Since Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching, we have decided to dedicate November’s blogs to cooking turkey in the most nontraditional ways. So don’t even bother warming up your stove, check in each week to see the different ways to enjoy your turkey this Thanksgiving! Why not add some new flavors to your holiday this year?
Have you tasted smoked turkey before? Last year was my first time having it and I must say – I am counting down the days to have it again this year. I typically don’t enjoy turkey, but smoked turkey has definitely changed my taste buds and I’m encouraging you to try this at least once in your life! Danver offers a Saffire Smoker Grill that is perfect for turkey smoking! You’ll definitely want to include this in your outdoor kitchen layout since the list of things to smoke are endless.
Now – back to the turkey! Smoked turkey guarantees a flavor unlike any other. There are so many ways to flavor your turkey before you start the cooking process, so do some research to find a recipe that excites your taste buds**. After you’ve finished your seasoning process, make sure the turkey is at room temperature and the smoker is between 275-300°F degrees before going in the smoker. Setting the smoker at that high of temperature allows the skin to be crispy rather than rubbery. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions for preparing the smoker, as some have different requirements than others. Place the turkey on a cooking rack and cook for 8 to 12 hours, or until the inner thigh temperature reaches 180°F – checking the temperature after 3½ hours*. The turkey must pass through a critical range of 40°F – 140°F in 4 hours or less. Cover the turkey and let stand for 20 minutes before carving.
Here are some great tips I found on this great How To site for making the perfect smoked turkey:
- You can baste your turkey with apple juice every few hours to give it more flavor and to keep it moist, if you have the extra time.
- Check the coals and bird after 2 hours. If it looks dark, give it a spray and check again after 30 minutes.
- Keep a good smoke the entire duration of smoking
- Start checking the internal temperature after 1 ½ hours and tent the bird if its becoming darker than you want it
- Remove the turkey once you get it to the proper internal temp and allow it to rest before carving. If you don’t let it rest, all of the juice will run out when you start carving resulting in a dry turkey.
Although this seems like a lengthy process to just make a turkey, I promise, it’ll be worth it! If you decide to give this a shot, I’d love to hear about the results.
Happy almost Thanksgiving, and happy smoking!
*If the internal temperature is low when checking it at the 3½-hour mark, take the turkey off the smoker and finish it in the oven.
**Here are some different ways to brine and prepare your turkey before the smoking process begins: