Hey all, I had an early Thanksgiving yesterday, thought I'd share. Japan stubbornly refuses to celebrate US holidays, so I had to get things put together when the inlaws and friends could make it, so Thanksgiving came on November 11th this year.
This was my first ever smoked turkey, as well as my second ever charcoal (vs electric) fired smoke, and my second time to use my ECB. With all that in mind, I decided to do two turkeys. The first one I did in the oven, figuring that I knew how to do that, and if the smoking didn't work, the guests wouldn't go turkey-less.
However, this isn't oven-roastingmeatforums, is it? The second turkey was a tiny little bird, 2 kilos, or just short of 4.5 lbs. I used a bourbon brine with it that I found on google, left it in the brine for about 8 hours or so, then overnight uncovered in the fridge to dry. I then covered it in a mixture of butter and Almighty Spice from the Meat Guy here in Japan. Almighty Spice is a mixture of the lighter spices such as sage, rosemary, and a bunch of other stuff that I'm too lazy to look up. It goes well with white meats like pork and poultry anyway.
As for the smoke, well. I smoked a chicken in the ECB a few weeks ago as a test, and had some trouble getting the smoke going. I'm using blocks of compressed sawdust sold for smoking, called "Smoke Wood." The problem I had was that I first tried to put them on the lower grill (above the water pan), but found that there's no oxygen up there after passing the fire. Then I tried to move them into the fire pan, but with all the charcoal to one side and the smoke wood block to the other, but they tended to flame up. I finally ended up balancing the block on the edge of the fire pan, near the door, with all the charcoal shoved to the other side, but they still burned off pretty quickly.
Clearly, it was time to go high-tech.
So I cut the top off a 16 ounce (well, 500ml, but you get the picture) adult beverage can and poked some holes around the bottom for airflow. Then I used my blowtorch to burn off the paint on the outside and the plastic lining on the inside.
Light that little block of sawdust up with a blowtorch and tuck it into the can:
Then put the can underneath the smoker. (I used two this time, actually). Heat rises, the smoke gets pulled into the smoker by the draft of the fire:
to be continued....