My First Turkey
I thought it turned out pretty good, and Mom said it was delicious. Of course, what else could she say.
I did a lot of looking online leading up to Thanksgiving, looking for tips on smoking a turkey. I quickly realized that cooking a turkey is like a lot of things, if you look at 100 web pages, you’ll get 100 ways to prepare/cook it.
The process went pretty well, although there were a few hiccups.
The plan was to brine it in a simple water/salt/sugar solution. When you brine it, you’ve still got to keep it cool. I didn’t have room in my fridge, but the temperature outside was supposed to drop into the mid 20′s. So I decided, I would just keep it outside in a cooler overnight and it would be fine.
The problem was the temperature didn’t drop until 3am. When I went to set the turkey on my deck it was still 60 degrees! Better safe than sorry, I just took it out of the brine and crammed it into the bottom of my fridge.
I got up around 7am to start the fire in my grill and it was 21 degrees. Keeping your charcoal fire between 250-300 degrees is a difficult proposition when you have to wipe frost off of your grill.
My friend Chad, who is also the captain of Blowin’ Smoke BBQ team that I play with occasionally, text’d me a picture of his turkey as he took it off the grill at 10:30am. Show off.
As far as the cooking, I rubbed the turkey with vegetable oil, and sprinkled seasoning salt on it. I stuffed it with some cut up apples for flavor, and also put apple juice with water in the drip pan under the turkey. I think that helped keep it moist and flavorful. Wow, that last sentence really sounds like a commercial.
I sent Jamie Mac a text telling him we were going to eat between 2:30 & 3p. Good thing he didn’t come because it was closer to 4:30 or 5p.
But all’s well that ends well. The turkey came out smoky, juicy & tender. And along with the cheesy potatoes, bacon cornbread and pecan pie I made, and Mom’s apple salad, we had plenty to give thanks over.