How To Smoke A Turkey - Easy and Delicious

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Easy Peasy How To Smoke A Turkey

Smoking a turkey is one of our favorite ways to prepare poultry. 

Smoked turkey is more flavorful and is much more tender than oven roasting.

What you'll need:

  • turkey
  • smoker
  • thermometer
  • chips (we use hickory or mesquite)

For the smoker you can use a kettle style grill if you are familiar with low temperature cooking in it. We do turkey often this way, because it's so easy. However, most people don't do turkeys very often so even if you are a master of smoked brisket or low n' slow barbecue ribs you should pay particular attention to what you are doing. Nothing can take the place of experience. Be careful not to over smoke a turkey, especially if you are doing a long smoke. Smoked turkey has a different color and texture than oven roasted turkey. The meat may appear pink and have a smoother texture. This is normal. The smoking process causes a chemical change in turkey that causes this color change. As long as the turkey registers a temperature of 165 degrees F. it is safe to eat no matter the color.

Step one: The turkey needs to be completely thawed. Remove all the stuff inside and trim off any excess skin. Remove any pop up timer devices, wash in cold water and pat completely dry. We inject our turkeys with a marinade and continue to "sop" our turkey as need be. 

*Marinade recipes can be found here

Step two: Prepare your smoker. You will want to build a fire to hold a steady temperature right around 230 degrees F. Since most smokers start hot and cool down as the fire settles into a good smoke that you plan on putting the turkey in at about 250 degree F and let the smoker drop down to the cooking temperature.

Step three: Put the turkey in the smoker breast side up. Use a roasting pan or heavy foil to help reduce any mess or just set it on the rack.

Step four: Calculating 30 minutes per pound at about 230 degrees F, determine the approximate time that the turkey could be ready at the earliest. This is when you want to start testing for doneness. Using a good meat thermometer to test the internal temperature turkey in two different places, leaving the thermometer in long enough to get a good reading. Remember, don't test too close to bone. When you have two reading about 165 degrees F. then you can take the turkey out.

Step five: Let the turkey rest for about 15 minutes and carve. Giving the turkey a rest will allow the meat to relax, the juices to flow and the temperature to come up a little and even out. This is one of the secrets to a great bird. Don't rush to carve or your turkey will be dry.

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