After going through the effort of harvesting a Turkey for the first time, I wasn’t going to just throw the damned thing in an oven!
Oh, no. While harvesting the bird, I gave it a name. “Smoky”. Why? Because that was exactly what I was planning on serving for thanksgiving dinner; smoked turkey cooked by way of the Big Green Egg.
Now, I have smoked a turkey before and it was delicious. I wanted to do better.
So, I started by brining the bird overnight using Alton Brown’s Honey Smoked Turkey Brine.
Once brined, I oiled the bird and placed it atop a Foster’s oil can beer that had its top cut off, 1/3rd of the beer removed, and garlic/onions/hot peppers thrown in.
This was placed in an aluminum tray (to catch the juices for gravy making purposes) and the entire thing was placed into the Big Green Egg that was preheated to exactly 220 degrees.
Exactly? Yes. Exactly. You might notice a few wires in that photo. That is because I recently purchased a Stoker BBQ controller. It included 3 food probes, a cooking grid probe, fan, and computer controller that can be programmed to maintain a particular temperature within the Egg.
The device is amazing. I used it earlier in the week to do a 17 hour cook of a pork leg. The Stoker maintained temperature within a few degrees of 210 for all 17 hours without a problem. Awesome.
The best part is that the Stoker will happily grab an IP address via DHCP if you plug an ethernet cable between it and your home net. You can subsequently control target temperatures, high/low alarms, food alarms and other parameters remotely. Full review in a future post. Cool device.
So, armed with a fully wired turkey in an equally wired egg, I cooked the turkey starting at about 200 degrees (ramped down from the initial 220 quickly) to 400 degrees from about 9am until 4pm. I used lump charcoal and big chunks of maple wood that had been soaked in red wine as fuel and smoke source.
Throughout the cook, I glazed the bird with a mixture of honey, dried peppers, finely ground coffee, fresh pears, fresh apples, fresh oranges, salt pepper, and dried rosemary. This mixture was puréed until it produced a thick goop at which point it was brushed onto the turkey several times throughout the cook.
Damn. The end product was nothing short of amazing. Juicy to the core. Smokey throughout. Breast meat like steaks. Just plain awesome. Thankfully, it was a 26 pound bird to start with so I have lots of leftovers.
Some of the leftovers were used by my mom to make amazing smoked turkey soup. Recipe captured and to be posted shortly. The rest will be used to make smoked turkey jerky.