Smoked Turkey

Not just for Thanksgiving, a smoked turkey is the gift that keeps on giving. The effort to cook 20# is the same as that for 10#. Get yourself a big ‘ol bird and get creative with leftovers!

Start your cook 2 days before you want to eat, by brining the bird for 2 days. I take a 5 gallon bucket and line it with a turkey roasting bag. Mix together:

  • 2 gallons water
  • 1 1/2C canning salt
  • 3T minced garlic
  • 1T back pepper
  • 1/4C Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3C brown sugar

Place the turkey in the bag in the bucket. Add the brine solution, making sure it covers the entire bird. Leave the bucket and turkey in the refrigerator for 2 days before cooking.

For the cook, you want:

  • 20# turkey
  • 8 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4T seasoning salt
  • 1C butter
  • 4 cans Dr. Pepper
  • 2 apples, quartered
  • 2 onions, quartered
  • 2T garlic powder
  • 2T salt
  • 2T black pepper

Rinse the turkey after you take it out of the brine. Rub the crushed garlic over the outside of the bird, and sprinkle with seasoning salt. Set directly on your smoker at 225 for 3 hours. Don’t touch it, don’t look at it, don’t spritz it. Just let it go. This allows the bird to absorb as much smoke as possible.

After 3 hours, put in a roasting pan and fill the turkey cavity with with butter, Dr. Pepper, apple, onion, garlic powder and black pepper. Cover loosely with foil.

Turn the smoker up to 250 and smoke for an additional 7-10 hours. Good rule of thumb is 30-40 minutes/pound. You want the thigh to get to 180 and the breast at 165. Baste the bird every hour with the juices from the bottom of the roasting pan. If the cook is moving along faster than expected, just turn the heat back down to 225 and baste more often.

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