Thanksgiving is Coming Soon: Learn How to Smoke a Turkey

Thanksgiving is coming soon in the United States. This means it’s about time for me to sit outside all night and day watching a smoker and tending a fire.

Hans Scharler Sipping Coffee and Tending a Smoker

I mean, it’s about time that we give thanks and celebrate with others… and also smoke some meat. Smoking a turkey is pretty straightforward. I recommend that you get a small turkey and give it a try. If anything, you might learn something and you might just make something that everyone loves.

Trademark BBQ Smoked Turkey

Some tips:

  • Start small – 11-14lbs is a good-sized turkey
  • Buy two turkeys and cook one in advance. This will be your ace in the hole. Or, it will be your no-pressure backup turkey.
  • Brine the turkey for at least 24 hours – this will introduce some flavor and get the turkey ready for smoke.
  • Apply a rub with salt, pepper, and herbs. Turkey doesn’t taste like much itself, so feel free to kick up the flavor with some herbs.
  • Cover the tips of the wings and legs with foil. This will stop them from burning.
  • Smoke at a higher temperature, around 335F for a couple of hours
  • Add some cubed butter to the turkey and put it back into the smoker until the bird reaches 165F in the breast and thighs.
  • Use your oven after the initial smoke if you can’t keep a steady smoker temperature on a cold day.
A Trademark BBQ Smoked Turkey

I also recommend that you watch some YouTube videos and absorb some of the processes and techniques. I suggest starting with Arron Franklin’s BBQ with Franklin series on Thanksgiving.

Let me know how it goes for you!

BBQ with Franklin: Thanksgiving part 1
BBQ with Franklin: Thanksgiving part 2
BBQ with Franklin: Thanksgiving part 3

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