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How to Smoke a Turkey Like a Pro

  Smoking turkey


This story is part of Holiday Survival Guide 201

9 and contains tips for optimizing the holiday season.

Due to recent search trends, many people seem to want to know how to smoke a turkey this year. If you're fed up with eating the same old turkey roast for Thanksgiving but are too scared of fireballs trying to fry a turkey, a smoked turkey may be your lucky medium. You can go outside, free oven-room for side dishes and cakes, and enjoy a deliciously different taste than you're probably used to.

Smoked turkey is not for the faint of heart – it needs to be taken care of and has a bold taste that purists may disapprove of. Think about roasting a turkey breast and know that you need to prepare a batch of turkey spares in advance for a classic sauce (always a good move). Alternatively, use the reserved turkey neck to prepare a sauce with bourbon, apple, cider and onions. This recipe is included in Chowhound's recipe for smoked turkeys.

According to members of the Chowhound community, you might want to smoke a practice bird or just smoke the turkey breast to make it easier (though who among us can) resist Disney-style smoked drumsticks?).

We also recommend that you follow some of the pit-master's advice on smoking meat in general, especially if you are new to smoking.

Make sure you have a game plan and plan enough time to get the process going. Then you are ready to attack a turkey. Here are some important tools, tips, and ideas that you can use next to your mahogany masterpiece.

Get ready

If you have a smoker, great! If you do not, you can do as we do and use a charcoal grill to smoke turkey.

Read more: Traeger's wood pellet grill is so good it hurts

You also need two sets of pliers, a few different disposable aluminum pans (two serve as drip pans), the other a steam pan ), a baking tray, potholders, a few buckets of water, an oven thermometer and a meat thermometer. Later more.

Read more: The most popular grills on Amazon

Last but not least, you need wood and a good source of fuel.


We like apple wood for smoking turkey, as it has a finer and more fruity flavor compared to hickory or oak Has taste.


We also strongly prefer charcoal from hardwood instead of briquettes. These charred pieces of wood burn hotter and cleaner than briquettes, but if you need to go that way, at least avoid the luminescent ones that are loaded with chemicals.

Turkey Broth

Turkey broth may be a controversial topic but we do like it, especially for a smoked bird that has the potential to dry out. You must prepare a saline solution the night before – but make sure the turkey is completely thawed first. And if you wet the salt solution, dab it dry and let it rest a little at room temperature to make the skin crispier (or two hours in the refrigerator, uncovered).

Read more: This Whole Foods turkey discount is too good to miss.

Let your wood chips soak.

hungry guests waiting for food – so remember to put your fries in a bucket of water before you start preparing your grill or smoker. (And have Thanksgiving appetizers already available for the crowd.)

Bring your grill or smoker to temperature

This is the easy part; Maintaining the temperature requires a little more finesse. For that reason, the oven thermometer is needed (the meat thermometer shows when the turkey is done) – and the steam pan, which holds water and lowers the grilling temperature, is also a necessity.


This inexpensive device is essential to measure the temperature of your grill.


These cheap disposable brownie pans are also essential (for catching drops). They have 20 here to keep them awhile – or just grab some at your local grocery store in the bakery.


With these above-average loaf pans, we hold water to create steam. These come in a pack so you may have some left over next summer.


The turkey will finish when a thermometer registers 165 degrees F in the thickest part of the chest and thighs ( but make sure it does not touch the bone). This digital model is a favorite of many cooks.

Turkey Tailor

This is another technical optional step, but we like to do so, as this makes it easier to maneuver the turkey on the grill (we also stuff the recess with onion and apple and Trusses help to keep them in position). In addition, you will look even more impressive. How to braid the bird:

You can do this while the charcoal is heating up. After binding we rub the outside of the turkey with vegetable oil (but do not worry, the turkey is doused with butter several times during cooking) – and then start to smoke.

How long will it take?

The entire operation (excluding the nocturnal brine and the one to two hour drying time of the turkey) lasts at least four hours, maybe closer to five, so plan accordingly.

You'll be there Feed the fire, add more woodchips and adjust the water level throughout the smoking process. For detailed instructions on preparing the grill and maintaining the temperature, see the following recipe. However, if you have a smoker, read the manufacturer's instructions for the best results.

Get Chowhounds recipe for smoked turkey for the step by step details.

What should you serve with smoked turkey? but even on Thanksgiving the bird is not alone.

For a smoked turkey, all classic side dishes still taste great, although it makes sense to choose stronger flavors and dishes with a southern flair. Here are a few suggestions (but do not forget the classic Butterkartoffelpürees).

Cornbread Apple Filling

  Apple Cornbread Filling Recipe Chowhound "data-original =" https://cnet2.cbsistatic.com/com/swibgJ-t_F4fFwE2U7QqkWxv25s=/ 2019/11/22/b6c33b31 -71f8-44a8-a6cd-6bd94bf4b6b6 / apple-cornbread-stuffing-recipe-corn-chowhound.jpg

The sweetness of apple and cornbread goes well with smoky turkey. Since the turkey does not cook inside the bird, you can prepare it prematurely (and the surface will be much crisper). Get chowhound cornbread and apple filling recipe.

Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole

  Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe Chowhound "data-original =" https://cnet1.cbsistatic.com/img/C0rY8QvYBYPpboID7pgfK_mBBpo=/2019/11/22/e58f53c- 424a-463a-97ee -b0a3d2ad34b / Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe Chowhound.jpg


Mini marshmallows have their place (in hot cocoa), but for sweet potato casseroles we prefer something more adult. This is mixed with bourbon – an echo of turkey sauce – and topped with a nutty pecan sprinkle that contains just enough brown sugar to supplement the natural sweetness of the vegetables. Get Chowhound Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe.

Cranberry Spread

  Maple Cranberry Sauce Recipe Chowhound "data-original =" https://cnet3.cbsistatic.com/img/H66_H5-4elM_EsgfPRRQIA9xvxs=/2019/11/22/bd354e89-7852 Maple cranberry sauce recipe chowhound

Fresh green vegetables are a must, so skip the green bean casserole for crispy-tender sauteed beans with sweet, soft onions and a hint of red wine vinegar sparks. Get Chowhound's simple recipe for sauteed green beans.

Pumpkin Chiffon Cake

  Pumpkin Chiffon Cake Recipe Chowhound "data-original =" https://cnet1.cbsistatic.com/img/MSwzPprKYortjtDQ0u8fCnpWOlk=/2019/11/22/a38a2f1f-51df - -8df5-1208cc6ac469 / Pumpkin Chiffon Cake Recipe Chowhound.jpg


At the end of the meal, try a light and airy pumpkin chiffon pie to soothe the palate fatigue. You can top up the stuffing and topping with rum or if you like, use non-alcoholic cider. Get Chowhound Pumpkin Chiffon Pie Recipe.

Maple pecan pie

  Melissa-Clark pecan pie recipe chowhound "data-original =" https://cnet1.cbsistatic.com/img/IMzYDBVDJ4RmQ5ErEXTnXjEYJs0=/2019/11/22/b8a816-845-4a8f -ba16-f5a42985316b / melissa-clark-pecan-pie-recipe-chowhound.jpg


But if you're a team pecan pie, try this version with an anise-enriched maple syrup filling and a sharp creme fraiche in contrast. Get Melissa Clark's Maple Pecan Pie recipe.

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