Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey!

I hope everybody had a good Thanksgiving weekend. We got a lot of stuff done around the house since I had a four day weekend. Thursday, we went over to Stacy's parents house and had Thanksgiving lunch. It was a nice time of good food and family. Saturday, we made our own Thanksgiving dinner. I smoked a turkey breast and made the green bean casserole. We also turned homemade bread into stuffing and put a  streusel topping on yams whipped with brown sugar and cinnamon. For rolls we broke refrigerated biscuit dough up into pieces, dipped them in garlic butter and layered it in the Pampered Chef Fluted stoneware pan. The pan is like a Bundt pan. The biscuits become pull apart rolls when cooked. For dessert we had homemade pumpkin pie.
 I started prepping the turkey Friday night. I started out by rinsing and patting dry the turkey breast. Next, I rubbed salt in the cavity, under the skin and on the skin. After the salt, I rubbed it with a mixture of pepper and Herbs De Province. It was in a foil pan and I covered it with plastic wrap and foil and put it back in the fridge. Saturday afternoon before I lit the grill, I took the turkey out of the fridge. I mixed Kingsford Original charcoal with about 10 briquettes of Kingsford Mesquite charcoal in my chimney starter and lit it. I also put a few unlit coals on either side of my grill and put my grate in the middle. I got a little distracted by another project we were working on and by the time I checked my coals in the chimney starter they were very white and ashy. I dumped them on the unlit coals on either side of the grill and put my smoker box with apple wood on one side and a handful of chips on the other. I closed the lid for a couple minutes and got the turkey ready.
To get the turkey ready, I removed the plastic wrap and put a whole stick of butter on top of the turkey and put the foil back on. To the foil, I poked a few vent holes in the top. I put the whole thing in between the two piles of coals and inserted a thermometer probe in one side of the turkey. I closed the lid and adjusted my grill vents to maintain about a 250 degree temperature. After about 2 and a half hours the turkey temp was about 148 and the grill temp was about 200 degrees. It was getting close to eating time so I fired up the propane side of my grill and let it heat up. It was 10 degrees outside and I didn't want to add more charcoal. Once the propane side was heated up, I turned off the center burner and moved the turkey to the propane side over the unlit burner. I also turned down the temp to medium low on the other two burners. I was able to maintain about 350 degrees on the grill. I grilled it for another 20 minutes to half an hour until the internal temperature of the turkey reached 160. I took it off the grill and we started eating the sides while the turkey rested for 20 minutes.
Everything tasted awesome. When we finally cut the turkey it was worth the wait. It was the juiciest most flavorful turkey I ever had. There was a nice smoky and herb taste to it. There was beautiful smoke ring to it. The skin wasn't crispy, but we don't eat the skin. About the only thing I might do differently is rub the skin with a little oil before seasoning to possibly crisp it up and start it smoking earlier. Overall it all was a big success.

MMM, Turkey, Turkey!
This weekend I am going to smoke a pork roast and make pulled pork. I hope everybody has a good rest of their week. Until next time, happy grillin'.

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