Here are my GoTo Recipes...JJ
Controlling the salt in brine is important. I have used many different formulations and found my salt sensitive family will tolerate a brine with no more than 1/2C Kosher Salt or 1/4C Table or Fine Sea Salt per Gallon of water in my brine. I have used the one below for over twenty years at home and in several Restaurants and have never gotten a Salty Turkey complaint. As far as salty skin goes, a rinse or 15 minute soak in fresh water helps....AND...Please don't use ANY Commercially made Rub on that Turkey! They are loaded with Salt and are the #1 reason people complain their Brined Turkey and Skin are too Salty. Make your own Rub and leave the Salt out.
If your Smoker will not get up to 325*F you will never get crispy skin on a smoked bird of any kind...This is not the end of the wonderful world of Crispy Turkey Skin! All you need to do is make sure you give the bird a 12-24 hour rest on a rack over a drip pan in the Refer for the skin to dry. The Drying time will give a Crispier Skin and better Color, it's a good idea. If you are in a hurry, 60 minutes in front of a Fan will help get it done but you should smoke at the 325 temp or for guys that can't get their smoker that high the bird should be no bigger than 14Lb.
In general the Breast will hit 165*F and the Thighs will be 175*F about the same time, specially if you don't Truss or tie the Legs together.Next Smoke the Turkey at whatever temp below 300*F your smoker will do. When the Internal Temp of the Turkey hits 150*F place the bird in a Pre-heated 425*F oven until the final IT of 165*F is hit and give the bird a rest on the counter, No Foil, while you finish making Gravy, etc. Yes this is an extra step and you need to time things so all the sides are out of the oven but this is a lot better than giving up the best part of any bird...Nice Brown Crispy Skin!
Families Favorite Brine
1/2C Kosher Salt
2T Gran. Garlic
2T Gran. Onion
2T Dry Thyme
2T Black Pepper
1C Vinegar (Any)
1-1/2 Gal Cold Water to cover Chix
1/2C Brown Sugar, Optional
1T Red Pepper Flake Optional
Starting two days out...
Mix well and Soak the Bird over night or up to 24 Hours.
Remove the Chix, rinse if desired and pat dry with paper towels.
Place in an open container in the refrigerator overnight or up to 24 hours for the Skin to dry.
This will give a crispier skin when Smokng or Roasting...
Bubba Chix Rub
1/2C Raw Sugar
2T Paprika (I use Smoked if I'm just Grilling)
1T Gran. Garlic
1T Gran. Onion
1tsp Black Pepper
1tsp Wht Pepper
1tsp Bell's Poultry Seasoning or Thyme
Mix well and rub on Oil or Butter coated Chicken.
Reduce Cayenne to 1teaspoon if less heat is desired.
You can also mix the rub with Bacon Grease or Butter and rub it on and under the skin...
1- Lg Onion,
3-4 Ribs Celery
3-4 Peeled Cloves of Garlic
Toss them in a pan under the Turkey, and let the whole deal Smoke for one hour,
THEN add 4-6 Cups Chicken Broth,
1/2tsp Dry Thyme (4-5 sprigs Fresh)
1/2tsp Dry Sage (2 sprigs Fresh)
1-2 ea Bayleaf
Finish the Smoking process to the IT you want.
While the Turkey is resting, dump the pan juices, veggies and all into a 2-3Qt Sauce pot and bring the Jus to a boil, lower the heat and simmer 20-30 minutes. Strain out the veggies and let the Jus rest a minute or so for the Fat to rise. Skim off the bulk of the fat then using strips of paper towel laid on top of the Jus then quickly removed, take off the last little bit of fat.Bring the Jus back to a simmer. Mix 2T Flour and 4T Chicken Broth for each Cup of defatted Jus. Whisk together to make a Slurry with no lumps, add a little additional Broth if needed. Whisk the Slurry into the simmering Jus, bring back to a simmer and cook 5-10 minutes to cook out the flour taste and fully thicken the Gravy. Adjust the seasoning with Salt and Pepper and serve.
The purpose of Smoking the Vegetable for 1 hour before adding the Broth and Herbs is...The Smoked vegetables Roast in the Dry heat concentrating their Flavors and Sweetness giving the finished Jus a Richer, Deeper, Full Flavor.
Serve the sliced Turkey with plenty of Gravy and Enjoy...
Some additional reading...http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/a/the-temperature-danger-zone-and-smoking-turkeys-over-14-pounds