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DerHusker 12-01-2013 02:02 AM

Thanksgiving Turkey
I started dinner prepping on Wednesday morning by making up the brine. Here it is cooking.

Basically this is Alton Brown’s Brine with a few tweaks.

1 gal. Vegetable stock.
1 cup salt
½ cup brown sugar
1 tbsp. Peppercorns
1 ½ tsp. allspice
1 ½ tsp. ginger
8 cloves
2 Bay leaves
Peel from 1 orange

Combine and then bring to a boil stirring occasionally. Then remove and cool to room temp and then chill in fridge. After it chilled I poured into a food safe 4 gal bucket. I then placed it into an ice chest surrounded by ice.

I placed my cleaned turkey (without innards) into the brine solution.

And place the lid on it and let it rest overnight. Now I load the kamado with charcoal & some Peach chunks and setup it up indirect cooking.

Thursday Morning starts out with making up some seasoned butter rub.

1 ¼ sticks of butter
2 tbsp. Montreal Chicken seasoning
½ tsp. Sage powder
½ tsp. Rosemary flakes

(Here’s a pic from last year)

Also some aromatic items to place inside the bird. (Tweaked from last year)

1 Apple sliced into 1/8th’s
½ sliced onion
1 Cinnamon stick
4 sprigs of fresh Rosemary (from my garden)
6 sprigs of fresh Thyme (from my garden)
3 sprigs of fresh Sage (from my garden)
2 sprigs of fresh Oregano (from my garden)

(Here’s a pic from last year)

And finally make up some Cranberry, Apple & Walnut Dressing.

2 6 oz. Packages of Mrs. Cubbinson’s Seasoned Dressing mix
2 sticks of butter
1 cup of dried Cranberries
1 cup of finely chopped Walnuts
1 cup of minced Onion
1 cup of diced Celery
2 cups of diced Apple
1 ½ cups of Chicken stock
½ cup of Apple Cider

Combine the Dressing, Cranberries, Apple & Walnuts in a large bowl. Melt the Butter in a large skillet and then add the Celery & Onion. Once this has wilted add the Chicken stock & Apple Cider and then turn the heat to low and let simmer of 10 minutes. Now add this wet mixture to the bowl and stir. Scoop this out into a dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes @ 350 degrees removing foil for the last 25 minutes.

Now take the turkey out of the brine and place it on a prep tray.

Create some pockets under the skin for the seasoned butter.
(Here’s a pic from last year)

Slide the seasoned butter in under the skin.
(Here’s a pic from last year)

Now in go the aromatics.
(Here’s a pic from last year)

Slather what’s left of the seasoned butter rub all over the bird.

Light up the kamado and let it heat up to 250 and then put the turkey on. (This lets the bird absorb some smoke)

Now ramp up the temp to 500 for 30 minutes. (To crisp up the skin) Then ramp down the temp to 325 to 350 to finish off the cook. (Mine took an additional 2 hours for the breast temp to reach 164)

And this is what she looks like.

My wife made up the table.

Here are my plated shots.

Here’s my “Money Shot” Below

Aside from looking great this bird tasted ever better than last years which everyone thought couldn’t happen.. Everything was so moist with a nice smoky flavor to go along with the Sage / Rosemary / Montreal Seasoned butter. Everyone at the table said they wish they had a second stomach so they could eat more. I love smoked turkey. :grin:

Al Czervik 12-01-2013 06:46 AM

Excellent well documented and pic'd post DH! :clap:

Big George's BBQ 12-01-2013 07:17 AM

Your turkey looked really good Thanks for the progress shots

IamMadMan 12-01-2013 08:12 AM

I like the brining process using a 4 gallon bucket inside a cube cooler.

Great idea. Something for next year without clogging the extra refrigerator.

I did use something different this year, I used a food safe bucket liner for brining the turkey, clean-up was a breeze. They are sold by a Brethren "Stark-O-Rama" here. They are everything you'd want them to be for an easy clean-up.

Thanks for sharing..

earthling30 12-01-2013 08:18 AM

Awesome, looks great.

dport7 12-01-2013 09:09 AM

Very good, all the way around. good pics, good food, good people, thats what it's all about.

jsperk 12-01-2013 09:49 AM

Excellent location looking dinner.

T&S BBQ 12-01-2013 10:02 AM

Looks unbelievable, and the pics are marvelous.

DerHusker 12-01-2013 06:58 PM

Thanks everyone.

caliking 12-01-2013 09:13 PM

Beautiful! I'm saving these recipes.

Phubar 12-02-2013 03:52 AM

My kind of threads!

Youngin' 12-02-2013 08:21 AM

Husker, I saw this thread last year and had it bookmarked all this time just for Thanksgiving. I cooked it almost the same exact way and it came out out beautiful. No better way to smoke my first turkey this year than like this.

DerHusker 12-02-2013 03:27 PM


Originally Posted by Youngin' (Post 2715206)
Husker, I saw this thread last year and had it bookmarked all this time just for Thanksgiving. I cooked it almost the same exact way and it came out out beautiful. No better way to smoke my first turkey this year than like this.

Glad it was useful and everything came out well.

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