Thanksgiving is over and all of Tom the Turkey is eaten, but this year Tom didn't come from the store rotisserie but from owr newly found talent, smoking. Smoking to cook of course. It's actualy very simple all you need is a smoker and ingredients that almost any kitchen should have. This consits of two parts the brine and the turkey. A brine is a salt solution used to cure meats.
The ingredients for one gallon of brine are:
1-2 cups of salt
1 gallon of water
32 oz of apple juice
2 cups of brown sugar
1 tbsp whole pepper corns
3 bay leaves
16 oz of pure honey
Anything you add to brine will influence the taste of the turkey.
Step 1: Making the Brine
You need to make enough brine to cover the entire turkey. To make the brine get a pot big enough to hold entire turkey with brine, place one gallon of water in pot and add one cup of salt. Mix until salt is dissolved completely then place whole uncracked uncooked egg in solution (this is just to test and will be removed). If egg floats add salt until the egg floats. Make sure to keep up with the amount of salt added and if one gallon of brine does not completely cover turkey then repeat until turkey is covered.
After you are sure turkey is covered remove turkey and add all oter ingredients mixing well. Replace turkey in pot and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours (the longer the better).
Step 2: Smoking the Turkey
Prepare smoker to temparature of 225-245 and maintain. At desired temp place turkey in smoker. To keep turkey moist place metal bowl filled with water in fire box with coals, the steam will permeate turkey and let more smoke in and also keep it moist. An 18 pound turkey will take more than 5 hours to smoke. Use meat thermometer to test for if it's done this is very Important, the tempature must reach 160 degrees F. Due to smoking prosses the chemical composition of the meat changes and you do not have to cook to the 180 degrees common in conventional ovens.
When tempature reaches 155 degrees remove turkey cover with foil. The last 5 degrees will be made up while turkey sits as turkey will still cook until it is cool enough to eat. Very Important let turkey rest for at least 30 min.
Meat will have a pinkish-red hue and a black skin no matter how it looks after this it is going to be good. I will garantee that if you do this exactly as I say then this will be the best turkey you have had.
Participated in the
CHOW Thanksgiving Recipes Contest