Thanksgiving is a great excuse for firing up the smoker. Not like I really need one but, it always helps.
This year, we were looking at having 3 Thanksgiving meals. One I don't cook, one I cook everything, and one I just cook the bird for. The first one was the one that I cook everything for. Had the bird ready to go for the meal but, my day got away from me and I didn't end up with enough time to do the turkey on the grill like I had planned to. Usually when I do this, I break down the bird into breasts and limbs and cook them all separately. I didn't even have time to do that so, on the first one, I phoned it in. I broke down the bird but then panned fried up just the breast meat in a cast iron pan with butter, starting on low heat and then slowly turning it up to medium. It turned out excellent but, It was cheating. After all, anything fried in butter is fantastic. The meal was great.
For the 3rd meal, when I just cook the bird, I had the leg quarters and wings from the previous bird to cook along with it.
I dried the bird and pieces with paper towel and let them sit for about 10 minutes before wiping them down with Olive Oil and then coating them with of my Gettin' Roasted Season All.
From there it went onto the UDS set at 230. I then slowly raised the temperature up to 300 over 2 hours (Thank you Stoker!).
At this point, I put the bird and pieces in a foil pan, tented them, and let them go for about another hour. Normally, this would be about the time when they would be getting to have about an hour left. The temp read 140 internal. An hour later, I checked it again, IT WAS STILL AT 140! The dang bird had hit a stall! The pieces were right on target but, the bird was hovering. I cranked the pit up to 350. It wasn't until 1 hour and 20 minutes later when the bird had finally hit an internal of 162 in the breast and 175 in the thighs. She sure looked pretty when it came off though.
And now for the slicing!
This thing was absolutely delicious! The breast was super juicy, and the smoke ring was half an inch deep! The dark meat was tender but, not mushy and the joints all popped cleanly. The skin was worth fighting for, as my children proved.
In the end, the 3rd Thanksgiving meal got called off but, it turned out to be okay because of the stall the bird had. My family stood in the kitchen picking pieces off of the bird and talking about how great it turned out. Of course we had to have some Cranberry BBQ Sauce to go with the bird.
Even though this might not have been considered a true Thanksgiving meal, it was easily my favorite one of the week.
Thanks for looking.