Sunday, November 18, 2012

BTPC's Smoked Turkey recipe

I. Brine Preparation:
 -2 cups Brown Sugar
 -1 cup Maple Syrup
 -3/4 cup coarse salt
 -3 whole heads of garlic (separate them, but don’t peel
 -6 large Bay leaves
 -1.5 cups of coarsely chopped unpeeled fresh Ginger
 -2 teaspoons of Dried Chili Flakes
 -1.5 cups of soy sauce
 -3 quarts of water
 -handful of fresh thyme sprigs
 -place turkey in brine solution for 1 to 2 days prior and refrigerate. I use a trashbag in the plastic shell from one of those shoulder coolers.

II. Spice Rub**
 -3 tablespoons of Brown Sugar
 -1 tablespoon of Kosher Salt
 -2 teaspoons of Ground Cumin
 -2 teaspoons of Dried Oregano
 -2 teaspoons of Dried Rubbed Sage
 -2 teaspoons of Dry Mustard
 -1 teaspoon of Dried Thyme
 -1 teaspoon of Ground Coriander

**I’ve started doubling this spice rub recipe and adding a little more salt and some crushed red pepper. I like a lot of rub and I like it a little saltier and with some kick.

 -Take turkey from brine solution, then drain and rinse in sink. Rub spice rub all over the turkey and in cavity. The more rub you can get under the skin, the better. Put turkey in a fresh container back in the fridge for 24 more hours. (Often, there’s still some of the peeled garlic and chopped ginger root still in the cavity, which I don’t sweat…just adds to the flavor).

 It’s a good idea to go ahead and soak your smoking chips/chunks now. I usually use chips, although there’s a local place that has some apple tree chunks that I plan on trying soon. To cut down on having to open the grill (and lose smoke and heat), I try to have enough chips to load up good to start, then re-load about halfway through.

 III. Smoking
 -Get your BGE fired up. You want plenty of coals, but if you’re gonna use chunks instead of chips, make sure to leave room for them (you’re gonna use your indirect grilling plate, face DOWN). The goal is to keep the temp 250-275 degrees. In that range, you’re looking at 15-20 minutes per pound. I generally get the fire going and let my BGE hit the 600-700 degree range.

-Drain the wood chips/chunks and have them ready.

 -Once the BGE hits the 600-700 degree range, it’s time to start cooking. Ideally, you would use a v-rack roaster. I don’t have one, so I use the apparatus for a turkey fryer (just a round plate with a vertical rod through it). I place the turkey on that vertically, then set it in an aluminum drip pan.

 I like to put a mixture of chicken broth and water in the pan after I get in set in the grill (about 2 cups worth), and use that mixture (with the dripping coming from the Turkey as it cooks) to baste the turkey with during cooking. So make sure you get a pan deep enough to catch the drippings and have some basting liquid. (I just buy a disposable one from the grocery store).

 -Once you’ve got everything ready at the grill, open it up and evenly distribute your smoking chips/chunks (remember to save some to reload at least once). Place your indirect grilling plate in the grill, FACE DOWN (that means the “legs” are pointing up). After getting the indirect plate in, place your pan with the turkey on top of the indirect plate. Then add your basting liquid into your pan and shut the grill.

 -Get your vents right and get the temp leveled off. Obviously, the lower you cook it, the longer it takes. The last few I’ve done, I’ve kept it between 225 & 250 more than 250 & 275 and it’s taken about 4 hours on turkeys about 14 lbs. Usually an hour to an hour and a half in, I reload the chips and baste it good. After that I play it by ear. The hotter you’re going, the more basting you’ll need. After about 2.5 hours, after another basting, I’ll insert a remote digital thermometer probe so I can check the temp without opening the grill.

 The done temp for turkey is 165, so once my readings hit 150, I’ll go ahead and shut the vents on the grill and let it sit.

 Once the turkey temp hits 160, you can take it off, put it on a serving tray and cover in foil (if traveling with it, I’ll also wrap it with towels after the foil to insulate it). -Enjoy.

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