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Cured Smoked Turkey

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
Okay to prepare for this up and coming Thanksgiving I started to Experiment with making a true cured smoked Turkey. I did not find anyone who did this so it is a first time for me.

According to my whole family this was by far the best smoked Turkey they have ever had. This method of smoking a Turkey was even better then the smoked Turkey we used to get from the Hutterite Colonies.

The reviews were great, I was told this was by far the juiciest most flavorful Turkey they have ever had. Even the left over the next day were still juicy.

Here is what I did.

Found a 14lb Turkey with as low of a brine content I could the lowest I could find was 5%.

According to Rytek Kutas the section on smoking Turkey says to use 1lb #1 and 2lb dextrose for the brine. Let soak in brine for 4-5 days.

Also noted in the book if you do not cure 100% you must smoke at 180 or better to make sure you do not get food poisoning so this method should make a safe Turkey for your holiday Turkey. I guess none of us got sick and we almost ate the whole 14lb turkey for supper that night. The dark meat was very cured, it looked and tasted like ham.

So here is my method

Find a 14lb turkey if you do a larger turkey you will need to adjust the tender quick.

The brine is as follows:
1 cup Tender quick (2 Tbs more then on the bag for the lbs of the turkey just to make sure)
1 cup brown sugar
half a handful of old bay just because everything tastes better with old bay.

Mix this all up I find you don't need to heat up the brine to dissolve the tender quick and brown sugar just make sure to stir it up and it all dissolves.

After you have your brine all made up I took that same brine and injected the heck out of the turkey. I just injected till everything looked very swelled up from the brine.

Put everything in a large pot or container and stick it in the fridge for the next 4 days. I want to try out 5 days but it was spur of the moment for a weekend smoke so that is all the time I had. I would assume if you did 5 days it may be even more flavorful.

When you get ready to smoke pull the turkey out and wash it off real good inside and out and let it set out on the counter to dry it off a bit.

In the mean time fire up the smoker to 180 degree's full water pan and a pan full of chips. I used Hickory the first time and have another one in the smoker right now with apple chips. I will post back and let everyone know which one was better later.

After I would say 2-2.5 hours I turned the temp on the smoker up to 225 and finished out the turkey that way till it reached 160 in the breast and thigh.

I did keep smoke on till the turkey reached about 140 then just let it do it's thing.

I also put foil on the wing's and legs half way through the smoke so they didn't turn out dry and over done.

So total time in the smoker was around 7 hours. I have found that even if a piece of meat is tender that low and slow has always resulted in an even tender and juicier result then smoking at 300 degree's.

So let me know if you try this out and what you think, I will try and post some picture's of the turkey tonight after I pull it out of the smoker.
post #2 of 2
Welcome to the SMF .... Your idea of Thankgiving Turkey is one I personally have never heard of, but sounds good. Please keep us informed. Pics are always welcome.
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