Home Recipes The best ways to cook quail: Tips, Time and Temps

The best ways to cook quail: Tips, Time and Temps

by owetogrub
how to cook quail

Quail cooking times and cooking temperatures are the key to a tasty and tender bird. Unlike chicken, Cornish hens and other poultry, quail takes a little more attention to cook cause it’s less forgiving. Not that’s it’s difficult to prepare, but the cooking time and temps are important.

Quail has to be cooked with high heat and in a short amount of time. If you cook it too long, it’ll be tough and dry. If you don’t cook it at the right temperature, it’ll be red in the center and the skin will be terrible.

With that being said, don’t be intimidated by cooking quail.

My favorite way to cook quail is to grill it over hot coals for around 10 minutes. Smaller quail like the ones you find in your local supermarket are great for back yard grilling.

They cook up in about 10 minutes and the skin crisps up perfectly over an opened flame and high heat. The larger species of quail taste great when marinated and cooked in a hot oven.

How long do you cook quail? Cooking tips, times and temps.

Grilled whole quail – grilled over high heat for 12-15 minutes.
Grilled quail breast – grilled over high heat for no more than 10 minutes.
Roasted quail in the oven – quail should be browned first in a skillet before roasting in the oven @ 375 for 12-15 minutes.

My favorite quail recipe and way to cook it is in the slow cooker or crock pot. I absolutely love smothered Bobwhite Quail cooked slow in a crock pot. It’s an easy recipe to prepare and I haven’t met anyone who didn’t enjoy eating it.

Easy Smothered Crock-pot Quail Recipe:


  • 8 quail breast or quail tenders
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion diced
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • salt and pepper to taste


1. In a large skillet brown the quail breast or tenders on both sides in butter (2-3 minutes each side)
2. Remove the quail and add diced onions. Saute until tender or translucent
3. Add flour to skillet and stir the mixture with a fork.
4. Add milk and reduce heat. Stir and cook on medium heat until the gravy is smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste
5. Place browned quail in a crock-pot and pour gravy mixture over the quail breast
6. Cook on high for 6-8 hours or until tender

I serve the crock-pot quail breast with white rice and a veggie or green salad. If you don’t want to make your own gravy, use canned cream of mushroom soup. Make it just like you would Southern style smothered chicken.

As much as I enjoy quail breast, the legs are also tasty and succulent.

Bacon wrapped quail legs are very easy to prepare. An easy bacon wrapped quail leg recipe is as simple as wrapping the legs or quail tenders in your favorite applewood bacon or any smoked bacon and grilled on 375 until the quail reaches an internal temp of 165.

There are many ways to cook quail. Whole, breast, tenders, legs and thighs all are delicious.

The cooking times are very important if you want to put out a good tasting bird. I rarely have to grill or cook quail, stove top for more than 12 minutes or roast for more than 15 minutes.

Baked quail can cook up to 30 minutes if cooking in liquid and aromatics and slow-cooker or crock pot quail can go for hours.

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