While some love oven cooked and others enjoy a Fried Turkey I have to say the best Turkey for me is Smoked!
15 pound turkey defrosted
4 cups water
4 cups apple juice
1 1/2 cups kosher salt or 1 cup table salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon black peppercorns
1 Tablespoon candied ginger
10 cloves2 sprigs each rosemary, sage, and thyme
After Brine is cooked
cups ice cubes
4 cups apple juice
1 large apple quartered1 yellow onion quartered
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 Tablespoon coarse sea salt
2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
2 teaspoons smoked paprika (hot or mild, whichever you prefer)
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2-3 Tablespoons olive oil or melted butter
4 cups water to start, more to refill"
- Preheat whatever type of grill you are using for indirect smoking at 225 degrees F. If you're using gas, turn on half of the burners to medium-low and leave the other half off. If you are using charcoal, preheat your coals until just ashed over, dump them on one far side of your grill, and set the vents to about 25% open. If you are using a dedicated smoker, preheat your grill to 225 degrees F. Add the wood chunks or chips, if needed, to achieve a thin blue smoke.
- Remove your defrosted turkey from the packaging. Remove the neck and giblets from the inside cavity of the bird. If your turkey has been brined, carefully rinse the exterior of the turkey with cold water. Pat the turkey down on all sides with a paper towel. Tie the legs together with butcher's twine and tuck the wing tips behind the shoulder joint.
- Coat the exterior of the bird with olive oil or melted butter and then season on all sides with the Sweet Rub.
- At 225 degrees F, you can plan on approximately 30 minutes per pound for your turkey to smoke. For example, this 15 pound turkey will take 7 and 1/2 hours at 225 degrees F. I always plan an extra 30 minutes, just in case.
- Use an instant read thermometer to check the temperature of the turkey in the breast and thigh. Make sure you test both sides of the bird, ESPECIALLY if you are smoking on a gas or charcoal grill where the temperatures of your grill may have been higher on one side than the other. You will be going off of the lowest reading you get from each side of the turkey. Once all temperatures are above 165 degrees F, it is time to remove the smoked turkey to a large platter or cutting board.
- Allow the turkey to rest for about 15 minutes before slicing and serving. If your turkey is done a little early, cover the turkey with foil and wrap with towels to insulate and keep the heat at a safe serving temperature.