Tuesday, November 24, 2009

smoking a turkey

So, I don't know if anyone is interested but I'm smoking my turkey today for our potluck at work and decided to blog about it.

And 1st off. The recipe! This is an incredible recipe! This is how it is written in my book. I do not use the mop or wrap it in cheese cloth. Moping is not practical in my style of smoker as to much heat is lost when opening the lid.

Worth-the-Wait Turkey

Recipe By :Cheryl and Bill Jamison
Serving Size : 8 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Chicken & Poultry Smoking & Grilling

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------

Injection Liquid
1/2 cup garlic flavored oil
4 ounces beer
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 whole turkey -- 10-11 pound

Turkey Paste
4 cloves garlic -- peeled
1 tablespoon black peppercorn -- coarsely ground
1 tablespoon coarse salt -- kosher or sea salt
1 pinch cayenne
1 tablespoon garlic flavored oil

Turkey Mop (optional)
2 cups stock -- turkey or chicken
8 ounces beer
1/2 cup vegetable oil

1. The night before you plan to BBQ, combine the injection liquid
ingredients in a small bowl. With a kitchen syringe, inject the mixture
deep into the turkey in a half-dozen places, moving the needle around in
each spot to shoot the liquid in several directions. Inject the greatest
amount into the breast.

2. With a motor and pestle or in a mini-food processor, combine the paste
ingredients, mashing the garlic with the pepper, salt, and cayenne. Add
the oil to form a thick paste. Massage the turkey with the paste inside
and out, working it as far as possible under the skin without tearing the
skin. Place the turkey in a plastic bag and refrigerate it over night.

3. Before you begin to BBQ, remove the turkey from the refrigerator and
let it sit at room temperature for 45 minutes.

4. Prepare the smoker for BBQ, bringing the temperature to 200-220

5. Cut a 4-foot to 5-foot length of cheesecloth and dampen it thoroughly
with water. Wrap the bird in the cheesecloth and tie the ends.

6. Transfer the turkey to the smoker, breast side down (you should be able
to feel through the cheesecloth), and cook for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours per
pound, until the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees. Wet the
cheesecloth down with more water every 30 minutes in a wood burning pit or
as appropriate for your style of smoker.

7. After about 6 hours, remove the cheesecloth, snipping it with scissors
if necessary, and discard it. When the cheesecloth is removed, baste the
turkey for the remainder of it's cooking time, if possible, in your smoker
(basting is not really necessary in a vertical, bullet, smoker). If you
plan to baste, combine the mop ingredients with 1 cup water in a saucepan
and warm the mixture over low heat, Mop every 30 minutes in a wood burning
pit or as appropriate for your style of smoker.

8. When the turkey is done, remove it from the smoker and allow it to sit
for 15 minutes before carving. Serve with Carole classic BBQ sauce or
Strutting sauce if you wish.

"The name says it all!"
"Smoke & Spice... cooking with smoke, the REAL way to BARBECUE"
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 1172 Calories; 65g Fat (52.1%
calories from fat); 131g Protein; 4g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 436mg
Cholesterol; 1125mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 18 Lean Meat; 0
Vegetable; 2 1/2 Fat.

You can click on any image for a larger photo.

These are the ingredients. I have Molson because that is what we drink. The white bowl is my mortar and pestle, you can use a processor instead but I like the hands on approach. I use kosher salt.

ingredients for the paste
And after it's been all mashed up and the marinade is ready to inject.

In step 2 it says to massage it under the skin this means UNDER THE SKIN! This is the BEST way to rub flavoring on your poultry as it really flavors the meat and is taped by the skin. you can work it quite far and even into the drum sticks if you are careful. This step may seem gross but it's well worth it!

I normallly use the charcoal on the right but they ony had the brand on the left. Aparently real brikets
I soak my wood chips and then place them in a foil packet as you see here to put on the coals. I have a generous hand full of wood in this packet. Then poke holes in the packet. Doing it this way concentrates the smoke and creates more smoke. The plain dry chips would go to waste if not soaked and put in a packet. You can buy reusable chip boxes but this is what I got for now. i change out packets about 1x an hour. Wood is an ingredient. And like any ingredient you can use to much.
And it's ready to smoke. The charcoal is ready. the water pan is full and the cover is about to go on. The metal cord you see is a digital thermometer. I can leave the probe in the bird in the grill and run the cord to the reader outside. This allows me to monitor the internal temp of the bird w/o having to open the lid to loose valuable heat, which greatly prolongs cooking time and it already takes a long time to cook! notice the bird is breast down? This holds the juices inside against the thickest part of the meat creating a very juicy white meat but this also make the bird look lopsided when done. But it's about the taste not the appearance!
And were smokin'!
the white thing on the ground is my thermometer reader. The pan underneath is to catch ashes. the charcoal pan originally was a bowl but I had Patrick drill some holes in the bottom so I can get the ashes out as smoking takes so long the pan can easily fill up making it difficult to keep the new coals going as you add them. The thermometer sticking out the lid is a instant read meat thermometer. I prop it in the lid to monitor the internal temp of the smoker. the thermometer that came with it only reads in ranges and this give me an accurate temp. You can also prop one in a vent hole if your smoker/grill has one. Ideal grill temp is about 200.

And a photo of the bird finished is to come. A finished smoked bird will look very dark from the smoke, almost burned. This bird is for a potluck at work so what I will be doing is cooking it nearly done and then finishing it in an electric roaster. I don't want to over cook it!

*I don't have a photo. I was only able to partially smoke the turkey and had to finish it in a roaster because I had to take my daughter to the med center and the smoker got to cool and I was not able to finish it in the smoker. IT was still good but the smoke just didn't get to penetrate it like I would have liked and the white meat got a little dry because it was roasted. Non the less, it was nearly picked clean!

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