Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Dave's Smoked Turkey

This recipe was developed for indirect grilling using charcoal on either a Weber 18.5" or 22.5" kettle, but you can do it on a gas grill as well, if you must.

Note: Best results are obtained if prepared one day before serving, allowed to cool for one hour, then wrapped tightly in aluminum foil, refrigerated overnight, and removed one to one and 1/2 hours before carving. Warm birds are difficult to carve neatly. 

You will need:

1) One 10-12 pound (preferably fresh) turkey. Larger birds do not cook all that well, so if you need more, add a second bird or, as I often do, a fresh turkey breast.

2) One marinade injector.

3) One cup of white wine (any cheap chardonnay will work here).

4) One slightly rounded tablespoon of kosher salt.

5) 6 to 8 cloves of fresh garlic cloves split in half.

6) One stalk of celery cut into 2" pieces.

7) 1/2 of a medium onion cut into 1/2" wedges.

8) One fresh lemon, quartered.

9) Kosher salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste.

10) A fair amount of your favorite smoking chips. For me, that means hickory, but apple, cherry, pecan, etc. work, too.

11) Plenty of your favorite holiday adult beverage.

12) A little patience.


1) Remove turkey from refrigerator and combine one tablespoon of Kosher salt with one cup of white wine. Stir until salt is dissolved.

2) Inject turkey all over with the white wine/salt mixture.

3) Put a little salt and pepper in the bird's cavity, add the garlic cloves, celery, onion and lemon. Tie the legs together with butcher's twine and allow to stand for 30 minutes.

4) Coat the outside of the turkey liberally with cooking oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

5) If you are going to soak your smoking chips in water or wine, now is a good time to immerse them.

6) Prepare your grill for indirect cooking as per manufacturer's instructions, and don't forget the drip pan on the charcoal grate, unless scraping a lot of congealed fat out of the bottom of your grill is a favorite pastime for you. If you are using a gas grill, you can place the bird directly into the pan on the cooking grate.

7) Once the grill is ready (a cooking temperature of 350 degrees is optimal), add the smoking chips and the bird, close the lid and don't open it for at least one hour.

8) Add charcoal every hour and additional smoking chips as needed.

9) Once the turkey has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees as measured in the thigh (away from the bone), remove turkey from grill, cover tightly with foil and let stand for at least twenty minutes before carving, or one hour if you are going to refrigerate it for the next day.

10) Chow down.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!


DCG said...

Sounds yummy! My sis will be doing a reg turkey & a tofu turkey (GAG) for her vegan daughter. Have a great Thanksgiving!

Dave said...

Thanks, DCG.

And back at ya.

Tofu turkey? Yuck.


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