up the ante for Christmas this year. So I decided to get a goose! Nothing screams “Christmas Tradition” like cooking a goose!
I’ve heard that goose is like the filet mignon of the waterfowl world, and I guess that would explain why it was rather pricey at the butcher- $80 for an a 10lb frozen goose! I’ve seen fresh Canadian Geese at my butcher, but for this time they came frozen – And it turned out great!
The main thing to remember with Goose is that it has a TON of fat that will render when cooking. This means you will have to drain the fat about 3 times during a 2-3 hour cook. We didn’t realize this when we cooked it the first time and the fat dripped on the coals creating a very bad smell. Sometimes when fat drips on coals it smells amazing, but this did not, which is why you want to be conscientious about draining the fat before it overflows and drips onto the coals. When removing the fat from your drip pan, save it to make gravy or for cooking fat later! Sides (like potatoes) cooked in Goose fat are amazing!!
- 1 8-10 lb Goose
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp fresh ground pepper
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
For stuffing the cavity:
- Citrus – a few oranges/lemons/limes for stuffing the cavity
- Bunch of fresh herbs – rosemary and thyme are some of my favorite for fowl
- Pecan Wood (or wood of your choice) for smoking
- Aluminum tray for catching the Goose grease
If your bird is frozen, make sure to go ahead and thaw it overnight.
Next, remove the gizzards from the inside. Save them for smoking them or you can boil them to make a stock for gravy. Stuff the cavity with the citrus and herbs.
Combine the olive oil, salt, pepper and smoked paprika to make a slather that will help the rub adhere to the bird. Rub this generously all over the bird leaving no place dry.
Slice the citrus and place inside the cavity along with the fresh herbs. Take a few short skewers or toothpicks to close the opening up so the contents don’t fall out while smoking.
Next, preheat your Big Green Egg or Kamado Smoker for 350 degrees. You will need to put the place setter in and also make sure to put in an aluminum tray on the place setter to catch the rendered fat. Add your wood to create smoke. IMPORTANT: Don’t forget to check on the rendered fat and make sure to remove a few times during the cook!
Place the goose on the grates (above the plate setter) with the breast up. Let the goose smoke for 2 1/2-3 hours or until the breast reads 160 degrees with an internal read thermometer like the Thermapen– it will continue to cook when you take it off so you know it will get to 165 which is the USDA recommended internal temp for poultry).
Pull the goose off the smoker and let it rest for a few minutes, then carve the breasts lengthwise like you would a brisket, you can also carve the legs for serving.
I made gravy with the drippings and giblet and it was a nice addition, but it didn’t need it. Note that there are plenty of other recipes out there where they call to marinade the bird overnight or brine. I felt the Goose turned out great without all the extra steps and I think this can be attributed to how well the egg cooks, smoky flavor and watching your temps! Plus, goose is damn good!
Have you cooked goose before? What’s your favorite way to cook and serve it?