My husband and I love to cook, especially big meals. When the family Thanksgiving plans started to circulate we were at first eager to do a turkey. Then my brother and sister-n-love volunteered to handle the turkey, gravy and stuffing so we then began to divide up all the sides and desserts amongst the rest of the families. For a moment we were actually a tad relived that the overwhelming task of cooking a turkey wasn’t on our shoulders.
Then my mom called. They were expecting 20+ people to be at Thanksgiving and she was a tad nervous that one turkey wasn’t going to be enough for everyone to eat to their hearts content. So our relief was short lived.
For the past 7 years Albert and I have always cooked our turkey the same way… and it’s good, but we like change and my brother was going to be cooking his in the oven so we wanted to offer a different type of turkey. Frying seemed a little overwhelming to me personally so we figured, since it’s our first year as Texans we will smoke us a turkey.
Wednesday morning we lined our gumbo stock pot with a brining bag, made our brine mixture and let the turkey bathe in it for 24 hours.
After weeks of research, conversations with pros and friends we were ready for the big day. The only problem is, our family planned to eat at 12… which meant we had to start our turkey smoking adventures EARLY.
1:30 AM early. Al got up and started the fire in the smoker and I headed to the kitchen to start the first pot of coffee.
About 4:30AM the smoker was up to temp and the fire was now a pile of hot coals. So out came the bird. We let it dry for about 30 min before basting it and putting it on the pit.
Over the next 8 hours, Albert stuck next to the smoker like glue. Tending the coals, basting the turkey and swapping out wood chips when needed. When we first put the turkey on the smoker we covered the wings with foil to keep them from overcooking and burning. About half way through we removed the foil and rotated the turkey.
The last 2 hours he sprayed the skin with apple cider every 15 minutes which made the skin nice and crispy and flavorful!
Finally it was done and it was worth every second! Albert was also really proud.
It didn’t last long once it was carved and on the table. It was so good we are ready to smoke another one for Christmas.
If you plan to smoke a turkey in the near future…. then here’s our 2 recommendations.
- Brine that baby…. I don’t think we will ever cook another Turkey without bringing ever again. You can find tons of great brine recipes on Pinterest. How to Smoke a Turkey this pin has a great brine recipe and some great tips! Perfect Smoked Turkey here is another article we used.
- Schedule your meal for 3 or later…. if not you’ll be up early and on your 5th pot of coffee by lunch.