Smoked Turkey ... Great for your Christmas Bird!

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Smoked Turkey ... Great for your Christmas Bird!

Postby MadCow » 22 Oct 2009, 12:31

I always prefer to brine my turkey as it gives it more succulence and flavour and produces a far better result, both hot and cold. This type of brining is not used as a a preservative but allows the bird to be saturated in a spiced salt water mixture which firms the meat, increases the juices and brings out the best flavour – my favourite turkey brine is as follows. This is enough brine for a 20lb Turkey.

4 litres cold Water
200g salt
100g. white sugar
100g brown sugar
150ml soy sauce
100ml cider vinegar
50g runny honey
4 Tbsp. ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. garlic salt (optional)
1 tsp. ground Allspice

Using 1 litre of water, mix all of the above ingredients in a pan and stir over a low heat until everything is dissolved. Allow to cool completely mix with the remaining 3 litres of water and place in a large plastic bag or food quality non-metallic bucket (remember it must be big enough to hold the brine mix and the turkey)! Put the turkey in and cover container or seal bag …. Place in fridge or very cold place overnight (breast down). (We recommend using a large freezer bag as it will be easier to fit into the fridge and allow you to turn the turkey to ensure even coverage).

Calculate your cooking time, base it on what time you want to eat and work back – don’t forget the turkey will improve if it is rested before carving (we recommend a minimum of 30 minutes, but no longer than 2 hours). Allow 1 hour per kg cooking time, on medium heat in a draft and rain-proof location (otherwise you will need to increase cooking time to compensate).

The following morning …. rinse the turkey thoroughly and pat dry. Put a whole quartered apple and orange into the cavity of the turkey, season with salt and pepper and cover the whole turkey with a large piece of muslin soaked in butter (this will prevent the skin from going too dark from the smoke and keep it moist).

Set your Smoker to approx 275-300 F, (medium setting on a Traegar pellet cooker) allow to heat for 5 minutes before putting the turkey in. Brush the muslin with more butter every hour or so … work quickly so that you do not lose too much heat.

Cook the turkey based on the above timings, until internal temperature reaches 165 F or 75 C. Use a reliable meat probe to check the temperature of your turkey to ensure that it is fully cooked. Close down your smoker to a low heat (smoke setting on a Traegar pellet cooker) and rest your turkey inside, until ready to carve.

Please remember, undercooked poultry is dangerous. It is good cooking practice to temperature probe all poultry to ensure that the proper internal temperatures have been reached …. NEVER Trust your eyes … looking cooked does not mean that it is cooked !!

Wood Pellet Recommendation …. We like Hickory wood for our turkey, but apple and oak are also good choices.

Tip: Don’t stuff your turkey … cooking the stuffing separately in a loaf tin will allow the mild smoke flavour to penetrate the turkey more evenly.

Smoked Turkey is a very subtle flavour when hot, but more pronounced when cold and is delicious with a cold Boxing Day ‘spread’.

You can use the same brine for chicken and pork.

MadCow :)

Please don't poison the Judge !!!

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