Last year my plan was to smoke a turkey for Thanksgiving, but as fate would have it, both my smokers were out of comission. To be fully prepared for this year, I made sure all was well with my smokers and I purchased 2 turkeys to make up for last year.
I decided to spatchcock the first turkey and cooked it on my XL BGE. I used an off-the-shelf turkey brine made by spice hunter. It seemed to be pretty good having a mixture of salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, and various other herbs, fruit, and spices in it.
This was a new, unused bucket that was washed in the dishwasher and sanitized with bleach.
I decided to use John Henry's Apple Jerk Chicken rub. First, a liberal coating of olive oil, then the rub on both sides of the bird and under the skin.
Before this, I got the big green egg up to temp and set it up for indirect heat, using the plate setter. I used 3" stainless bolts and washers to make legs for my grate to raise it up high enough to clear the drip pan under the bird. In the drip pan I had some rub and 3 bottles of beer. I cooked the bird @ 325-375 for approx 95 minutes. I used 2 lumps of hickory for the smoke.
The bird came out great! It was one of the best tasting turkeys I have had. It could have gone a little longer (my digital thermometer crapped out on me) maybe 10-15 minutes to be perfect.
The second turkey I cooked in the Traeger. I have only cooked twice on this new Traeger, and as such, I put a digital smoker thermometer just above the grate to compare with the Traeger digital thermometer. There was a 75 degree difference!
I thought that maybe my smoker thermometer was broken, but the dome thermometer was reading much higher than both the others. Upon investigating, I found that the RTD on the Traeger was touching the outside wall of the smoker causing it to read cold. When I corrected that, all the temps evened out.
I decided to roast this turkey whole, unlike the one on the egg. After brining for 24 hours, I salted and peppered the cavity and stuffed the bird with a quatered apple, quartered onion, smashed garlic cloves, a quartered lemon and some rosemary and thyme sprigs. I then rubbed it down with olive oil and sprinkled it with some salt & pepper and Weber's Kick'n Chicken. I cooked the bird in a roasting pan because I needed pan drippings for gravy. I then poured some turkey stock I made last week from a practice turkey in the bottom of the roasting pan and poured 1/2 bottle of white wine over the turkey and in the cavity. To the pan I added a bit of Old Bay seasoning as well.
I cooked it at 325, basting it every 20 minutes after the first 2 hours. It turned out great! I ended up covering the breast with loose foil after the 2 hour mark because I thought it was going to get too dark. I ended up with it being too light, but still very tasty. The pan drippings and gravy made from the drippings was awesome. Some of the best I've had.
Overall, 2 of the best turkeys I have had. The family raved about them. They tasted great on sandwiches today as well!