Thanksgiving time is here again, and that means we all think about that one main course…Turkey! Here at McIntosh Box & Pallet, we make pallets and crates, and that means we always have a pile of scrap wood. If we are crafty enough to “peck” around in that scrap wood pile, we can find some special wood that adds just the right smokey flavor to most meals, and on Thanksgiving, we will use Apple Wood! For those of you who have never had smoked turkey it can be far more flavorful and juicy compared to traditional roasted turkey. In preparation for the holiday, here’s a recipe for smoked turkey using Apple Wood. Enjoy!
One turkey, about 10-12lbs.
Optional but recommended: Brine the turkey in a large pot for 12-24 hours before cooking, store in the refrigerator, discard brine before cooking.
- 2 gallons cold water
- 1 cup salt
- 2 tablespoons of black pepper
- 4 bay leaves
- 4- 5 cloves of garlic
- Rosemary sprigs
Optional: Rub butter underneath the skin of the turkey, use your finger to remove the skin from the meat, be careful not to rip the skin. For additional flavor,Inject the meat with butter or a flavored butter to add additional flavor, and keeping meat moist during cooking.
First: rub olive oil or butter on the skin of the turkey
Rub: Equal parts salt and pepper enough to coat the turkey. Using garlic powder and paprika adds more flavor, we highly recommend it.
- Charcoal Briquettes
- Apple Wood Chunks
- Charcoal Starter
- Meat Thermometer
- Aluminum pan to collect juices for gravy
Depending on what type of smoker or maybe even a modified Weber grill, the fuel source and amounts will vary. In smokers such as the Weber Smokey Mountain we recommend lighting a full charcoal starter of charcoal. Lighting additional coals lit before going into the smoker will allow you to reach the desired temperature of 300- 350 degrees.
Typically with the use of dampers open or closed will control the temperature in the smoker. Open dampers allows more air and will increase the temperature. Closed dampers will decrease the temperature.
In the aluminum pan, line the bottom with:
- Chopped carrots
- 1 cup of chicken stock
Place the turkey on top of the vegetables or if you have a roasting rack that can fit in the pan.
Cook at 350 degrees
Once internal temperature of the turkey reaches 165 remove from the smoker, allow at least a half hour rest before slicing
Reserving the pan drippings, strain the drippings to remove any solid pieces into a separate bowl. Allow the fat to separate and sit on top. Skim off the fat (reserve some for skillet). Heat a skillet over medium high heat; add a few tablespoons of reserved fat, and then the pan drippings, bringing to a boil to reduce.
Mix a cup of water with a cup of corn starch to make slurry. Mix the slurry little by little to the pan drippings until the consistency of the gravy is to your liking.