How To Smoke Your Thanksgiving Turkey

Tired of the same-old Thanksgiving turkey? Smoke this year's bird with our delicious combination of dry-brine and simple marinade.

SHOW TRANSCRIPT

[MUSIC]. I'm going to show you how to do something different with your turkey this holiday season. We're going to dry brine it, we're going to marinate it, and smoke it. We're going to make our dry brine, stir together some brown sugar, little kosher salt, some freshly ground black pepper, super key ingredient is our smoked paprika, and some garlic. We're going to stir these together with a fork, kind of mashing them around [INAUDIBLE]. Breaking up any clumps of that brown sugar. Now I'm gonna sprinkle this all over, kind of rubbing as I sprinkle, covering all surfaces. Really wanna get your bird super coated. It's gonna be a little messy. You gotta get in there, move it around We're gonna reserve two tablespoons of our dry brine, to mix into our marinade. So this looks really good. I'm gonna clean up. We're gonna take our turkey to the refrigerator, where it will stay for 24 hours and we're gonna take it to the smoker. So our turkey has been brining for 24 hours. Almost ready to hit the smoker. Now it's time for us to build our fire. So I'm going to add some coal to our smoker. Once your coal is in your smoker you want to make a little well in the very center. What that's going to do is allow you to pour your hot coals from your chimney directly into that well and it's going to create something called the minion method. Which is a hot coal center, that's gonna burn outward, allowing you a hotter fire, and a longer, slower burning fire. Which is perfect for smoking. So now our next step is to start a hot coal fire in our chimney. First thing you wanna do for that is, take some paper, place it in the bottom, you want to add your charcoal, almost all the way to the top. Now, the best thing about the chimney is it's the most efficient, quickest way to get a white hot coal fire to add to your coal bed in your smoker. It's gonna allow for a longer burning time and a hotter fire. So my fire is lit. Now it's time to place the chimney on a heat proof surface. I like to put mine just right on top of the grill grate on my smoker. Our coals are nice and white hot inside the chimney. Now it's time to add them to our coal bed. And again, we're gonna add those to the center of our well, which is gonna allow them to burn hotter and slower, which is ideal for about a five or six hour smoke period for our turkey. We're gonna close the lid. [BLANK_AUDIO] And begin adjusting the air flow. You want it to be about a pinky width at the top and a pinky width at the bottom. What we're doing is constricting the flow of oxygen. What that's gonna do is allow the temperature of the grill to drop to the perfect 250, 260 degrees which is ideal for smoking our turkey. While the coals are getting hot, we're gonna make an ejection marinade for our turkey. Using a little brown sugar, a little kosher salt, two tablespoons of our preserved dried brine. We're just gonna whisk that together, get it nice and fully incorporated And then we're going to inject our turkey. Now the purpose of injecting this is to give it a lot of moisture and flavor throughout the parts of the bird that may get a little dry, like around the breast and the leg areas. It's important to inject your turkey right before you put it onto the smoker. What that's going to do is allow for a maximum flavor and moisture and juicy-ness throughout the process Our temperature's at a perfect 260 degrees so now it's time to remove the grill grate and add three cups of wood chips. You're gonna immediately put your grill grate back on and your turkey. Let the smoking process begin. Our turkey's been smoking about five and a half hours, I'm pretty sure that it's perfect. We're going to check it out and see. Now what you see here is this deep mahogany color on the turkey. That's exactly what we're looking for. We're gonna test the temperature with a digital thermometer and if it's 160, it is absolutely ready to go. And we are there. We're gonna pull it off. The best way to get it off is you take a pair of tongs and just gently lift around. Our next step is to loosely cover our turkey with aluminum foil while it's resting. This allows to keep a little heat inside there. Surround your turkey with that so as it rests, those juices slow down, get locked into the turkey. It's going to be delicious. For more test kitchen wisdom, go to SouthernLiving.com. [BLANK_AUDIO]
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