First Turkey for Christmas (QView)

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Original poster
Jun 3, 2010
Thanks to the help of several threads here, I successfully pulled off my first turkey in the smoker.  There's definitely some things I want to do different next time, but this time went complaints during Christmas dinner at least.

I got your standard 12 pound 6-8% solution turkey at the grocery store, so no premium meat here or anything.  I brined it in a basic apple juice, kosher salt, and water solution for around 20 hours in the fridge.  Then I rinsed it and let it sit for another 12+ hours in the fridge uncovered.  I pulled it out around noon on Christmas day and separated the skin and lightly coated it inside the skin and out with an olive oil and rosemary/garlic off the shelf spice.  I loaded the inside up with pineapple, apples, onions and celery.  Then I tied it up and put it on the smoker.  I kept the smoker going pretty hot the whole time...between 280-300.  All I had on hand was oak wood, so that's what it got smoked in.  I took it off when it was around 155 inside the breast and let it rest while covered in foil.  It rested for about 20 minutes and then we sliced it up.

Anyway, it turned out fine, but this is what I will change next time:

1 - I will separate the skin before the brine process and I will get a little more adventurous with the brine solution

2 - I'd like to smoke it with apple or pecan wood next time

3 - I think I will let it smoke a little longer, and maybe a little slower

Here's a before and two after pics:




Now your bird looks pretty good to me but I'm in Fla. I like the color and nextime I might not stuff it with anything I guess I like to run my birds unstuffed. It can hold some of the juices and sometimes that not good.
I just wanted to add that you really should not smoke a bird that is stuffed.  I am not trying to criticize, it is a safety issue.  It can take too long to get above 140 degrees.  And even if the bird does get "done" the stuffing typically is not and now it has absorbed a lot of turkey blood which can lead to salmonella.
Those are good points.  Thanks.  No one actually ate the "stuffing", as it was mainly there for the bird, so I think we were ok there.  

It's definitely something else I can do different next time. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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