Thanksgiving Smoked Turkey


We had Thanksgiving for my family at our house this year. The dinner consisted of smoked turkey, zucchini casserole, cranberry sauce, garlic mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, rolls, and both pumpkin and apple pies for dessert. The turkey got smoked and was delicious.

Prior to smoking the bird soaked overnight in a brine made of salt, unfiltered cider, sugar, pepper, thyme and sage. I used one of the Ziploc big bags to soak the turkey, the next to largest size will hold up to 10 gallons of liquid and they’re just as food safe as a normal Ziploc bag.

The turkey went on the smoker around 10:15 and smoked at 350° until about 1:30 when it reached proper temperatures in the breast and the thigh. You can see the steam tray pan beneath the bird used to catch drippings for gravy. The rub is my standard rub (see the pulled pork post) with reduced salt and extra chile powder.

We pulled the turkey from the smoker, let it rest wrapped loosely in foil for 30 minutes then sliced. It came out with a great color and the skin was nice and crispy. We usually don’t eat the skin, but the bits I tasted while slicing were great.

The final platter with most of the dark meat and one of the breasts sliced. The turkey was smoked mostly over apple wood, but I tossed in a few small pieces of cherry. Both were apparent in the finished meat. It was very good with the hint of cherry smoke.