Whether it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, or you simply want to impress everyone at the weekend family get together, this smoked turkey recipe is your best way to go! If you have never cooked a turkey on your smoker before, now is the time for the best turkey of your life…
Best Smoked Turkey Recipe For The Holidays
- 1 whole turkey
- 3 oranges (wedged)
- 3 lemons (wedged)
- 3 limes (wedged)
- 4 cups orange juice
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup lime juice
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 cups coarse kosher salt
- 2 tbsp pickling spice (crushed mix of all spice, mustard seed, coriander, cloves, crushed red pepper, bay leaf)
- ¼ cup Italian parsley
- 2 springs fresh rosemary
- 4 cloves crushed garlic
- 3 leaves fresh sage
- 1 whole orange peel
- 1 whole lemon peel
- 1 whole lime peel
- 1 gallon water
Compound Butter Ingredients
- 1½ cups softened unsalted butter
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 1 tbsp lime zest
- kosher salt and fresh ground pepper (to taste)
Start by combining the brine ingredients in a large pot. Bring the mix to a boil, then remove from heat, cover and let it rest for 45 minutes.
Then add ice to the pot until you have 2 gallons of brine. Stir until most or all of the ice has melted.
Place the turkey in a large plastic bag or in a food safe bucket. Pour the brine mixture in it as well. Leave in the fridge for 12 to 24 hours.
Onto the compound butter: Stir the compound butter ingredients in a bowl until the mix looks uniform. Place the mixture on a piece of clear plastic wrap, and form it into a roll. Wrap it in the plastic wrap and refrigerate.
After brining the turkey for a full day, it’s time to cook! Remove the turkey and compound butter from the fridge. While you allow the butter to soften at room temperature, get the turkey out of the brine, rinse it off and pat it dry.
Insert the orange, lemon and lime wedges into the cavity of the turkey. Then using butcher’s string “truss” the bird, or tie the legs together. Rub the turkey’s skin with the compound butter.
Light up your smoker and heat it up to 250°F. Set up the heat deflector and place a drip pan under the main grate.
For the next part of this smoked turkey recipe, place the turkey on your smoker and roast it for 2 hours. Then increase the temperature to 350°F, and baste with more compound butter. Repeat the basting process every hour. If the skin starts darkening, tent the bird with aluminium foil.
The target internal temp is 165°F (breast) and 185°F(thigh) When done, remove the bird from the grill and allow it to rest uncovered for 30 minutes.
Now carve that bird up and Enjoy!
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