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Smoked Turkey

This is one turkey that is worth the nap it will force upon you!

Smoking a turkey is not difficult as long as you know a couple of little tricks.

Food safety is very important when handling poultry (as it is with any meat).


You want your bird to spend as little time as possible in the temperature "red-zone", the area between 40 and 160 degrees. For that reason, hold back on buying the 18 or 20 pound turkey. If you need that much bird, just buy two smaller ones.


Start with a self-basting turkey around 11-15 pounds.


Thaw the turkey according to the package instructions.
Remove all the innards they put in that little pouch inside the body cavity.
Trim away any extra skin flaps or fat (usualy some around the tail area).
Rinse the turkey inside and out and pat dry with paper towels.

Next part is optional, but it works great for me!
Make a couple of small slices on the top of each breast and the top of each thigh.

Put butter (or herb butter) inside the cuts between the meat and the skin. This will help keep the turkey moist.
Rub a light coating of vegetable oil (or butter) all over the outside of the turkey, and season with your favorite rub.
I usually use a spinoff of the Wild Willy's Wonderful Rub with a few extra added spices. (My secret).


Time to put your turkey on the smoker.
If you are like me and use a Weber Smokey Mountain or similar water smoker, you will not be adding water to your water pan.
Foil your water pan to collect any drippings you wish to use for gravy.
Bring your smoker up to temperature, around 300 degrees.
Put the Turkey on the smoker and open all the bottom vents. Leave the top vents wide open.
Your smoker, if like mine, will likely climb to around 300 to 325. Perfectly fine for this cook.


How to Smoke a Turkey

This pic is after about an hour on the smoker.


Rotate the turkey halfway through the cooking time for even cooking if necessary.

At this point, I usually lay some foil over the breasts to keep them from drying out. It isn't necessary, but I've never had a bad turkey!


Cook the turkey until it's done. Cooking time will likely be around 3 hours.
Breast temperatures should be 160-165°
Thigh temperatures should be 170-175°


Remove the turkey from the smoker and let rest for for 20 to 30 minutes.
You should not put foil over it during the rest period, as this will make the skin soggy instead of the desired crispy skin.


How to Smoke a Turkey, BBQ Turkey


Enjoy your fantastic Turkey!





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