Home-Smoked Turkey

Discussion in 'Egg, Chicken, & Other Favorite Recipes' started by Junkmanme, Sep 7, 2009.

  1. Junkmanme

    Junkmanme Songster

    I've been "smokin" turkeys for over 30 years. I prefer turkey cooked this way to any other way I've tasted.

    I began doing this as a result of four things.

    1.) A NEW FRIEND (30+ years ago and still a friend) from Alabama showed me HOW he smoked a turkey and I loved the taste!
    2.) I "used to" enter a LOT of "Turkey Shoots" and usually won a few turkeys at a shoot. They were frozen and went into the freezer at home.
    3.) Around Thanksgiving and Christmas, many Supermarkets "discount" their turkey prices to very "cheap" prices. GREAT for stocking-up the freezer!
    4.) I really LOVE the taste of "smoked turkey" !!!

    I have built a few smokers (hobby/shadetree Welder). The "simplest" I have built is merely a 2 foot-high section of old water-heater tank that fits between the upper and lower sections of an old round Weber-Kettle grill. I welded some "lips" inside it to hold a wire-grill at about midway. (This is to keep the turkey up away from any flame.) The "lips" could be added by just drilling holes and bolting small angle-iron inside (4 "lips")

    My "basic recipe" is very simple:

    1. Get scrap-wood trimmings from trimming trees (preferably Apple Wood, but MOST other woods will work fine....avoid cedar, oak, and a few other "hardwoods" that will give a bitter taste to the turkey.)

    2. Cut the wood into pieces which will easily fit in the Weber-Grill. Soak the wood overnight in a 5-gal. plastic bucket of water (maybe 2 buckets full)

    3. Prepare a "baste". I use a pan that holds about a quart of liquid.
    Ingredients of the "baste" can vary according to your personal preferences. One GOOD baste is 1/3 molasses, 1/3 butter, 1/3 red wine. Use occasionally while the turkey smokes.

    4. Wash your thawed "frozen" turkey after it has defrosted and remove the neck and sweetmeats. Wrap the turkey "loosely" with Aluminum foil that you have poked some holes into.

    5. You should by now have made a fire in your "smoker" with dry wood or charcoal. Add the wet "apple-wood" to the coals.
    Place the turkey on the rack of your smoker AWAY from the flame.
    CLOSE ALL smoke exits or leave very small amount open so that smoke remains in smoker. (The smoke WILL find it's way OUT!)

    6. Time: On average, I figure 1/2 hour "smoking time" for each pound of turkey.
    For instance: a 12 pound turkey will require 6 hours smoking time.

    7. Test for "doneness". Twist a turkey leg slightly. IF it tears loose freely, it is most likely "finished". Use a meat thermometer inserted into the breast to determine proper temperature has been reached. 160 F. is plenty good. (I usually go with 140 F)

    Serve as you would any cooked turkey.

    IF you have any questions, I'll try to answer them. [​IMG]

    -Junkmanme- [​IMG]
    P.S. The "smoked flavor" seems to increase and be more evident after the "leftover" turkey has sat overnight in the refrigerator. Makes GREAT sandwiches with mayo, lettuce and tomato!
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2009

  2. TerriLaChicks

    TerriLaChicks Crowing

    Apr 23, 2008
    Central Louisiana
    Sounds delicious! we smoked 2 chickens yesterday--we like the apple wood too, or pear (had some broken limbs from a pear tree).

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