Thanksgiving Smoked Turkey - Part 6 of Smoking & Curing Foods with Smoke Daddy - How to Smoke a Turkey.
Recipe type: Smoking / Turkey / Poultry
Hi and welcome to part 6 of our series on smoking and curing foods. With Canadian Thanksgiving on Monday and in just over a month in the US, today's episode covers curing a smoking a delicious Thanksgiving turkey.
- 1 x 5-6lb Turkey (2.5kg - 2.8kg)
For the Curing Brine
- 5lt Water
- 15g Saltpetre
- 100g Sugar
- 200g Salt
- 30ml Black peppercorns
- 30ml Whole allspice
- 10ml Ground ginger
- 25ml Bicarbonate of soda
For the Basting / Mop
- 100ml Honey
- 40ml Lemon Juice
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 10ml Lemon pepper
- 15ml Garlic powder
- 5ml Cayenne pepper
- Smoked salt
- For the curing brine combine the saltpetre, sugar, salt, black peppercorns, whole allspice, ginger and bicarbonate of soda and pour these into a pot along with 5 liters of water.
- Bring the pot to a boil, reduce the heat and allow this to simmer for 30 minutes. Quick chill the pot by floating it in cold water in your sink.
- To prepare the turkey, trim away any excess skin and fat from the neck and butt. Removing the tail is a matter of personal preference.
- Use a sharp knife to cut through the skin and flesh along the breast bone. Cut through the breast bone with your kitchen shears.
- Open up the bird, flip it over and dislocate the pelvis with a sharp downward thrust. This allows the bird to lie flat. Removing the wing tips is also a matter of personal preference, however I do recommend this.
- Transfer the turkey skin side up to a large food-safe non-reactive container. Pour the cooled brine into the container.
- Place a weight on top of the turkey to keep it fully submerged in the solution.
- Place the container in your refrigerator and allow it to cure for 48 hours.
- After curing, you will need to make the basting. Combine the lemon juice and honey. Take the lemon pepper, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and lemon zest and add these to the honey and lemon juice. Mix these until totally combined.
- You will also need smoked salt to grind over the turkey once it has been basted.
- Remove the turkey from the curing brine and pat both sides dry using kitchen paper.
- Brush the underside liberally with the basting, flip the bird over and repeat this with skin side, before giving the skin a generous grind of smoked salt.
- Place a rack at an angle across a pan and transfer the turkey to the rack.
- Get your smoker running and heat the barbecue to 250f or 135c. I am using the Smoke Daddy cold smoke generator which allows for perfect cold or hot smoking in any closed barbecue. If you are using another brand of smoker, follow the manufacturer's instructions.
- Place the turkey in the barbecue and allow this to smoke for 40 minutes per pound. For my turkey weighing in at about 5 pounds this will take 3 hours 20 minutes. Baste the bird every half hour with melted butter to prevent the skin from drying out.
- Towards the end point, check the internal temperature with a probe thermometer. When the internal temperature reaches 170f or 77c in the thichest part of the meat, the turkey is ready to serve.
- And there you have it, a beautifully fragrant, tasty and succulently tender smoked turkey flavored with garlic, lemon and a hint of chilli.