I would like to take this opportunity to make sure I thank mnlang for his instructable, "Pulled pork on a Weber Kettle Grill" , which introduced me to the process of smoking and got me hooked to this cooking process.
So without further ado... Let's smoke a bird shall we?
Step 1: The Tools of the Trade
First thing is first... you're going to need a turkey. Now I know what you're saying, "But Bryan... what kind of turkey should I get?" I am not going to tell you exactly what kind of turkey you are going to buy, instead I am going to give you some guidelines. Whether you want to visit your local butcher, pick up a frozen turkey from the super market, or buy one of those really expensive all natural turkeys, these guidelines will help you get the perfect bird for smoking.
• The turkey should be anywhere from 10-14 LBS. The turkey in this instructable was 13.2 LBS. Anything larger than that and you are going to have very long cook times. If you need to provide for a larger number of people consider making more than one turkey.
• The Turkey must be thawed! You are going to need to prep this turkey a day in advance. So make sure you leave yourself enough time to get everything done.
• Make sure your turkey is not flavor injected or pre-brined! This is super important! you are going to be doing enough seasoning and you don't want some factory's prefabricated turkey filler effecting your hard work.
Now onto the Brine... Now if you're new to the whole brining process, don't worry we'll get into more detail later. All you need to know is that you are going to need...
1. A 5 gallon bucket. If you are concerned about poly vinyl chloride, you might want to get a bucket that uses food grade plastic.
2. 1 Half gallon of vegetable broth
3. 1 Half gallon of apple juice. Not from concentrate, don't skimp out on me!
4. 1 Gallon ice cold water
5. 1 TBS Thyme
6. 1 TBS Paprika
7. 1 TBS Rosemary
8. 1 Cup Salt
Now for the smoke ... Here are the items you are going to need to cook the Turkey. I mean, you're going to want to eat it right?
1. A smoker - I use an old fashioned $25 charcoal grill, but if you've got something fancier by all means use it!
3. Charcoal Chimney - This isn't necessary, but I prefer to use it. You can light the charcoal without using any nasty lighter fluid. In the words of the great Hank Hill, "Taste the meat, not the heat."
4. Aluminum lasagna tray - the 99¢ store has these for way cheaper than your grocery store.
5. Wood Chips - I use a half and half mixture of apple wood and hickory
6. Meat thermometer - This is an absolute must. You are going to need to use this to make sure your turkey is done. You definitely don't want salmonella. You can use a regular meat thermometer or a fancy digital one. I have this one that I got at Lowes. It doesn't have the best reviews but I've never had a problem with it.
Alright, so there is the list... I know it seems like a lot but trust me, it's totally worth it. So let's get cooking!