Saturday, December 20, 2008

Smoked Turkey

Sexy huh? Yeah you know you want it. This was super easy too. The hardest parts were watching the grill to make sure we didn't have flare-ups, and waiting for my mom to show up for dinner so we could tear into this bad bird.

This was a two part process. In part one, the day before we brined the turkey in a large pot. I combined 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of salt, 1 head of garlic cut in half, a handfull of black pepper, and several sprigs of fresh tyme in a pot on the stove. Heated that up to combine the flavors, then dumped it in a huge pot that I have follwed by tons of ice to cool it down. Once it was cold, I submerged my whole, washed turkey, breast down (or head first) into the pot and set THAT into a cooler and set the whole shebang outside b/c it's freezing (literally out there). If you don't have a pot that big, you can use your cooler to brine. Just make sure it goes into a cool place (not necessarily freezing, but definitely not like 80 degrees and full sun, you know what I mean?).

That was about 9 p.m. on Wednesday. Around 11 a.m. on Thursday we fired up the grill with equal parts charcoal briquettes (to keep the fire burning) and hickory wood pieces soaked in water for about 10 minutes. The bird came out of the brine, was split in half and went skin side down onto the grill. We closed the top (but kept the air holes open) and if the fire got too hot, added more wet hickory, and if the fire got too cold, opened up the lid and let the fire breathe. We did this for about four hours and then pulled the bird off of the grill and let it sit... and sit... and sit some more unitil Mom showed up and then we got our serious grub on!

The turkey was outstanding. Smokey and delicious. And one thing about smoked meat is that it keeps well for a long time. So there's no shortage of smoked turkey and smoked turkey parts for greens, sandwiches and fritattas in the days to follow.

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