Thanksgiving–The Turkey

Thanksgiving_24Nov11_DSCF0941Thanksgiving was a very busy time this year.  Preparations began on the 23rd, with cleaning and a bit of cooking.  Menu for this year was smoked turkey, bread, corn bread, mashed potatoes with turkey gravy (from the smoked turkey!), corn, roast vegetables, green bean casserole, pecan pie, eggless-milkless-butterless cake, and home made butter pecan ice cream.  Too much food, but that is normal.

The 22.5 pound natural turkey was brined for 18 hours in a salt, water, maple syrup, lemon, and pepper brine.  I took the turkey out of the brine at 3:00 AM and preheated the smoker for a 5:00 AM start time.  I did rub a bit of olive oil on the turkey and dusted with a spice mixture.  Turkey went in, power went out.  The 12 hour smoke plan was extended by an hour, and the bird was ready with an internal temperature at 165 F at 6:00 PM, and hour late, but thankfully done.  As usually with my smoked turkeys, even the breast meat was very moist and tender.  It takes a long time to do a smoked bird, but if you like moist and tender poultry, you need to brine and smoke.

The progression of the turkey:


Next post – the Bread

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