No.128 Smoked Turkey

Why smoke a turkey for Christmas or thanksgiving. Here is why:

– More oven space by moving the turkey outdoors.

– Smoking the turkey gives you an excuse to escape the Christmas chaos.

– It’s delicious!

The strange matter is that it is not hard to do. The theory is that you want to firstly keep the fire going between 100-120 degrees Celsius and secondly use a BBQ thermometer so you can remotely measure the temperature of the turkey. If you are going to do this for Christmas dinner it would be best to do a trial run with a frozen turkey that can already be found in the supermarket. Click here for my Christmas gravy recipe that goes lovely with this smoked turkey.

Time: 1 hour the day before and 4 to 5 hours on the day

Serves: Dependant on size of turkey

Difficulty: Pernickety

1 Turkey

Coarse Salt

Coarse Ground Black Pepper

Oak Logs or Oak Smoking Chips

BBQ Thermometer

Spray Bottle of Water

Day Before

1. Butcher the turkey by removing the backbone (save for making stock). Then separate the wings and legs from the breast. This will speed up the cooking.

2. Weigh the remaining turkey and for every 750g mix together one tablespoon of salt and one tablespoon of black peppercorns. This is your rub.

3. Put the turkey in a container that can be stored in the fridge. Coat the turkey in equal amounts of the rub. Store in the fridge overnight.

On the Day

1. Heat your BBQ or Smoker to between 100-120 degrees Celsius (212-248 degrees Fahrenheit).

2. When ready, put your turkey in the smoker over indirect heat. Ensure you have put a tray with water in the smoker. Insert a thermometer and place in the deepest part of the breast. If it has an alarm feature set for 70 degrees Celsius (158 degrees Fahrenheit).

3. After half an hour check the temperature and add a small log of oak or handful oak chips. Add more charcoal as needed. Spray the turkey with water.

4. After another half an hour check the temperature of the turkey and the smoker. Spray the turkey with water. At an hour add a small log of oak or handful oak chips ensuring that the turkey temperature is rising and that the heat in the smoker is in range. Also spray the turkey with water.

5. Keep repeating step 4 until the turkey has reached 70 degrees Celsius (158 degrees Fahrenheit). If after four hours the turkey is struggling to reach this temperature place in an oven at 160 degrees Celsius (320 degrees Fahrenheit) until the temperature is reached. Continue to spray with water every 30 minutes.

6. Once the desired temperature has been reached wrap in greaseproof paper for one hour.

7. After this time present to the table and carve.

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