My First BBQ Smoked Turkey

For years a coworker is using a BBQ smoker to prepare a turkey for Silvester dinner. After hearing him so many times about how excellent this is, time to try this out myself. I cannot wait for the year-end, so I have put a full size turkey into my smoker today 🙂

Turkey after one hour

Turkey after one hour

This is the first time I smoke such a big bird in my smoker, so bear with me 🙂

The Turkey

From my butcher I have a fresh/not frozen Turkey. I wanted to start with a rather small one, this one is ‘only’ 3 kg (6.6 pounds). Still a lot of poulet:

Raw Turkey

Raw Turkey

Dry Brining

There are many recipes on the internet to ‘wet brine’ the bird about 24 hours before putting into the smoker. ‘Wet’ means putting the bird completely into a salty water solution. Other posts say that this is a complete overkill, and ‘dry’ brining will do it as well. So I decided to use the ‘dry’ method and salted it with about 1.5 table spoons of salt:

Salt for Brining

Salt for Brining

Salted the bird, wrapped it in foil and put it into the refrigerator over night:

Wrapped Turkey

Wrapped Turkey

The Wet Rub

For this bird, I’m using a simple wet rub:

  • 1 table-spoon Rudy’s BBQ Rub
  • 1 table-spoon onion power
  • 1 table-spoon garlic powder
  • 2 table-spoon paprika powder
  • Sunflower oil

Mixing everything together, and adding sunflower oil until it is liquid enough:

Wet Rub

Wet Rub

The Gravy

For the gravy I’m using a large pan which then will be put under the bird while smoking it:

  • 330 ml apple juice
  • 2 Liter water
  • 2 onions, skin on, cut into quarters
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into pieces
  • 1 celery, cut into pieces
  • 2-3 dried bay leaves

Everything put into the bowl:

Gravy Preparation

Gravy Preparation

Estimated time: 30-40 minutes per pound, so I’m prepared for about 4.5 hours.

Preparing the Smoker

Pulling out the smoker and preparing the wood:

Preparing the Smoker

Preparing the Smoker

At 12:30 the smoker gets heated up:

Heating up the Smoker

Heating up the Smoker

The gravy bowl gets placed into the smoker so it can warm up too:

Gravy Bowl in Smoker

Gravy Bowl in Smoker

Preparing the Bird

While the fire warms up the smoker, I took the bird out of the fridge. The salt has dissolved over night. First I was thinking to remove the bonding, but then I decided to keep it.

Brined Turkey

Brine Turkey

The bird received the first basting:

First Basting

First Basting

The Smoking

I have placed the bird at 13:30 into the smoker with the breast side up, above the gravy bowl:

Turkey in the Smoker

Turkey in the Smoker

I keep the smoker temperature stable around 225°F-250°F (107°C-, 4-6h until the bird reaches an internal temperature of 170°F (77°C).

After one hour:

After one hour

After one hour

The second basting applied:

Turkey after one hour

Turkey after one hour

After 2 hours, I have foiled the legs:

Turkey Foiled Legs

Turkey Foiled Legs

Here is the bird after 2.5 hours:

Turkey after three hours in the Smoker

Turkey after 2.5 hours in the Smoker

After three hours, the internal temperature reaches 169°F, and it gets basted with melted butter:

Three hours basting

Three hours basting

After 3.5 hours, the bird reached 170°F and we took it out of the smoker. Wrapped into foil and placed it into the oven at 70°C to keep it warm and resting.

Gravy

I did put the gravy into a bowl to simmer it down:

Gravy Cooking

Gravy Cooking

Reduced it to about half of the volume, mixed it, skimmed it and strained it. However, it tasted not that good (too much smoke taste), so we skipped that part 😦

The Turkey

The bird came out great! Because of the foil, the skin could have been a bit more crispy. So we put it back into the oven without the foil for a few minutes at high temperature to dry the skin which worked very well.

Turkey on Plate

Turkey on Plate

The meat was very tender and juicy. For my taste there was a bit too much smoke taste on the skin, probably because I used this time more apple wood than beech wood.

Turkey Slices

Turkey Slices

Other than that, that was a very good bird!

Summary

My first Turkey bird in the smoker definitely was a new experience and a lot of fun! Even with only smoking a rather small bird, that’s a lot of meat. To eat that amount of Turkey in one meal, I would have to double the size of the family (which I’m not planning for 🙂 ). I’m not happy with the gravy, so I do need to do some research how to make that part better. Other than that, I understand now why Thanksgiving with Turkey must be popular in other areas of the world. Regardless: a brisket is already waiting for its schedule into the smoker 🙂

Happy Turkeying 🙂

Links:

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “My First BBQ Smoked Turkey

  1. It’s a matter of taste but, being a native of the southern United States who grew up back when smoking meats was more popular than it is today, there is no such thing as “too much smoke”. When I smoke a chicken I like the skin to be almost black with hickory smoke. Hickory smoke is not bitter so heavy smoking works with it.

    Like

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.