Smoked Turkey

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This recipe requires a Brinkmann-style water pan cooker. Brining the turkey overnight is an optional step, but if you have time and space, it adds flavor to the finished product.

YIELD 8–10 servings
ZEST FACTOR Mild
PREP TIME Overnight
COOK TIME 12 hours

For the turkey:
kosher salt, as needed
brown sugar, as needed
1 (14- to 18-pound) fresh or frozen and thawed turkey
olive oil
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons poultry seasoning
2 oranges, halved
2 lemons, halved

For the spray:
½ cup apple juice, plus extra for smoker
½ cup olive oil
½ cup water
½ cup cola

1. Brine the turkey: Place the turkey in a large plastic bag. Combine 1⁄2 cup kosher salt and 1 cup brown sugar per quart of water, making enough brine to cover the turkey, and place in the refrigerator overnight.
2. Prepare the turkey: Remove the turkey from the brine and dry with paper towels. Combine the garlic powder, pepper, salt, paprika and poultry seasoning in a bowl. Rub the turkey with olive oil and work the seasoning mixture all over the oiled turkey, and wrap each leg in aluminum foil. Place the oranges and lemons inside the turkey.
3. Prepare the smoker: Place a 10 pound bag of charcoal (not the self-lighting variety) in the fire pan. Using an electric starter or starter chips, light the charcoal. When the flames die out, add 2 cups soaked hickory and/or mesquite chunks on top of the charcoal. Fill the water pan to the top with water or apple juice.
4. Cook the turkey: Place the turkey inside the smoker on the top grill and close the lid. You do not need to open the lid or side door or add water or chips until the turkey is almost finished 10 hours later.
5. After 10 hours, open the door and remove the turkey. Combine the spray ingredients in a spray bottle, and spray the bird all over. Wrap the turkey in clear plastic wrap, then in heavy-duty foil, and return the turkey to the smoker for 2 more hours. Remove from the smoker, and let rest for 10 minutes, then carve and serve.

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