Sunday, November 11, 2007

Holiday Recipe: Brined & Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey

Smoking your holiday turkey is a way to bring some new life and flavor to a favorite family tradition. Brining your bird will ensure that it is both flavorful and juicy upon serving.

1 gal water
1 cup fresh lemon juice

3/4 cup orange juice
1 cup kosher salt
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup chopped yellow onions
2 jalapenos, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon hot sauce (your favorite)

1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano

½ cup Dry Rub or Cajun Seasoning
Vegetable Oil

1 Whole Turkey 12-16 lbs (not larger)


  1. Mix all brine ingredients in a clean pail that will accommodate your turkey and the brine solution. Stir brine until well mixed.
  2. Remove giblets and wash turkey under running cold water.
  3. Place turkey in brine and allow soaking for 12-24 hours.
  4. Preheat smoker to 225 to 250 degrees F (110 to 120 degrees C).
  5. Rinse turkey under cold water, and pat dry. Rub the vegetable oil and Cajun seasoning or your favorite BBQ rub over the outside and cavity of the bird. Place in a disposable roasting pan.
  6. Smoke at 225 to 250 degrees F (110 to 120 degrees C) for 10 hours, or until internal temperature reaches 180 degrees F (80 degrees C) when measured in the thickest part of the thigh. Baste the bird every 1 to 2 hours with the juices from the bottom of the roasting pan.

Note: We recommend apple wood or other sweet fruit woods for smoking turkey as they impart a milder flavor than hickory or mesquite.

It is not suitable to stuff a turkey for smoking. Prepare your favorite stuffing and serve it along side this wonderful bird.

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