Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe
Mike recently bought a smoker, wanting to smoke a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. We decided to do a trial run before the big day to ensure we knew what the heck we were doing! We certainly didn’t want to disappoint 20+ people who will be coming for Thanksgiving dinner. I’m happy to report that our trial run was a huge success so we’d like to share our smoked Thanksgiving turkey recipe.
Ingredients for the brine:
-3 quarts of apple juice – whatever brand you prefer
-1.5 pounds of brown sugar – we used a mix of light and dark
-1.5 cups of coarse Kosher salt
-4 oranges, peeled and quartered
-4 apples, cored and sliced
-6 ounces of thinly sliced fresh ginger
-20 whole cloves
-5 bay leaves
-1 clove of garlic, peeled and smashed
-cooler or other container with a lid to place turkey in while brining – We used a disposable foam cooler
Other required ingredients:
-15-20 pound turkey, completely thawed
-vegetable oil – or your preferred oil
– 3 quarts of water
-apple wood chips
Directions for the brine:
1. Add the apple juice to a large saucepan and bring to a boil on high heat.
2. Add the brown sugar and salt and stir until completely dissolved.
3. Remove the sauce pan from the heat and then skim as much of the foam off of the top of the mixture and discard it.
4. Let the brine mixture cool to room temperature.
5. Place the plastic brining inside the cooler and add 3 quarts of water.
6. Add in the oranges, apples and spices.
7. Pour the room temperature bring mixture in.
Preparing and Smoking the Turkey:
1. Remove the pouch of giblets and neck from your turkey’s cavity.
2. Rinse your turkey, inside and out, in your kitchen sink and shake the excess water from it.
3. Add the turkey to the brine for 24 hours and place brining cooler in a refrigerator. Be sure the turkey is completely covered by the brine.
4. After 24 hours, remove the turkey from the brine and pat dry.
5. Coat the turkey generously with the creole seasoning
6. Smoke your turkey at 230°F for about 30 minutes per pound until the breasts reach and internal temperature of 165°F, using apple wood chips in your smoker.
7. Once fully cooked, let the turkey rest for 15 -20 minutes.
8. Carve the turkey, serve and enjoy!
This turkey was the perfect smokey flavor and was very moist.