Apprenticed Smoker

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Original poster
Nov 10, 2006
Seattle, WA
I grew up with fond memories of my step dad smoking turkey on Thanksgivings. Ive watched plenty of times but never solo'd the job. This will be my first. I plan on practicing on a chicken before the big day. I live in the rainy city of Seattle. The general consensus is that Im an excellent griller and a phenominal chef. Well its time to share the smoked turkey tradition with my family. My wife and her family have never had the pleasure of a smoked turkey. Im about to introduce them to it. Hopefully things will go as well as I remember when I was growing up. If anyone has any tips of the trade, Id love to hear em. Thanks for the forums and I hope all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

i have been reading up on this topic here a lot the last week or so and here is what i have come up with. brining is good over night, then rub it down in and out, smoke at 200-230 then cover with olive oil and smoke at 250 till the oil burns off to crisp the skin. wrap in foil and let sit an hour, then serve.

im gathering it needs to smoke for a while like 5-7 hours depending on the size of the bird. i have a digital meat therm that tells me when my food is cooked, but with the brining it will not allow it to go dry from what i have read.

good luck and my personal advice is, do a test one this week to work out the bugs before the big day.
Welcome to SMF. It takes me 4 hours to do a 4 lb chicken. Sometimes I'll split the bird in the middle of the breast and cut on both sides of the back bone and take it out. It speeds up cook times for a chicken, so it should work for a turkey. Though I've never tried it.
Welcome John, glad to have you here. Good luck carrying on the tradition, hope all goes well. Let us know how the test run goes.
Good luck on the tradition. I understand where you are coming from. As a youngster, I used to follow my Dad around doing barbecues for churches, plolitical gathering etc. up in eastern N.C. My job was to mostly haul the wood (almost always hickory) and try to stay out of the way. I wish I had paid a lot more attention to the actual barbecuing process. I am still trying to duplicate his recipe for the sauce. I can get pretty close to the meat but the perfect venigar based sauce still eludes me. Anyway, just a personal note to encourage you to practice the old recipes and pass them on down. You'll have a load of fun and hopefully some mighty fine eats too.
Welcome to SMF, John-boy. Nothing like passing on family traditions. My dad taught me the basics of cooking and I in turn have taught (or tried to anyway) my kids to cook. It just tickles me when one of my kids calls me and wants Grandpa's chicken recipe or my recipe for dutch oven potatoes. I know the tradition of good cooking will be passed on to my grandkids. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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