Immediately, I’m going to point out you learn how to stuff bacon butter below the pores and skin of the turkey earlier than smoking it to moisturize that breast meat whereas it cooks within the smoker.
This can be probably the greatest smoked turkeys I’ve ever cooked and for those who haven’t tried it but, nicely, you most likely ought to.
Don’t miss the listing of questions and solutions under the principle article.
- Prep Time: 35 minutes
- Brine Time: 10-12 hours
- Prepare dinner Time: 7 hours Half-hour
- Smoker Temp: 240°F (116°C)
- Meat End Temp: 165°F (74°C)
- Really useful Wooden: Cherry
- Entire turkey, minimally processed, 12 lbs or much less
- Jeff’s unique rub
- Bacon butter (recipe included under)
- Turkey brine (recipe choices under)
- 1/4 lb (1 stick) butter, melted
- 1 TBS of chopped parsley
Brining a turkey is without doubt one of the most essential issues you are able to do in your turkey to make sure that it’s juicy and attractive. I’m not a scientist and I don’t declare to completely perceive precisely the way it works however then, I don’t really want to. The outcomes are implausible and that’s all that issues.
Through the years, I’ve provide you with a number of actually good brines and I’ve included the recipes under. You do have choices! My private favourite is the buttermilk brine however the cranberry brine can be excellent. In case you simply need one thing actually easy to verify the turkey is moist and flavorful, then the standard brine may be for you.
Choice 1: Conventional Brine
Pour the water into a big plastic foodsafe container. Add the salt and stir till it’s utterly dissolved. Then add the brown sugar and rub and stir till it dissolved as a lot as potential. In case you do not need a container massive sufficient to deal with 2 gallons, you possibly can combine it up 1 gallon at a time by halving the recipe.
Choice 2: Buttermilk Brine
Pour the buttermilk and water into a big plastic food-safe container. Add the salt and stir till it’s utterly dissolved. Then add the rub and stir till it’s dissolved as a lot as potential. In case you do not need a container massive sufficient to deal with 2 gallons, you possibly can combine it up 1 gallon at a time by halving the recipe.
Choice 3: Cranberry Brine
- 4 bottles (64 oz) of Cranberry-Pomegranate juice (Ocean Spray model)
- 2 cups of kosher salt
- 1/3 cup of Jeff’s unique rub
Pour the juice into a big plastic food-safe container. Add the salt and stir till it’s utterly dissolved. Then add the rub and stir till it’s dissolved as a lot as potential. In case you do not need a container massive sufficient to deal with 2 gallons, you possibly can combine it up 1 gallon at a time by halving the recipe.
After getting chosen and made the brine that you simply wish to use:
Put the turkey into a really massive brining bag, a clear empty cooler or a big plastic food-safe bucket and pour the brine over the turkey till it’s utterly submerged.
Let the turkey brine for 10-12 hours or in a single day within the fridge ensuring the temperature of the brine is lower than 40 levels to maintain the turkey protected from spoilage.
As soon as the turkey is completed brining, take away it from the brine, discard the brine and rinse the turkey rather well below chilly water.
Pat the turkey dry with a paper towel.
We’re going to be utilizing a concoction that I got here up with consisting of my rub, butter and bacon, a number of of my favourite components. We are going to put this below the pores and skin the place it could possibly truly taste the meat in addition to the pores and skin.
Bacon Butter Recipe
- 5 strips of uncooked bacon, lower up into smaller items (1/2 inch or so)
- 4 TBS of my original rub
- 1/4 lb of butter (1 stick)
- 3 garlic cloves
Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and run it until the butter is smooth. You may be able to use a blender for this if you don’t have a food processor but I have not tried it and I don’t know how well it would puree that bacon.
Update: Since I posted this recipe, a lot of people have commented and offered suggestions on how to make this better. One of my favorite suggestions was to freeze the bacon first to make it easier to chop up into smaller pieces. I think you could even put the bacon in the food processor still frozen to end up with a better blend.
Stop occasionally and scrape down the sides to make sure the end product is well blended and smooth.
You could make this ahead of time if you wanted, form it into a log then store it in the fridge until you needed it. I simply made mine while the turkey was brining.
In order to get the bacon butter under the skin, we have to use our hands to separate the skin from the meat all along the breast. The skin is pretty tough but still be gentle enough so as to not tear it if possible.
Once you can get in there with your hands, begin stuffing the soft bacon butter under the skin by the handfuls. Push it down into the areas all around the breast and even onto the legs if you can.
Once you have it under the skin, rub the remaining bacon butter onto the outside of the skin for good measure.
You can use ANY smoker to turn out a great turkey. Some smokers are easier than others but it all comes down to heat + smoke for a prescribed amount of time.
My turkey was about 12 lbs so I planned on it taking about 6-7 hours. Regardless of the plan, it doesn’t come out of the smoker until it reaches 165°F (74°C) in the thickest part of the thigh.
Use a water pan if you have one and I recommend a good flavorful smoke such as cherry, hickory, apple, maple, etc. depending on what you have available.
Once your smoker is setup and maintaining 240°F (116°C), it is time to get that turkey on the smoker.
I usually smoke the turkey breast side down for a couple of hours and then flip it over to breast side up to make sure it does not get too much heat and dry out but, for this one, I left it breast side down the entire time.
My thoughts were that the bacon butter will obviously melt and run downhill.. if the breast meat is downhill, well then that’s exactly where I want the bacon butter to be.
I wanted the turkey to be as high and away from the heat as I could get it which was the 3rd rack from the bottom.
I left it alone for the better part of 5 hours and when I checked it, it was reading 150°F (66°C) in the thickest part of the thigh. Right on schedule!
To get that really nice mahogany color and more good flavor on the outside of the skin, I mixed up some butter, rub and chopped parsley and brushed that onto the outside of the turkey a couple of times during the last hour or so.
- 1/4 lb (1 stick) of butter
- 2 TBS of my original rub
- 1 TBS of chopped parsley
Melt the butter in the microwave then mix in the rub and the parsley. Brush onto the turkey generously.
When the turkey hit 165°F (74°C) using my new ChefAlarm thermometer by Thermoworks, I eliminated it from the smoker and set it on the counter.
Let it relaxation for about 20-Half-hour if potential earlier than carving to permit the juices to redistribute all through the turkey.
Right here it’s nonetheless breast facet down:
I flipped it over to the standard breast facet up configuration earlier than carving and serving:
Does brining make the turkey salty? Mine by no means do. I’m not one to make use of quite a lot of salt on my meals.. I choose low salt more often than not and the turkey by no means tastes too salty for me.
Are you able to brine a turkey that’s already enhanced with an answer from the manufacturing unit? Sure,I’ve finished it many occasions and it all the time works nicely.
What about injecting as an alternative of brining? I don’t care as a lot about injecting as I do brining however, then, that could be a private factor. In case you do determine to inject, add as a lot as you possibly can at about 1 inch intervals on the breast, legs and thighs. I simply inject at a forty five diploma angle slowly pulling out the needle because the plunger goes in. A few of it can come out however a lot of it additionally stays in there and does it good. Make sure to put on an apron and face masks and be careful for geysers.
What’s the greatest sort of turkey to purchase? I advocate a minimally processed, recent, by no means frozen turkey if yow will discover one. In case you can’t discover one, all just isn’t misplaced, simply use what yow will discover and will probably be okay ultimately.
Does the turkey must be refrigerated whereas brining? Sure, the turkey should be stored under 40°F (4°C) through the brining course of to forestall spoilage. This may be achieved by refrigeration or by including ice to the brine. Use a thermometer to make sure correct temperatures are being maintained.
How lengthy do I have to preserve including smoke to the turkey? My minimal suggestion for smoking is to maintain the smoke going for not less than half of the estimated cook dinner time. With a charcoal, electrical or gasoline smoker you might wish to contemplate protecting the smoke going all the time for additional smoke taste.
Is it higher to smoke a big turkey or two smaller ones? I’ve all the time advisable protecting the dimensions of the turkey to 12 lbs or much less for security causes. You don’t want the chicken to take so lengthy to cook dinner that it turns into unsafe through the course of.
For that reason, it is best to determine what number of kilos of turkey you want after which break up it between two smaller ones for those who want greater than a 12 lb chicken. As an example, Let’s say you want 20 lbs of turkey then I might advocate that you simply buy two turkeys of about 10-12 lbs.
10-12 lb turkeys will take about 6-7 hours to complete even you probably have multiple turkey within the smoker.
Can I put stuffing within the turkey when smoking like I do within the oven? Solely AFTER it’s completed cooking… NOT earlier than. For security causes, the within of the turkey ought to stay open to permit it to cook dinner correctly earlier than stuffing it.
Make the dressing on the facet and stuff it within the turkey simply earlier than serving if you wish to stuff the turkey.
What’s one of the simplest ways to journey with the turkey? When the turkey is completed cooking, wrap in foil then double wrap with thick towels. Place the wrapped turkey down into an empty ice cooler. Fill in any remaining house with extra towels, throw pillows, newspaper, and many others. to additional insulate it. This could preserve the turkey above 140°F (60°C) F for 3-4 hours. Make sure to use a digital probe meat thermometer connected to the turkey to make sure that correct temperatures are maintained throughout journey time.
- Make sure to give your self some padding when cooking the turkey. It’s simple to wrap and preserve sizzling if it will get finished a bit of early so determine your time then give your self an additional 60-90 minutes.
- Determine the time to cook dinner a turkey at about 30-35 minutes per pound at 240°F (116°C).
- Take into account explaining to people that they could see a pink tint to the meat and that this can be a results of the smoke on the meat and never undercooked meat. That is higher than leaving people questioning about it.
Smoked Turkey with Bacon Butter
On this recipe, I present you learn how to stuff bacon butter below the pores and skin of the turkey earlier than smoking it to moisturize that breast meat and make it tremendous flavorful.
- Prep Time: 35 minutes
- Prepare dinner Time: 7 hours
- Whole Time: 7 hours 35 minutes
- Class: Entree, Essential
- Delicacies: Scorching Smoking
Bacon Butter Recipe
Brining the Turkey
- Make the turkey brine by including the entire ingredient into a big bucket or brining container till the salt and brown sugar are dissolved.
- Put the turkey into a really massive ziptop bag, a clear empty cooler or a big plastic food-safe bucket and pour the brine over the turkey to cowl.
- Let the turkey brine for 10-12 hours or in a single day within the fridge ensuring the temperature of the brine stays between 33°F and 39°F (1 °C and 4 °C.
- As soon as the turkey is completed brining, discard the brine and rinse the turkey below chilly water.
- Whereas the turkey is brining, make the bacon butter by including the entire components to a meals processor. Run the meals processor till the combination is clean.
Seasoning the Turkey
- Together with your arms, work the bacon butter below the pores and skin of the turkey as a lot as potential then rub it everywhere in the exterior of the turkey as nicely. Be beneficiant with it.
Smoking the Turkey
- Arrange your smoker for cooking between a spread of 240°F (116°C). In case your smoker makes use of a water pan, fill it up.
- Place the turkey within the smoker breast facet down and let it smoke cook dinner with cherry wooden for about 7 hours or till it reaches 165°F (74°C) within the thickest a part of the breast and thigh.
- You’ll be able to brush a combination of melted butter onto the surface of the turkey a few occasions over the last hour or so for a greater end coloration.
Serving the Turkey
- When the turkey hit 165°F (74°C) take away it from the smoker and set it on the counter.
- Let it relaxation for about 20-Half-hour if potential earlier than carving to permit the juices to redistribute all through the turkey.
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