Regardless of the holiday, extended family love for David to smoke the turkey. He obliges even though it means he needs to get started a few days in advance. And we all reap the benefit! From the juicy, tender smoked turkey to the carcass that yields a hearty bone broth, a smoked turkey is definitely worth celebrating.
A few comments about equipment and the process. First, if you don’t have a smoker, you can use a traditional oven to bake the turkey. It won’t have the smoked flavor, but it will be tender and moist.
Second, you must use a thermometer to tell whether the meat is cooked appropriately. David uses a thermometer with a remote that alerts him when the temperature of the smoker falls and monitors the temperature of the turkey, which allows him to keep an eye on things without constantly running back and forth to the grill. It also saves him from having to open the grill and lose heat. We’ve given this as a gift several times since we enjoy ours so much. https://amzn.to/2QcJNaK
Last, David uses apple chips to smoke the turkey. He also fancies grape wood chips, but those are more difficult to source. You can find them on Amazon https://amzn.to/35X03Dm For poultry, he prefers a mild wood smoke. Have fun trying different combinations!
1 quart water
3/4 cup salt
zest of one orange
1 tablespoon peppercorns
2 tablespoons rosemary
1 tablespoon parsley
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
11-13 lb whole turkey, fresh or thawed
Use a large stockpot to heat the water. Pour in the salt and stir until the salt is dissolved. Add the remaining ingredients and remove from heat. When the brine solution has cooled, place the turkey into the brine. Cover and refrigerate for 24-36 hours. Because our refrigerator space is limited during the holidays, David uses a styrofoam cooler and adds ice every 6-8 hours to keep the turkey cold.
4-6 sprigs about 2 inches long fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon pepper
1 tablespoons salt
Apple chips (about 2 handfuls)
When ready, remove the turkey from the brine and let drain. Slip the rosemary springs between the skin and meat, placing one or two springs in the cavity of the turkey.
Rub a light coat of olive oil (or bacon fat) over the entire turkey. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Place it on a smoker heated to 300 degrees. Smoke until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, about 3 to 3.5 hours depending on the size of the turkey. Remove from the smoker, wrap tightly in aluminum foil and let rest for an hour before serving.
Anyone a Big Green Egg (BGE) fan? We have been since our friend Sean began smoking pork tenderloins a few decades ago. That husband of mine pined for a smoker, and I saved my pennies to surprise him with one for our 10th wedding anniversary. Best gift I ever gave us! Not only does he enjoy smoking foods, but we all get to reap the benefits! You can learn more about the BGE at their website https://biggreenegg.com/
CookingKetowithKristie.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for website owners to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com, endless.com, smallparts.com, myhabit.com, and any other website that may be affiliated with Amazon Service LLC Associates Program